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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1261
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Went out to do some stargazing and turned backwards, There was something with a broad tail heading towards the woods.
    Beaver? Nutria? Jay-Lo?

    Hey Doc, three local mountain lion sightings in the last week in my county.
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  2. #1262
    It probably was just the local stray cat but couldn't tell for sure. Thee are beavers in the area.
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  3. #1263
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    Hey, what does mountain lion poop look like?

    I'd Google it myself, but since I'm low on mind bleach I'm afraid something might pop up I can't unsee.

    The reason I ask is nearby on my usual walk there is a narrow space between several sets of properties, that though crossed by roads at several points, goes all the way to the trees and the Coast Range.

    And right at this last bit of cover I've been seeing what looks like bear poop, but slightly different, for about a year now.

    I kept telling myself bears are illogical, but it didn't look like coyote poop other than color, (black). Do mountain lions eat a lot of fur when they consume there prey?

    It only just occurred to me this could be mountain lion. I find this particularly alarming due to the fact the unknown beast's loo is only a couple of doors down from a nunnery and grade school. Two demographic populations that fall into the potential prey range of a hungry mountain lion. Let me channel my inner Jeff Goldblum here,

    "I'm suddenly quite alarmed."

    I guess I'm going to have to take a picture of animal poop and show a hunter forum. (In honor of Mr. Creek's recent promotion I won't inflict poop pictures on you guys.)

    If I act on this, at worst I look silly to a bunch of people I don't care about.

    If I suspect a mountain lion and don't do anything and "Something Bad Happens" I'm a turd forever. (*Especially* now that I blabbed my suspicions to you guys.)

    I guess I just have to wait until Monster X has to take another dump.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  4. #1264
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    "How do you avoid bears while walking in the woods?"
    "You should put little jingle bells on your shoes. The noise they make as you walk will make bears run from you."
    "And if they don't?"
    "Carry pepper spray and use it on the bear."
    "How do you know there are bears around?"
    "Look for bear scat."
    "How do I know it's bear scat?"
    "It usually smells of pepper and has little jingle bells in it."
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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  5. #1265
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    Snowshoe hares: we've seen their footprints in the snow from time to time but we've never seen one around the house...'in the fur' so to speak...until yesterday. He nosed around the deck for just a minute and I managed to capture video of a bit of his visit:


    Link: https://youtu.be/YKJvPDnkK24 (10 sec, family friendly)
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  6. #1266
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    "How do you avoid bears while walking in the woods?"
    "You should put little jingle bells on your shoes. The noise they make as you walk will make bears run from you."
    "And if they don't?"
    "Carry pepper spray and use it on the bear."
    "How do you know there are bears around?"
    "Look for bear scat."
    "How do I know it's bear scat?"
    "It usually smells of pepper and has little jingle bells in it."
    First, Mr. Creek, thank you for the snowshoe rabbit video. They move differently than jack rabbits or cottontails do.

    Jim, so then near grade schools and nunneries I should look for glitter and rosary beads? The occasional hand turkey?
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  7. #1267
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    Mr Snowshoe is cute! And like Don says, moves very differently from the little brown bunnies I've been seeing so many of lately. Those are some really long back legs.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #1268
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Mr Snowshoe is cute! And like Don says, moves very differently from the little brown bunnies I've been seeing so many of lately. Those are some really long back legs.
    Looks like they have an extra hinge at the top of their sacrum.

    At least to me.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  9. #1269
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Mr Snowshoe is cute! And like Don says, moves very differently from the little brown bunnies I've been seeing so many of lately. Those are some really long back legs.
    Yep, they're different from the cottontails I knew down South in my younger days. Their legginess reminds me somewhat of the jackrabbits (also hares) I saw at Lowry AFB, Colorado where I attended tech school. Our other native hippity-hoppy lagomorph is the Alaskan Hare but they range well west here. We don't have wild rabbits anywhere in the state that I'm aware of but we do have feral populations...escapees from pet owners, breeders, and rabbit ranchers. I've seen a handful in our neighborhood.
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  10. #1270
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    Hares like that may be one of the few critters that could be reasonably impersonated by a human in a suit. Our leg to arm ratio is far too long in most cases.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #1271
    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    It probably was just the local stray cat but couldn't tell for sure. Thee are beavers in the area.
    Just went out for a few minutes and I aw the steay it is smaller than what I saw. As long as it does not attack me I am happy.
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  12. #1272
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    Nice video.I have never seen a hare in the flesh. It certainly does move differently to those horrible, from an Australian point of view, rabbits. I can certainly see where the "snowshoe" name came from.

