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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1411
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Heard some geese I guess they are back.
    Around here we have Canada geese that stay here all year, and they are spoiled rotten. Yesterday I encountered three of them on the grounds of our high school. I could walk up to them and they would just waddle away or perhaps go through the motions of flying about 15 feet. They were eating grass and pooping on the sidewalk.

  2. #1412
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    It is fun seeing this animal freely roam around the neighborhood.

  3. #1413
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    They sound much like the Ibis birds we have in central Florida. I used to call 'em "those needle-nosed bug eaters" until Mrs. M. corrected me.


    The big ones go wherever they want, two or three at a time, moving away from your approach in token manner at the last moment, pretty much acting like they own the place. The little ones go up and down a street seeking bugs to eat, comically tilting their heads as if they're looking for a particular address.

  4. #1414
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    I've had a long-time fondness for Canada geese, even if they cross the border illegally.

    I was on a ladder about a decade ago, trying to fix something on a second-floor deck, when an adult male goose with a lame foot began honking at me from the bottom of the ladder. I thought he was defending his girlfriend goose nearby, but after some communication misstarts it turned out he wanted food. I fed him, though his gf was shy and stayed away.

  5. #1415
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Around here we have Canada geese that stay here all year, and they are spoiled rotten. Yesterday I encountered three of them on the grounds of our high school. I could walk up to them and they would just waddle away or perhaps go through the motions of flying about 15 feet. They were eating grass and pooping on the sidewalk.
    "Resident" geese can be a big problem. I think this state has special hunting seasons for them, timed to avoid migrations of the migratory ones.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #1416
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    "Resident" geese can be a big problem. I think this state has special hunting seasons for them, timed to avoid migrations of the migratory ones.
    If I had had a gun and contempt for the law I could have bagged at least one. Likewise with a deer I encountered in a park near my home. I was about 20 feet from it with an unobstructed line of fire, should I have been so unlawfully inclined. I held my hands up as if aiming a rifle and it did not even flinch.

  7. #1417
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    I told this story some years ago, but ...

    In Stone Mountain, Georgia, they had one of those interactive zoos where you could feed the animals directly. They had these converted gumball machines from which you could buy a dime's worth of animal feed.

    Generally, the animals get out of your way as you move about, but as we approached one of the feed machines, one big goose stood beneath it and held his ground. As my wife and I commented on the bird, he'd look each speaker right in the eye in turn. You'd swear that he was listening to the talk. He was waiting to catch the stuff that inevitably fell when you picked up the little pile of animal chow from the dispensing slot.

    Now, once we had the food, other birds and beasts (some deer) moved in to get some, but only the goose seemed to understand that waiting there was the best policy. We made sure that he got his share.

  8. #1418
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Around here we have Canada geese that stay here all year, and they are spoiled rotten. Yesterday I encountered three of them on the grounds of our high school. I could walk up to them and they would just waddle away or perhaps go through the motions of flying about 15 feet. They were eating grass and pooping on the sidewalk.
    The Canada geese we have overhere are equiped with TARDIS technology. They can contain far more poop than they eat. My minefield crossing abilities are improving day by day.

  9. #1419
    There is a shallow lake/swamp across the road in the woods a bit. plenty of room for them over there.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  10. #1420
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    Today, in addition to the Canada geese and Trumpeter swans that have been here a few weeks as they take a break on their northward migration, I saw several flocks of snow geese (Chen caerulescens) fly over. I can't recall seeing them before.

    Closer to the ground, the melting snow is revealing the winter activities of mice!



    I had a cow moose and her calf pass through the back yard again this winter, but I got no photos.
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  11. #1421
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    The snow geese winter in the Skagit Delta area of my state -- You've been to the region for my pumpkin pitch! They are in huge flocks and a bit of a nuisance. Generally there in January and February, which is also a good time to see bald eagles further up the river.
    We were surprised to see some Trumpeters a couple of days ago. We see them in the winter but not usually this late.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #1422
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    Our breakfast area has a bay window that looks out on the patio and backyard. There's a fence along one side of the patio that connects with the house, but the yard - and the birds and squirrels - can be seen easily enough. Sometimes they will even come onto the patio. All this makes that window a perfect cat Viewing Area.

    Sometimes a squirrel will perch on the fence next to the window and agitate the cats. Last week they got particularly upset. A squirrel was clinging to the window screen. (Aloes have done this before but this was a first for a squirrel.) I had to go outside to chase it away.

    A few minutes later our daughter opened the backdoor, and found a squirrel (same one?) clinging to the screen door. She chased it away ... and into the garage. (Yeah, I left the garage door open while doing yard stuff.)

    I thought it had left the garage; I couldn't find it. But later when my wife went to the garage to deposit some recycling she spotted the squirrel in the rafters over her head, staring at her. I tried chasing it out twice more, but I think it's still there,
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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  13. #1423
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    I once had a couple of young raccoons get into the garage, found them when I went out to the garage at night and had left the back door open. They climbed into the rafters. I opened the main garage door and left them alone for a half hour, and luckily they left.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  14. #1424
    Took a walk out to the log cabin today and when I got there two hawks or eagles flew out of it, here is one quick video of them over head, sorry didn't get a shot of them coming out I was a bit startled.
    https://twitter.com/OrionsHead/statu...90683932233728
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  15. #1425
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    At least three barred owls were hooting up a storm a few minutes ago, and then I saw one of them as it flew by toward the others, squawking as it went. It was only the second time in my life that I have seen an owl.

