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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    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.
    My post was based on the several times I was awakened during the night with...something horrible...taking place beneath the floorboards. In that half awake/half asleep state I knew the culprits had to be raccoons, but the dread that they might be skunks was usually enough to keep me from banging on the floor to scare them away. Better safe than sprayed!
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  2. #32
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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.
    Our garden sees visits by urban red foxes, which are likewise noisy in season. The dog-fox just barks a bit, but the vixen lets out a scream like the Slaughter of the Innocent. Even knowing what it is, it still causes me to flinch a little, the hair standing up on the back of my neck.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by clop View Post
    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.
    I presume that wasn't in Australia.

    Grant Hutchison

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Our garden sees visits by urban red foxes, which are likewise noisy in season. The dog-fox just barks a bit, but the vixen lets out a scream like the Slaughter of the Innocent. Even knowing what it is, it still causes me to flinch a little, the hair standing up on the back of my neck.

    Grant Hutchison
    That's very interesting. I know we have fox around us. I heard a sound like that a couple of years ago and assumed it was a rabbit or something like that dying. I wonder if that is what it was.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by clop View Post
    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
    You are Lucky Clop, - I'm in brisbane, but I only have flying foxes in my back yard. I have a colony that lives in a tree in the back, got buzzed by them last night. (noisey smelly things they are...)

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    That's very interesting. I know we have fox around us. I heard a sound like that a couple of years ago and assumed it was a rabbit or something like that dying. I wonder if that is what it was.
    Somewhere I have a little mp3 recording (poor quality) of a vixen in heat. I'll see if I can dig it out and link to it.

    Grant Hutchison

  7. #37
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    The most unusual critter I've encountered while in a house wasn't at my house. It was a bed and breakfast/observatory in Benson, Arizona. I was the only one there and I heard a rapid thumping sound. I stalked through the house and found a roadrunner that was pecking the patio door. He'd strut back and forth a few times, then attack it again. I watched him for maybe 20 minutes but I couldn't get very close.

    The neighbors in my old house ended up with a skunk burrow in there window well one summer. That was fun. It did keep the cats away though.

    I've also seen one beaver and a red colored fox within a mile of that house which was basically in the middle of the Salt Lake valley. There have been deer hit in this same area, and a couple of cougars that wandered too far from the hills. We've got falcons and hawks all over. I see a few every week on the drive home. At the grocery store we used to take lunch outside in the summer to watch the bats feed around the parking lot lights.

    I've also seen Floyd. The Flamingo that escaped the aviary a couple of decades ago. I haven't heard of any sightings for quite a while though.

    The new house is limited to a few birds. Mostly magpies and crows/ravens (not really sure of the difference). I'm near the mouth of a canyon though, so I'm sure there are other things lurking about. Raccoons. Foxes. Squirrels. Stuff like that.

    I love the pics, Clop. That Owl was impressive.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Our garden sees visits by urban red foxes, which are likewise noisy in season. The dog-fox just barks a bit, but the vixen lets out a scream like the Slaughter of the Innocent. Even knowing what it is, it still causes me to flinch a little, the hair standing up on the back of my neck.

    Grant Hutchison
    I suppose I wouldn't mind discovering a Redd Foxx in my yard either.

  9. #39
    One summer day I went out to the garden and saw a yearling moose just standing there. On a labour day mourning I saw a couple of v formations of Canadian geese fly over the field outside my window. Plus plenty of deer, ravens and squirrels. I can hear coyotes and there have several spottings of bears in the area.
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  10. #40
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    I finally got around to uploading photos of some of the critters I've already described from my yard.

    White-tailed deer


    Flying squirrel


    Pileated woodpecker


    Very young snapping turtle (still had egg tooth) we found in our pond


    Tom turkey


    Turkey vulture
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  11. #41
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    This thread reminds me:

    I remember a while ago, there was a call to go wolf hunting and kill off a bunch of wolves, because there was footage of one (HORROR OF HORRORS) in someone's back yard.

    This strikes me as a little backwards, since people that live in the suburbs want to live near wildlife -- you can see that in this thread right now. But if it's the wrong "kind" of wildlife, then we obviously need to kill it off. (Meanwhile, I'd be more scared of a male deer in my backyard during mating season, than any wolf...)