  13. #1273
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    Mr. Duck,

    I think I posted a few times that as a young teen I was invited along to help deal with a "rabbit issue" that people on a local community wide scale participated in.

    My best friend growing up in grade school's parents owned considerable acreage in the Lake Berryessa region of California. (That was sort of an awkward sentence, no?) And about 1974 or so had a rabbit plague. We shot hundreds of rabbits over the course of about ten days or so, and the only ones not eaten were ones that got away from us. The people I was with were very rural and had strong convictions about letting food go to waste.

    I learned how to skin game without retching that summer. Not my favorite thing though.

    EATING them on the other hand is a completely different story. I grew two inches and gained twenty pounds that summer.

    ( I was fourteen. Probably would have anyway. )

    There were about five distinct groups of us, we were about 35 in number and were a extended family of Native Americans and Italians. Plus guests such as moi.

    A couple of hundred people can eat a lot of rabbits in ten days.

    I tell you every dish was a wonder. "Grilled" was gotten out of the way the first day.

    Then baked dishes. With or without tomatoes and basil. With dumplings and cream sauce. And so on and so on.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  14. #1274
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Mr. Duck,

    I think I posted a few times that as a young teen I was invited along to help deal with a "rabbit issue" that people on a local community wide scale participated in.

    My best friend growing up in grade school's parents owned considerable acreage in the Lake Berryessa region of California. (That was sort of an awkward sentence, no?) And about 1974 or so had a rabbit plague. We shot hundreds of rabbits over the course of about ten days or so, and the only ones not eaten were ones that got away from us. The people I was with were very rural and had strong convictions about letting food go to waste.

    I learned how to skin game without retching that summer. Not my favorite thing though.

    EATING them on the other hand is a completely different story. I grew two inches and gained twenty pounds that summer.

    ( I was fourteen. Probably would have anyway. )

    There were about five distinct groups of us, we were about 35 in number and were a extended family of Native Americans and Italians. Plus guests such as moi.

    A couple of hundred people can eat a lot of rabbits in ten days.

    I tell you every dish was a wonder. "Grilled" was gotten out of the way the first day.

    Then baked dishes. With or without tomatoes and basil. With dumplings and cream sauce. And so on and so on.
    This quick (16 secs.) video gives an idea of the problem here. https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/vi...e/1B04557_0010

    There are simply not enough bullets, or people, to control the feral rabbit problems here. Eating of rabbits has never been a big thing in Oz, partly at least from hangover of it being considered a "depression food" and only eaten by the poorest. We have had to resort to biological means, which also discourages their eating. I have only had it once or twice and it is, pretty much, never for sale in supermarkets

    In the 1930's my father worked for a while maintaining part of the Rabbit Proof Fence https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit-proof_fence. An eventually futile multi thousand Km attempt to keep the bunnies out. I got him to show me how to skin a rabbit once and I realised then that it is not for me.

    If you want to have a laugh at a futile attempt to contain wildlife read about "The Emu War" https://www.scienceabc.com/social-sc...e-outcome.html
    Last edited by ozduck; 2018-Jun-16 at 08:06 AM.

  15. #1275
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    Coyotes. You need to introduce coyotes. What could possibly go wrong?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  16. #1276
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Coyotes. You need to introduce coyotes. What could possibly go wrong?
    A lot of acme products being delivered in the middle of nowhere.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
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  17. #1277
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    Oz, I didn't mean to imply that could be a solution to the Australian rabbit problem. Sorry if it came out that way.

