Wildlife in Scotland: Image Special with Scottish Iconic Animals

Scotland is full of varied landscapes and exciting wildlife, and you can get lost in the beauty of our varied fauna. Proudly Scottish, Walkers Shortbread is one of the iconic products from our beautiful country – join us in a picture special of some of the most iconic Scottish wildlife around, from the Highland Coo to the Scottie Dog!

Highland Cows

Highland Cow

Highland cows are astonishingly popular in artwork and on postcard motifs. They are instantly recognisable with their big horns and shaggy coat, and most are fairly docile and won’t mind if you come a little closer for a photo opportunity. You can come across the popular cattle breed in the Highlands, of course, where you may also run into some Highlanders - but there are also free-roaming Highland cows in the Pentland Hills just 20 minutes outside Edinburgh city centre, or along the banks of Loch Lomond, a short drive from Glasgow.

Did you know? In Scots, Highland cows are known as kyloes – which today is also the name of a gourmet steak restaurant in Edinburgh.

Puffins

Puffin

The beautiful puffin has a remarkable beak, with beautiful colouring and a distinctive flat shape. Scotland has several breeding colonies where you can see thousands of the birds every summer. Visit the islands of Shetland and Orkney between March and August to observe them in their natural summer habitat. The fish-eating puffin has been called one of the world’s most popular birds, but as most of the population is concentrated at only a few sites, the family favourite is on the Amber List of protected species.

Did you know? Puffin Books is the largest publisher of children’s books in the UK. It’s a branch of the publisher Penguin Books, which also has a Pelican series!

Stags & Deer

Stag

In the picturesque Highlands of Scotland, large groups of red deer roam the open hills day and night.  The Stag shortbread assortment pack is a perfect gift for a deer enthusiast!

Did you know? Scottish deer are smaller in stature than their English counterpart, but live together in large groups, whereas the English lowland deer primarily are more solitary creatures.

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Birds of prey are impressive. The Golden Eagle is the second-largest in the UK, and soar across the moors in the Scottish Highlands, as well as on islands and in remote glens. 

As well as the golden eagle, Scotland is also home to white-tailed eagles and several other birds of prey popular with bird watchers. Ospreys, peregrine falcons and the red kite can also be spotted around the country. Grouse gets a special mention, even if it is not a bird of prey, as it is a popular bird in Scotland for several reasons. The characteristically red-browed bird lives in abundance in the highlands, and is also popular for hunting. One famous grouse is The Famous Grouse, a whisky produced in Perthshire. Like many other of Scotland’s fine whiskies, it can be paired nicely with shortbread or oatcakes for an authentic Scottish experience.

Did you know? There are over 400 breeding pairs of golden eagles in the UK, and most of these can be found in Scotland.

Seals and dolphins

Scottish Seals

Scotland has a lot of coastline, and in many places along the coast you can spot inquisitive grey seals and harbour seals. If you want to see these charming seals in action, visit beaches or go out in a kayak, especially around the Hebrides, Shetland, Orkney and in the Firth of Forth. If you are lucky, you can also meet dolphins, who are particularly common around the Moray Firth.

The Loch Ness monster is another iconic sea-dwelling creature, but it has proved difficult to get a high-quality photo of ‘Nessie’. You could enjoy a Loch Ness Monster shortbread version though!

Did you know? There are five species of dolphins and porpoises commonly seen around the coast of Scotland, including the famous bottlenose dolphins.

Scottie Dogs

Scottie Dog

The Scottish Terrier is affectionately known as the Scottie Dog. You’ll probably have seen them around – it is a popular breed of dog, and known as the national dog of Scotland. The cute wiry-haired dog is a firm favourite with families around the world – just look at this adorable ‘Wee Mac’ Scottie dog shortbread tin. Scotties have had many famous owners, from Queen Victoria to presidents Roosevelt and George W. Bush, and many in between. Scottie dogs originated in Scotland, and is known around the world for its distinctive shape and friendly attitude.

Did you know? The Scottie dog is used as one of the player pieces in Monopoly, the famous board game, as it was one of the most popular pets in the United States when Monopoly was created in the 1940s. Scottie dog shortbread is also one of our most popular novelty shortbread shapes!

For more information about Scotland’s iconic wildlife, we recommend looking at the Wildlife watching calendar from  the Scottish Wildlife & Adventure Tourism Association. Here you’ll find an overview of many of the popular birds and animals you can spot across Scotland, and when to see them. (Scottie dogs aren’t on the list, but look for them in certain parts of Edinburgh and Glasgow all year round.) And remember to check out our packing tips for your backpack when you head out to see the wildlife!