    Living next to wildlife is great, but it also carries disadvantages.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolusLupus View Post
    Living next to wildlife is great, but it also carries disadvantages.
    Mainly to the wildlife itself. :-P There was almost some clamor about the need to go kill off some coyote this spring because two dogs had been attacked. But they were little dogs that were penned into small fenced yards. That's like a silver platter for a predator.

    And I say "almost" some clamor because the attacks and sightings stopped, so the attention they drew died off pretty quickly.

    I understand people love their pets; I have two dogs of my own. But "lets kill the animals because they're acting like animals!!" bugs me. It's not like livestock was being killed off at a disastrous rate. Two dogs got attacked.

  13. #43
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    Pheasants, grouse, buzzards and deer (red and roe) are probably the most common wild life that passes my garden. There are wild cats in the area, apparently, but I've never seen any. I am too far from the nearest forested area (half a mile) to see any red squirrels, but I see them frequently in the area.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolusLupus View Post
    This strikes me as a little backwards, since people that live in the suburbs want to live near wildlife -- you can see that in this thread right now. But if it's the wrong "kind" of wildlife, then we obviously need to kill it off. (Meanwhile, I'd be more scared of a male deer in my backyard during mating season, than any wolf...)

    Living next to wildlife is great, but it also carries disadvantages.
    My only disagreement is that I don't think it is a little backwards, I think its a lot backwards.

    As Fazor mentioned, no wolves in Ohio, but plenty of coyotes. And it seems every couple of months, a coyote will kill someone's cat or little dog and there is this outcry to kill them all off. People want to live closer to nature, but have this "Bambi" image of what nature should be about.
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  15. #45
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    Ah hell. I tried to quote myself and somehow got into edit mode instead, and now I've screwed this post all up.

  16. #46
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    Stick them in a fenced off yard with a rutting adult Bambi and they'll soon learn otherwise.
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  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolusLupus View Post
    This thread reminds me:

    I remember a while ago, there was a call to go wolf hunting and kill off a bunch of wolves, because there was footage of one (HORROR OF HORRORS) in someone's back yard.
    It happens here every once in a while, that a bear has to be killed when it's become a danger to a neighborhood. But last winter, a pack of wolves were pressured into my neck of the woods and took to feeding on dogs...maybe two-to-four as I remember it. There was some increased private trapping activity but I don't remember the state wildlife biologist (who usually takes care of problem bears) getting involved.
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  18. #48
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    From my post above that I managed to mangle beyond repair (apparently hit 'edit' rather than 'quote' and didn't realize it)

    (Me) ETA: By the way, I didn't say there's no wolves in Ohio. I seen 'em wit me own two eyes.
    Hmm. It appears we're not suppose to have wolves in Ohio (not post 1820's or so). But I saw one at Salt Fork State Park once. It was late and was running by some brush, so I suppose it could have been a wild or runaway dog.

    Also swear I saw one driving into Baltimore (Ohio) a few years back. And lastly, some guards I worked with at FCCPS claimed to have seen one, and I saw the tracks, but I couldn't honestly say I can identify the difference between wolf and large dogs.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I never thought of hedgehogs as noisy.
    Here it's the squirrels who are noisy...they love to taunt the cats.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    Hmm. It appears we're not suppose to have wolves in Ohio (not post 1820's or so). But I saw one at Salt Fork State Park once. It was late and was running by some brush ...
    What was it late for? A meeting of the Company of Wolves?

    Grant Hutchison

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    What was it late for? A meeting of the Company of Wolves?

    Grant Hutchison
    Red Riding Hood was closing in on her grandmother's house, and the wolf hadn't even put on a nightgown yet.

  22. #52
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    Semi-related but still one of the best visual images I've ever come across.

    The GF and I were on our to Wendover one night. Wendover is Vegas for people on a budget. The only real way to get there from Salt Lake is to go out I-80, the last 30 miles of which is the Bonneville Salt Flats. On the drive out we end up passing, then being passed by, a Delorean with clear plastic sheets for side windows. Both sides. We did the mutual pass thing about four times, then lost sight of it.