    I was merely relating something that happened in my childhood is all.

    I've had a life long interest in biology and I AM almost sixty. Plus had a marvelous time in Perth and in the interior at Calgoorie. (sp?) (The place they mine the opals.)
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  18. #1278
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Oz, I didn't mean to imply that could be a solution to the Australian rabbit problem. Sorry if it came out that way.

    I was merely relating something that happened in my childhood is all.

    I've had a life long interest in biology and I AM almost sixty. Plus had a marvelous time in Perth and in the interior at Calgoorie. (sp?) (The place they mine the opals.)
    Big Don - I didn't take your post as anything other than an interesting story about your early life. I added the bit about the number of rabbits and the problems in controlling them as a bit of extra information that I thought might interest you. So I am sorry if my post seemed to indicate that I had problems with what you posted.

    I well remember the number of, very welcome, visits we used to get from U.S. Navy ships in the 80's & 90's as I worked in our Fremantle office for about 30 years. We were all very well accustomed to the sailors and marines wandering around Fremantle and Perth - usually well behaved I must say. I did have lunch at the Captains table on the USS Bunker Hill (cruiser) once and invited a CPO home for a big curry dinner.

    I think you probably went to Kalgoorlie - about 600 km east from Perth in the "real" outback. However, it is actually Gold (plus Nickel, Lithium & more) that they mine there. Opals mainly come from a place called Coober Peddy in South Australia - about 850 km north of Adelaide. Here are a few photos of Kalgoorlie from a trip we took there a couple of months ago. They might bring back some memories for you. As you are probably aware, the "hills" in the third photo are actually spoil from a century plus of mining activities.


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  19. #1279
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    Okay, we'll just call it a misstep and keep the dance going.

    Wow Oz. Kalgoorlie wasn't nearly that built up 35 years ago.

    And not nearly as many trees either. Did they settle their water issue finally? It wasn't what, in classical times, was referred to as "sweet".

    If the taps were your only source of water your kidneys would fail in approximately one to two years. After living on ship's distilled water for the better part of a year the tap water there tasted like Alka-Seltzer without as much fizz.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  20. #1280
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    Oh, forgot to post what I came to post.

    So I went to all three places I've seen the mystery poop and verified all are clear of same, at the moment. So any change in this status will mean its back.

    Could be just a coyote. But it could be a mountain lion too. And considering this is on the same block as grade schoolers and really sweet old women, I think it should be looked at further. And since my old crippled backside is retired now, have a good eye for the out of place, and am perennially hypervigilant anyway, I volunteer. Hope nobody minds.

    I've been looking every day now since I brought this up.

    And so my friends out there don't think I've gone crazier than usual;

    https://www.google.com/search?source....0.yiw1TntaKtQ

    That's a link to a Google search of mountain lion sightings in the Bay Area this year.

    The sightings in urban areas within five miles of me is now up to four.

    All this is what's juggling in my head, fueling my concern.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  21. #1281
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Oh, forgot to post what I came to post.

    So I went to all three places I've seen the mystery poop and verified all are clear of same, at the moment. So any change in this status will mean its back.

    Could be just a coyote. But it could be a mountain lion too. And considering this is on the same block as grade schoolers and really sweet old women, I think it should be looked at further. And since my old crippled backside is retired now, have a good eye for the out of place, and am perennially hypervigilant anyway, I volunteer. Hope nobody minds.

    I've been looking every day now since I brought this up.

    And so my friends out there don't think I've gone crazier than usual;

    https://www.google.com/search?source....0.yiw1TntaKtQ

    That's a link to a Google search of mountain lion sightings in the Bay Area this year.

    The sightings in urban areas within five miles of me is now up to four.

    All this is what's juggling in my head, fueling my concern.
    It always amuses me when, some, foreign visitors to Australia get paranoid about dangerous wildlife here. At least we don't have mountain lions, and bears, lurking around our houses. Seriously, I hope that you don't see any lions at an "inconvenient" distance. Just be careful for your own sake as well as vigilant for others.

