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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1
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    Talking Backyard Wildlife



    I was just enjoying an afternoon on the back patio when this guy decides to join our company. I love Sandhill Cranes, they walk around like they own the place. I've heard they can get a little aggressive so I went inside and last time I looked out the window, there were two more.

  2. #2
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    Beautiful. Thank you.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Backyard Bunnies - Big-Un's!


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    mugaliens, I'm so envious, those are some beautiful deer sitting so calmly -nay, POSING for a photograph already! Thanks for putting that up.
    Sadly unrecorded but I spent ten minutes yesteday morning watching a sparrowhawk pluck and devour a tit-like small bird on a fencepost in my garden. It's nice my thanatoid cat has left a few for the rest of the food chain.

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    You think they're posing? Look at these in my garden! I think they thought I was Father Christmas!



    clop

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    Cool! All we have in our (pretty non-existent as I live in an apartment house) backyard is a hare. Or possibly several.

    I've seen moose and deer in the area though, and there's a bird preserve just across the street...


  7. #7
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    Aaw...that is so nice CG and the rest of you guys...

    The 'nearness' of such wildlife reflects the serenity in / of their 'hangouts', amongst a few munchy thingies, I think.

    Charming, lovely.

    We have regular visits from our local urban foxes. They are cute.
    Our neighbourhood houses and we, are all blessed with HUGE back gardens and old trees...so there is plenty of avian action too.

    Thanks for sharing those lovely images.

  8. #8
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    Very cool. We never get Sandhill cranes but we get lots of deer (too many, they like chewing on our plants). I do like the turkeys that stroll through the yard and the vultures that perch in our trees.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  9. #9
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    We have lots of deer here. Rutting season wipes out all small trees in the yard. This year, the turkeys have been quite abundant. No sandhill cranes in the yard, but they fly overhead every spring. We've had bears in the neighborhood, but I haven't seen one yet.

    Back in 2004, we had a mountain lion in the backyard one night when I had a couple buddies over for dinner. It chased a squirrel up a tree and then sat there watching us for about 15 minutes. I had time to get the video camera out and take lots of footage. Unfortunately, this was at dusk so the video isn't very good. Once the lion got bored and walked away, that's when I remembered the nightshot button on the camera. Sigh.
    So many bugs, so little time.

  10. #10
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    I've told this story before, but the coolest animal we've had around (in my opinion) is a flying squirrel. We had one show up once in a while in our bird feeder at night. My understanding is that they are actually quite common, but are rarely seen by humans.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  11. #11
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    Flying squirrels are cool. Once in Michigan, some friends and I were out late talking one night. One of my friends was leaning against a tree when a flying squirrel landed on the tree just inches above his hand. It scurried upwards and out of sight before any of us could react. At least we all got a good look at the squirrel.
    So many bugs, so little time.

  12. #12
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    Ooh keep posting those pics, they are awesome! We have a family of deer that trots around the lake, out back but they are never still long enough for me to get a shot of them (not at them ). Jokergirl, what exactly do you do when a Moose trots into your back yard? I would love to see a pic of that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    My understanding is that they are actually quite common, but are rarely seen by humans.
    Rarely seen by humans, but are much more commonly seen by moose.

    My parent's house is quite rural, and gets it's share of interesting animals. Never seen a flying squirrel, but there was a Kingfisher sitting on the dock Thanksgiving morning. Cool birds, but they eat my bass minnows. Blah!

    Seen some cool turtles in the pond. My mom saw a mink once. Seen foxes and pheasants. Lots and lots of rabbits. Deer. Ducks like to nest throughout the summer. We chase off the geese. There's a blue heron that comes about, but I really hate when that thing nabs my fish. I've seen it grab a good 2 2-1/2 lb bass! Those are mine, dagnabbit!

    I've never seen anything too rare though.

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    I had my hair cut, two weeks ago but a guy who grew up near Zambia. I don't remember the exact place he said he lived but he kept telling me if I wanted to see some amazing wildlife I need to go to some of the parks in Zambia, which I remember him saying was near his home. Here I sit thinking it's cool when the occassional bird or deer wanders through my yard and he was telling me what it's like when the things that go bump in the night are Elephants, Rhino's, or the occassional Cheetah passing through. How awesome/terrifying is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    How awesome/terrifying is that?
    It's pretty awesome.

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    No deer in my neck of the woods and the moose don't seem to like my neighborhood, either. We get the occasional black bear, though. My dog chased a juvenile out of the driveway on one occasion and I shooed a mother and juvenile on another. I've seen plenty of hare tracks in the snow but I haven't actually seen one around the house yet. I've seen one lynx butt on the side of the road, following it's owner into the woods. Birds we have in fair abundance around the feeder. Then there's our regular grumpy squirrel.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    How awesome/terrifying is that?
    What I find funnier is when people stop being awed. Depending on where one lives, some things are "wow!" and others are "yawn". And even that changes over time.

    Not that long ago (10-20 years ago), the Canada Goose was considered a threatened bird in Ohio. People would get all excited when the saw one. Now they are everywhere and are a nuisance. White-tailed deer are similar, now more of a pest than a "wow".

    I wonder if there are people in Africa who are like "oh yeah, more elephants, I just hope they don't eat my crops".
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    Here I sit thinking it's cool when the occassional bird or deer wanders through my yard and he was telling me what it's like when the things that go bump in the night are Elephants, Rhino's, or the occassional Cheetah passing through. How awesome/terrifying is that?
    I spent some time camping beside the Zambezi River, quite a few years ago. I would waken up in the middle of the night with the sound of hippos grazing outside the tent. They can be ill-tempered and potentially lethal if you surprise them, so I decided not to crawl outside for a look.

