No matter how innocent wildlife may appear, it is important to view the animals at a distance. They can carry rabies and should not be approached or handled.
WHITE-TAILED DEER are common in the park. These brown and white deer can be seen most often in the early morning and early evening hours.
RACCOONS are found throughout the park, but are most common near streams.
OPOSSUMS are the only marsupials, or pouched mammal, found in North America and are common. They look much like a large rat, having a long body and a pointed nose.
LONGTAIL WEASELS, although rarely seen, are the most common of their kind in the region. They have a long, slender body with short legs. Weasels are one of the most useful animals in the park since they are very effective at controlling the rodent populations.
MINK are also rarely seen mammals and have a long thin body and dark fur. They are found near streams.
RED FOX have a sharp nose, bushy tail and reddish coloring, overall resembling the appearance of a medium sized dog. Although they are more common than the gray fox, spotting one is quite rare.
GRAY FOX, as the name implies, have gray fur. This fox is rare in the area so anyone spotting them is very fortunate.
STRIPED SKUNK are well known for their black fur with two white strips going down their back, and for their ability to spray a foul smelling musk. People have little to fear from the skunk unless it feels threatened.
COTTONTAIL RABBITS are one of the most common mammals found in the park.
WOOD RATS have dark brown fur with a white underbelly, and can grow to be up to 17 inches long. Sometimes called a pack rat, the wood rat collects shiny objects like bottle caps, coins, shotgun shells, and car keys.
MUSKRATS are found near streams. They’re about the size of a rabbit and have dark brown to black fur.
MEADOW JUMPING MICE are very rare. They have a beautiful black tipped, yellowish-brown fur with yellowish-orange sides, and a white underbelly.
WHITE-FOOTED MICE are common throughout the park. Their back and sides are brown, but their underside and legs are white, hence the name. The tail shares this coloring feature, being brownish on top and whitish below.
Also common in the park is the DEER MOUSE. Its coloring is similar to the white-footed mouse, but is slightly lighter in color.
GRAY SQUIRRELS are also common in the wooded areas. They have bands of brown, black, and white giving it an overall gray color.
CHIPMUNKS have a reddish-brown color with black and white stripes running down their bodies.
The rare BEAVER is the largest rodent found not only in the park, but also in all of North America. Beavers tend to live in streams and can sometimes be found in Antietam Creek.
GROUNDHOGS are very common in the park. Groundhogs have dark brown fur and often stand on their hind legs to look around. The holes (or burrows) that they dig and live in can be seen on many of the fields across the battlefield.
HAIRY-TAILED MOLES are small burrowing animals, covered with long bushy black hairs.
Although SHORT-TAILED SHREWS and LEAST SHREWS are common, these gray-furred, shorthaired shrews are rarely seen. They very good at hiding, and spend much of their time in burrows.
LITTLE BROWN BATS are very common in the park area and can best be seen at twilight. These bats are very useful because they eat up to their body weight in flying insects each night.
Did You Know?
Henry Kyd Douglas, the youngest staff officer for Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was a native of the Sharpsburg area. His family home was just 4 miles west of the Battlefield. His uniform and personal library are part of the Battlefield collection.