  16. #1426
    The lonely word pecker is banging out on the metal roof the barn today.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  17. #1427
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    The lonely word pecker is banging out on the metal roof the barn today.
    You have a writer sitting on your barn roof?

  18. #1428
    Sorry woodpecker.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  19. #1429
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    I've been surprised that with the metal roof on the new house we've only yet been visited once by a flicker. They love banging on tin!

    Meanwhile, last week my wife saw an item on the local town's Facebook: A jogger had found a deer that had been killed and gutted by a cougar. In a park in the city limits. On the trail, on his second pass by in half an hour; the carcass wasn't there the first time.
    Now, there's an update. The deer was probably NOT killed by a cougar; it was probably killed by a coyote. And dragged onto the trail and gutted by the cougar. Oh, that's SO much better.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #1430
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    I was in the backyard yesterday afternoon, standing with my back to the crape myrtle, when I heard a soft thump behind me. I turned around and saw a squirrel on its belly, spread-eagled on the ground. Until then I was unaware that squirrels can have an "I meant to do that" facial expression.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

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  21. #1431
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    We live in upstate SC. The only backyard wildlife I dislike are the black widow spiders, which like living underneath our home.

  22. #1432
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Now, there's an update. The deer was probably NOT killed by a cougar; it was probably killed by a coyote. And dragged onto the trail and gutted by the cougar. Oh, that's SO much better.
    Yes, now the wildlife is cooperating.

  23. #1433
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Meanwhile, last week my wife saw an item on the local town's Facebook: A jogger had found a deer that had been killed and gutted by a cougar. In a park in the city limits. On the trail, on his second pass by in half an hour; the carcass wasn't there the first time.
    Now, there's an update. The deer was probably NOT killed by a cougar; it was probably killed by a coyote. And dragged onto the trail and gutted by the cougar. Oh, that's SO much better.
    I find that a little surprising, though it might be a regional difference. Around here, coyotes rarely kill deer; a healthy adult deer is just too big for a coyote to challenge, and coyote are generally not pack hunters (though they do often live in small family groups). Rabbits and other animals that size are more their prey, though a coyote would not be shy to scavenge a carcass or go after a fawn.

    Cougars, on the other hand, would definitely hunt deer.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  24. #1434
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I find that a little surprising, though it might be a regional difference. Around here, coyotes rarely kill deer; a healthy adult deer is just too big for a coyote to challenge, and coyote are generally not pack hunters (though they do often live in small family groups). Rabbits and other animals that size are more their prey, though a coyote would not be shy to scavenge a carcass or go after a fawn.

    Cougars, on the other hand, would definitely hunt deer.
    A similar incident happened very near where I live in Oregon - a deer was killed and gutted. The speculation was a coyote did it until it was pointed out that the deer was also partially buried, something cougars do, not coyotes. And yeah, the deer are a bit big for a coyote.

  25. #1435
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I find that a little surprising, though it might be a regional difference. Around here, coyotes rarely kill deer; a healthy adult deer is just too big for a coyote to challenge, and coyote are generally not pack hunters (though they do often live in small family groups). Rabbits and other animals that size are more their prey, though a coyote would not be shy to scavenge a carcass or go after a fawn.

    Cougars, on the other hand, would definitely hunt deer.
    That was my thought as well. Even last year's fawns are pretty big now.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #1436
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    I saw a pileated woodpecker today. As it flew across my line of sight I had the impression of a crow, but with white patches on its wings sort of like those on a mockingbird. When it landed on the trunk of a tree in a neighbor's yard it became unmistakeable, with that spectacular red crest. This was my first sighting since seeing one in Charlottesville 50 years ago.

  27. #1437
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    One of the neighbour's cats came in my garden. A few meters next to it, a magpie landed and happily ignored the cat and turned its back at the cat, even though it clearly was aware of its presence. The cat looked at me with this hilarious "You find this normal behaviour? Say something! It's your garden too!" look. And the magpie, it could not care less. They are by far the most cheeky birds we get in the garden.

  28. #1438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I saw a pileated woodpecker today. As it flew across my line of sight I had the impression of a crow, but with white patches on its wings sort of like those on a mockingbird. When it landed on the trunk of a tree in a neighbor's yard it became unmistakeable, with that spectacular red crest. This was my first sighting since seeing one in Charlottesville 50 years ago.
    50 years is way too long between sightings. I won't say they are common around here, but I'll see them several times a year, the most recently a week ago in a park near by. Until you see one in person, I don't think one appreciates how big they are.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  29. #1439
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    Oh yeah, magpies... I may have told this story, but I laugh every time I remember it. Years ago I was working in my home office when I heard a magpie in the yard making that awful sound they make. The bird was jumping around on the lawn and definitely scolding something I could not see directly below the window. So I snuck out the side door and had a look to see what it might be. Angus, the cat that had decided to live in my house when my neighbour died, was cowering against the wall, and did not seem to know what to do.

  30. #1440
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    We used to have a small "English" chicken, one that could fly. And a huge stray cat. I'd call it a puma if this were a sailor story, but it was just a huge stray cat. The terror of the neighbourhood. Cat comes to in our garden. Small chicken eyeballs it with a very clear "you ain't do nothing" message. The cat was so impressed with the fact that the chicken didn't evacuate the scene upon its arrival, that it assumed the chicken had some massive defensive weaponry and left it alone. They might even have become friends. Or it's just no fun when your toy is not trying to get away. That same chicken has gone up the roof when another cat came too close, so it knows what to do when its evil eye isn't working. It was also smart enough not to try and attack the cats like your magpie did. He'll only do that until he meets the wrong cat.

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