    At the eastern end of the Flats is a rest area. It's about 10:30 PM and December, so it's pretty dark out there. The rest area is huge, but seems to be deserted. Perfect place for a serial killer to lurk. I check the women's restroom while she goes in, then I stand guard outside.

    While she's in there, I hear what I know is the sound of a chain dog collar. We are at least 8 miles from anyplace that can support life, so this sound is a little odd to me. I peek out around the side of the bathrooms to see what might be making that sound, and see a wolf trotting along. A big wolf.

    She comes out of the bathroom and I tell her that nothing is wrong, but get in the car because there is a big dog roaming around. She's never talked about why, but big dogs coming up to her in the dark seems to freak her out more than it probably should.

    Once she's in, I go around and get in, then tell her that it's not a dog, it's a wolf. About then is crosses our field of view and she uses one of her hockey words. We leave the rest stop and the wolf is sort of tagging along, oblivious to our car, but pacing it. We round the little curve by the exit, and watch as it jumps into the Delorean with the plastic windows.

    When I mentioned that story to some of the truck drivers at work, a couple of them have said that they have seen that car on the highway.

    Maybe he travels to Ohio too.

    Seriously though, who, other than a character of Stephen King's, drives around the desert in a Delorean with no windows and a wolf?
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  23. #53
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    There are people who own wolf-dog hybrids as pets. I met one in Ohio many years ago. Their wolf-dog looked a lot like a wolf and was huge, though it was very friendly.
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  24. #54
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    We get quite a bit of wildlife around our vacation house. It's in a fairly large development, but the development is surrounded mostly by wooded or recently cleared areas. Deer have been a real problem for our garden. We've seen a fox and several coyotes in the neighborhood (though not in our yard) and it's common to see bald eagles overhead or in the trees.

    But our worst wildlife event was having a raccoon give birth in our floor! I've developed a real loathing for raccoons. We can't even put bird feeders out any more.
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  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    Also swear I saw one driving into Baltimore (Ohio) a few years back.
    How'd he hold the steering wheel without opposable thumbs?




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  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift
    That's very interesting. I know we have fox around us. I heard a sound like that a couple of years ago and assumed it was a rabbit or something like that dying. I wonder if that is what it was.
    Somewhere I have a little mp3 recording (poor quality) of a vixen in heat. I'll see if I can dig it out and link to it.
    Here we go. A rather crackly little mp3 (40KB) of a vixen calling during the mid-winter breeding season. Once she gets going, she can add a bit of yodel into that basic theme.
    When it fires off under your window at midnight, it certainly gets your attention.

    Grant Hutchison

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    My only disagreement is that I don't think it is a little backwards, I think its a lot backwards.
    Yes, I do tend to understate things.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Here we go. A rather crackly little mp3 (40KB) of a vixen calling during the mid-winter breeding season. Once she gets going, she can add a bit of yodel into that basic theme.
    When it fires off under your window at midnight, it certainly gets your attention.

    Grant Hutchison
    Gosh, that is bloodcurdling!

    I see the occasional fox from time to time. I'll have to listen out from their coital shrieking.

    Australia has an estimated one to two million feral camels, descendents of the camels left behind by the Afghans when the advent of railways made them redundant. The camels are genetically pure and apparently in great demand by thoroughbred camel racers in the Middle East. They catch them and ship them over there. Never seen one in my garden though.

    clop
    Last edited by pzkpfw; 2009-Dec-02 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Changed a word.

  29. #59
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    It's not quite backyard wildlife, but on Sunday I made the 100 mile drive to Cape May NJ to see the Ivory Gull that has been hanging out the for the last couple of days. This is one of the rarest birds in the "lower 48" states, mainly because it rarely goes south of the Arctic Circle.

  30. #60
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    Beautiful wildlife photos

    Hey, Closetgeek, Mugaliens, Clop and Torsten,

    Great photos. The moose were a surprise. The deer were photo perfect. And, I could see the Sandhill Crane in the shadow.

    In my back yard there are frequent squirrels, a racoon for awhile and an oppossum wandered through. We've redbirds, bluebirds, robins, grackles, sparrows and starlings all are common.

    On different posts when I was a night guard, I've seen coyote and oppossums quite often, an armadillo once, fox and skunk ocassionally. All of the above in urban areas.

    Thanks for wonderful wildlife photos.

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