    Grant Hutchison

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetgeek View Post
    Ooh keep posting those pics, they are awesome! We have a family of deer that trots around the lake, out back but they are never still long enough for me to get a shot of them (not at them ). Jokergirl, what exactly do you do when a Moose trots into your back yard? I would love to see a pic of that.
    Early one morning in March this year I was brushing the snow off my front steps and noticed some motion off to the side, on my driveway. By the time I got my camera, they were on the street and heading to who-knows-where.




    I live at the edge of the community, with some forest between my house and the river. I also get bears, deer, and all manner of smaller creatures in my yard. Those three moose gnawed the bark on most of the aspen back there last winter. The deer wreak havoc with the gardens. The bears get into the garbage cans left outside by irresponsible residents (once a bear makes a habit of going after garbage, its likely to end up "destroyed" as it becomes ever more brazen. They are more likely to do this in the autumn as they fatten up for hibernation - and I end up cleaning the mess they leave behind my yard after they drag and tear apart others' garbage out there.) They also destroy fruit trees.

    I love seeing Sandhill Cranes. They build stick nests on the ground near wet areas around here, and I've occasionally stumbled upon them in my work. In the spring a few years ago I was fortunate to see 30 or more of them congregated around a livestock watering pond in a field. That's the most I've ever seen at once, and I thought that was just the coolest thing.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I've told this story before, but the coolest animal we've had around (in my opinion) is a flying squirrel. We had one show up once in a while in our bird feeder at night. My understanding is that they are actually quite common, but are rarely seen by humans.
    One summer night in suburban Connecticut my daughter called from downstairs, "Daddy, there's a rodent in the dining room." It was a flying squirrel, right in the middle of the dining table. I wouldn't have known what it was either, if not for this famous painting: http://www.safran-arts.com/42day/art.../boysqirl.html We have no idea how it got into the house. I managed to ease it onto a magazine and out the window. Only one I've ever seen.

    The most impressive critter we've seen out back was a huge pileated woodpecker, on two occasions.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAPNUT View Post
    The most impressive critter we've seen out back was a huge pileated woodpecker, on two occasions.
    Given our backyard is a pretty dense swamp forest, we get lots of woodpeckers, included pileated. They are very impressive. I watched one one day "pecking" on a dead tree and fist-sized chunks of wood are flying off.

    My wife actually spotted the very first one we ever saw. I came home from work one day and she told me she saw one on our bird-feeder. She also told me (and showed me) pictures she took of it because she knew that I wouldn't believe her. She knows me too well.
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  22. #22
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    These critters are about the largest wild things to spot in our backyard. Not very impressive but fun to discover in the dark. Noisy beasties when there's two of them, and they work on the survival of their species.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  23. #23
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    There's a lot of wildlife in the Adelaide Hills. Here's some more in my garden.

    Kangaroo



    Morepork (owl)



    Koala



    Echidna (a monotreme!)



    Brush-tail possum




    clop

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    These critters are about the largest wild things to spot in our backyard. Not very impressive but fun to discover in the dark. Noisy beasties when there's two of them, and they work on the survival of their species.
    I never thought of hedgehogs as noisy. Actually, since I've never seen one outside of a zoo, I don't have a clue as to what sounds they make.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I never thought of hedgehogs as noisy. Actually, since I've never seen one outside of a zoo, I don't have a clue as to what sounds they make.
    I once heard loud hoarse rhythmic panting and tracked the sound at least twenty metres across a hay field before I found two hedgehogs at it. They sounded like asthmatic pit ponies.

    Koalas are incredibly loud during the Spring months, especially at night. Their territorial call makes them sound like they have marsupial sleep apnoea.

    clop

  26. #26
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    Oh how magnificient!

    These are such spendid captures. Thanks all for sharing. more please, at some point.

    Inner-city habitat has different fauna/flora. But the beauty comes through, it lies with the beholder, doesn't it?

    clop, are they did you shoot these? You guys are blessed.
    Thanks again, Torsten, slang. Most impressed by the painting!!! How very quaint that squirrrel is, MAPNUT!

  27. #27
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    Raccoons and skunks, too, (if I remember correctly) are also surprising noisy while thus engaged. It is particularly disquieting when this occurs underneath the wooden floors of your cabin in the middle of the night. Raccoons may be scared away with a good floor-stomping. Skunks, on the other hand, may react a little differently....
    So many bugs, so little time.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahesh View Post
    clop, are they did you shoot these? You guys are blessed.
    Mmm, did I shoot the photographs of them? Or did I shoot them dead?

    The former!

    I have heaps more photos of animals in the garden. It's like living in a zoo here. I'll post more if I get some time later.

    clop

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I never thought of hedgehogs as noisy. Actually, since I've never seen one outside of a zoo, I don't have a clue as to what sounds they make.
    What clop said. First time I heard it was on a farmhouse owned by family, very late at night. I thought there was a burglar prowling in some bushes near a barn, grunting. Raised the hairs in my neck until I checked and discovered hedgehogs making love (even though "the hedgehog, my boy, can't be bug..." oops).
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABR. View Post
    Raccoons and skunks, too, (if I remember correctly) are also surprising noisy while thus engaged. It is particularly disquieting when this occurs underneath the wooden floors of your cabin in the middle of the night. Raccoons may be scared away with a good floor-stomping. Skunks, on the other hand, may react a little differently....
    Raccoons are just plain noisy. I hear them up on our roof or just around the yard at night, fighting with each other. Sounds a little like a cat fight, but distinctly different.

    A woman I used to work with had a pair of skunks mating in her basement. She didn't make mention of the noise, but she said it smells just like you think it would.
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