    (With regard to Kalgoorlie, the drinking water is pumped up from Perth - when it was built, 1903, it was the longest fresh water pipeline in the world. I assume there are better treatment processes in place to keep the water more palatable now. There are certainly more and more trees around Kalgoorlie as they recover from years of being cut for mine props and fuel. Also a lot of "recycled" water is now used to keep the city green - there was never too much "pumped" water to be be spared .

    The population has increased by about 30% since the 1990's, so well spotted. This is due to the price increases in Gold and lately Lithium causing a ramp up of production and re-opening of older sites as well as new ones bringing workers and their families plus all the related service providers.)
    Last edited by ozduck; 2018-Jun-18 at 05:02 AM.

  22. #1282
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    The unique fauna of Australia is enough without needing to add big cats into the mix.

  23. #1283
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    It always amuses me when, some, foreign visitors to Australia get paranoid about dangerous wildlife here. At least we don't have mountain lions, and bears, lurking around our houses.
    You are, of course, forgetting the deadly drop bears.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    You are, of course, forgetting the deadly drop bears.
    I knew someone would bring them up, but they are easily deterred by a liberal application of Vegimite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I knew someone would bring them up, but they are easily deterred by a liberal application of Vegimite.
    Aha, I unmasked you! A real Aussie would know how to spell Vegemite! A jar of which I happen to have in my house.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #1286
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    I dunno Treb, drop bear repellent may be the best use yet found for Vegemite.

    (In other news, studies have shown that a half a cup of coconut oil added at the end of cooking makes kale much easier to scrap into the garbage.)

    More new birds are trying to become regulars at the feeders and plus, now mixed flocks of songbirds hit the feeders at dawn. Of course they're called the Dawn Patrol. They seem to have a large rove, if they are the same band.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  27. #1287
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    A couple of evenings ago, I actually got to watch a hermit thrush sing. Shy, drab little birds but one of my favorite songs around the house.
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  28. #1288
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    Does vegimite have a fuse that you can light, or does it need a detonator? Take that, bears!

  29. #1289
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Aha, I unmasked you! A real Aussie would know how to spell Vegemite! A jar of which I happen to have in my house.
    I am afraid that I have nothing to blame but my poor typing & proof-reading skills. Even though I am an at least 3rd generation Aussie on both sides, fairly rare, I hate the stuff. My wife, kids & grand-kids all happily eat it while I shudder.

    I agree with you BigDon.

    DonM435, unfortunately it is so unpleasant that it can't be even used to make a bomb. Though it could certainly be used as a "biological weapon".

  30. #1290
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    Oz, one thing is for sure.

    Being raised where the only venomous snakes have rattles on their tails can give a person bad habits when they visit other parts of the world.

    For instance dropping off to sleep with a small three foot long white and brown corn snake in your tent cabin is harmless enough. But can lead to breakfast conversations like;

    "What? This is India! Corn snakes don't live here!"

    Though that was friends of mine and not myself.

    We had a guy in my squadron wake up earlier than most of us and ran a really long brown gopher snake off of our host's back porch with a broom. It even got mad and tried to get bitey with him and he just smacked it about with the broom until it finally left at high speed.

    Gopher snakes can be very aggressive when molested anyway, so he was prepared for a fight and he didn't even get excited. (He was not a timid man.)

    We were in Western Australia. Famous for it's pesky, bitey, brown gopher snake...analogues. With that famous Australian twist of course.

    There's more to this story, for instance our hosts didn't seem have such a laissez faire attitude at the news this creature was sunning itself on their back porch. (It was a three hour drive, on roads with no speed limits, to the nearest major hospital at the time.)

    And later in the day the host and several of his neighbors all formed a posse to look for it. Our host was an English immigrant, but all his neighbors were hard as nails horse ranchers who spent so much time in the sun they were that weird red color. Wonderfully hospitable people, if not a little entertainment starved.

    We guests weren't allowed to join the hunt. Apparently it was some sort of violation of hospitality rules I'm not familiar with.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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