General opinion holds that animals are not very exciting unless they're the exotic kind that you see in the zoo. Squirrels and pigeons and other animals that you can see outside of your condo don't seem very exciting until you think about the fact that some native animals have taken thousands or even millions of years to evolve into their current forms. If you'd like to see some animals native to your region, here are some tips for finding them.

Canada has many thousands of native species of birds, and they are perhaps the easiest native animals to see because with the right structures, you can entice them to visit your own yard. Hummingbirds, loons, geese, eagles, owls, and blue jays are all birds native to Canada that might visit your backyard if you put up the right type of feeder with the proper type of feed. To make their visits more likely, keep pets such as cats or dogs out of the yard at all times, and avoid loud noises and sudden movements that may frighten them.

Going for a hike in the woods is a great way to see some of Canada's larger native mammals. Moose, bears, deer, ferrets, beavers, coyotes, wolves, raccoons, and wild cats are all native to various parts of Canada and make their homes in the dense woods. You're not likely to see them near your busy community, but a drive to a hiking trail outside of the city will do the trick. If you're going into bear, moose, or wild cat country, be sure to bring noisemakers or repellent spray for protection. Though animals are usually wary of humans, there are sometimes accidents.

Wetlands are another great place to visit if you're looking to spy some native Canadian wildlife. There are certain types of bird, reptile, and amphibian that exist there and nowhere else. So the next time you get a break, drive to a wetland with a boardwalk hiking trail. If you're patient and quiet, you might see some rare ducks, egrets, snakes, lizards, toads, frogs, and fish. Remember: wetlands are rare and precious, so leave no trace of yourself behind.

If marine wildlife is more up your street, Canada has one of the longest coastlines in the world, so even if your home is in the city, you should be able to find a lake, river, or ocean to visit. Plenty of marine birds and mammals, such as whales, sea lions, herons, and puffins are visible from a surface cruise, but if you want to get up close and personal with the fish and shellfish, you can go SCUBA diving or snorkeling in the Caribbean.

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