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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1471
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    Backyard Wildlife

    As I was enjoying a cigar in front of a fire last night...and sitting at the open door of my garage because it was raining...I saw a rodent-like critter scamper across the end of my driveway. A few minutes later, what I assumed to be the same one hopped onto my garage floor. It turned out to be a Northern red-backed vole.

    Cute little guy but I tried to shoo it out, which had the opposite effect. It ran into the garage. Fortunately, it ventured out a few minutes later and was on its way.
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  2. #1472
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    I drive 9i0 minutes to work every morning, early, and 90 minutes back in the afternoon. The main live wildlife I see lately, particularly this morning, are vultures. They gather in groups of 8-9 around roadkill and appear quite peaceable and calm as traffic flies by. This morning's group was in the middle of a wide grassy strip along the middle of a parkway. Magnificent big birds.

  3. #1473
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I drive 9i0 minutes to work every morning, early, and 90 minutes back in the afternoon. The main live wildlife I see lately, particularly this morning, are vultures. They gather in groups of 8-9 around roadkill and appear quite peaceable and calm as traffic flies by. This morning's group was in the middle of a wide grassy strip along the middle of a parkway. Magnificent big birds.
    I love vultures, I think they are awesome birds. Up here we pretty much only have turkey vultures, but I suspect you also get black vultures in your neck of the woods.

    If you ever want to read a fantastic book about vultures, I highly recommend "Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird" by Katie Fallon.

    I even have a favorite nature-geek cartoon about TVs (turkey vultures). Having personally known one TV (Ms. V, at the nature center where I volunteer), I would say the cartoon is just about exactly correct; Ms. V has an attitude.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  4. #1474
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    Oh, I guess these are black vultures. They don't have red heads, just pure black and kind of bald and warty. I honestly had no idea there were two species around here.

    http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/publi...e/vultures.pdf

  5. #1475
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    I've seen one or two fireflies over about the last week or so, but last night, after the rains moved through, our backyard really lit up. Unfortunately, no photos; I've tried for years to get good photos, with no luck so far.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  6. #1476
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    Rabbits. We've got lots of little brown rabbits. As someone at the gym said yesterday as one hopped by the window, "The bald eagles really aren't doing their job!"
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #1477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Rabbits. We've got lots of little brown rabbits. As someone at the gym said yesterday as one hopped by the window, "The bald eagles really aren't doing their job!"
    Or ... https://images.app.goo.gl/M5YL6as7JU5qNuKPA
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  8. #1478
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post


    Actually, bald eagles are generally fish eaters. More likely red-tailed hawks not doing their jobs.

    Or even more likely, it is just a year when there are lots of rabbits, probably because there is abundant food for them. I don't know about rabbits, but around here, you will have what are known as mast years, when trees will produce a vast overabundance of seeds. Oaks particularly do this; there are years that there are so many acorns it is a hazard walking down a trail, and the squirrels can't keep up. That's the whole point, there are so many acorns that a lot of them will not be eaten, and so are more likely to sprout. This is usually followed by a big increase in the number of squirrels and other acorn-eaters, because of all the food, and then a big increase in the species that eat those species.

    Then the following year, food supplies return to normal and there is a small population collapse of prey and predators.
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  9. #1479
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    Many of our softwood species are irregular cone producers, but I think the strategy has more to do with minimizing seed losses to insects.

    I think lynx are the main predator of snowshoe hares here. The lynx are well adapted to hunting them, particularly in winter, and I read somewhere that this is one of the few predators whose efficiency or success rate improves in the winter. A few summers ago I was driving my pickup down a narrow road early one morning. Vegetation was recolonizing the road. Ahead of me was an adult hare and several young ones feeding on this vegetation. And beyond them, in the brush at the edge of the road, was a lynx ready to pounce. But I noticed the cat too late and kept driving to the point where the hares scattered. Lynx will often let you get really close before walking away, acting quite aloof. I may be anthropomorphizing, but I'm sure it scowled at me as I drove by.

  10. #1480
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    It may well be mostly coyotes that prey on the rabbits here, not sure. We've also seen foxes once or twice and a bobcat was photographed down at the marina. Of course, the dead one I saw yesterday had fallen victim to a car.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #1481
    Found this little guy humming around the edge of the garden this evening.
    https://twitter.com/DavidLPFairweat/...56820865560577
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  12. #1482
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Found this little guy humming around the edge of the garden this evening.
    Tricky devil, you had me primed for hummingbird. I wish we had ‘em here but we’re just outside the range of the Rufous. I wouldn’t mind sphinx moths, either. Had ‘em around my flat in Germany.

    I found fresh(ish) moose tracks behind the house on Saturday. Looked to be a fairly young’n based on their size. They rarely visit out part of the mountain but this hot dry spell may have them looking for shade and water.

    Right now, I’m messing with a yellow warbler. I’m playing its song on the bird app and it flys from tree to nearby tree looking for it.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  13. #1483
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    clop, your these deer are looking so beautiful and innocent. I like the pet animals and feeling glad to see your love with animals. I think so you are so caring about them. Have yo any more pets in your garden? could you like to share images of them as well? and I must knew How you take care them?

  14. #1484
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    I live in a small town, not exactly rural but certainly not citylike either. Anyway, the most exotic thing you'd find in our gardens would be a hedgehogs. We don't even have lizards here. So I was quite surprised this evening when I was on my lawn at sunset, and on the other side of it -less than 20 meters away from me!- a falcon struck down to catch a mouse, kill it, and fly off with it. When I stopped to look at him and came a bit closer, he gave me The Eye. Rather small bird, but impressive head nonetheless.

  15. #1485
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    Falcons are great creatures. My brother and friend used to catch them. A simple small cage to hold a mouse, with many fishline eye-loops on the cage would snag a falcon that would get hooked and not be able to fly far with the cage. His friend would train them, but my brother wasn't as talented with the one he caught.

    As for yard wild-life, we have had a gray fox and plenty of whitetail deer lately. We do have a hawk or two stop by now and then.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  16. #1486
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    Black widow spiders around my house. Not cool at all.

  17. #1487
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    Another tit-storm in our garden today.
    These little fellows are a flock of long-tailed tits who regularly blow through, but who suddenly took an intense interest in the feeder for about ten minutes. I don't know what drives these dietary fads among small birds, but they're all stocking up on fat at present.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grant Hutchison

  18. #1488
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Another tit-storm in our garden today.
    These little fellows are a flock of long-tailed tits who regularly blow through, but who suddenly took an intense interest in the feeder for about ten minutes. I don't know what drives these dietary fads among small birds, but they're all stocking up on fat at present.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	longtailedtits.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	1.23 MB 
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    Grant Hutchison
    Nice. Are long-tailed tits migratory? If so, they may be fueling up for the flight south.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  19. #1489
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Nice. Are long-tailed tits migratory? If so, they may be fueling up for the flight south.
    They're sedentary, though occasionally they'll foraging in winter a little outside their breeding range. We've also got great-, blue- and coal-tits visiting the garden, all also sedentary, and all tanking up on the fat. The weather has been unseasonably cold and rainy the last few weeks, and I wonder if that might be driving them towards high-energy food at the moment.

    Grant Hutchison

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