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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1861
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    I'm not aware of any other significant populations at present but there were wild pigs on Marmot Island back in the 1980s and '90s:

    Quote Originally Posted by news.UAF.edu
    Over the years, people have also tried to introduce non-native species to Alaska. A man named Reed Oswalt in 1984 wanted to establish a population of European wild hogs on Marmot Island near Kodiak. Reed released eight hogs he had transported up from California on a 40-acre parcel of land he owned on Marmot Island.

    The hogs escaped their confines and spread out over the island. Staffers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game visited and found severe damage to the vegetation. They ordered Reed to remove the hogs from state land. He was either unwilling or unable to do so, but the pigs disappeared anyway. In 1998 a hunter killed the last one on the island.

    — Raccoons, wild pigs and other bad ideas
    I think the second paragraph glosses over their disappearance. The ADFG considered them an exotic species, so there were no restrictions on hunting them...open season, year round, no limit...and I think they tacitly encouraged it, if no overtly. I believe one or more guide services even arranged hunting trips there, while it lasted.
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  2. #1862
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    J
    I glanced out the window a few minutes ago and saw several crows on the fence around the lower yard. One of them hopped down into the yard, and was promptly chased by a rabbit. And then chased back the other way until it flew back up to the fence. Seemed odd.
    When I looked out this morning there were two rabbits. I wonder if the one might have been defending young.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #1863
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    An unusual visitor to one of our bird feeders today:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grant Hutchison
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  4. #1864
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    You have gerbils?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #1865
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    You have gerbils?
    Long-tailed field mouse. Great climbers.

    Grant Hutchison
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  6. #1866
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    An unusual visitor to one of our bird feeders today:
    My only surprise is that it is unusual.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  7. #1867
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    My only surprise is that it is unusual.
    The squirrel-proof poles seem to have kept them off the feeders up to now. I see them foraging below the feeders sometimes, and occasionally one will rear up and rest its forepaws on the pole, but that's as far as they go. The one in the photo had reached the feeder along the overgrown plant stem that's resting on the cage. I'm going to leave the stem in place for a while, see them through a few visits, and then chop the stem to see if they can actually make it up the pole once fully motivated.

    Grant Hutchison
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  8. #1868
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    Over the past three years, beavers have created a dam in front of our cabin. Actually, two, the second one happened in the last month, they’re serious now. The creek flows around an island, both branches have now been dammed. We saw them swimming in their pond in the daylight (near dusk) for the first time Saturday night. An adult, with a younger one swimming around it.

  9. #1869
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    As I was grooming our cat, Bunny, I noticed some frontyard wildlife.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    We've been seeing a lot of these around the house lately.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #1870
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    "Our" snowshoe hare made an appearance in the back yard last night. I saw him as I was cracking a window for some air and called The Wife over to see. I'm sure he heard the window squeak (or us) because he was doing his best impression of a statue. I imagine him thinking furiously, "If I don't move, I'm not here."
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  11. #1871
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    "Our" snowshoe hare made an appearance in the back yard last night. I saw him as I was cracking a window for some air and called The Wife over to see. I'm sure he heard the window squeak (or us) because he was doing his best impression of a statue. I imagine him thinking furiously, "If I don't move, I'm not here."
    At least he's a native. Mine is most likely an Eastern Cottontail. Apparently there are actually no rabbits at all native to this area.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #1872
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    No rabbits native to Britain. Our present population arrived with the Romans.

    Grant Hutchison
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  13. #1873
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Apparently there are actually no rabbits at all native to this area.
    Hmmm...they may not frequent your particular neighborhood but various distribution maps show the snowshoe hare breeding in a goodly portion of Washington. [Wikipedia, Nature Mapping Foundation]

    So, keep your eyes peeled.
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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)

  14. #1874
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Hmmm...they may not frequent your particular neighborhood but various distribution maps show the snowshoe hare breeding in a goodly portion of Washington. [Wikipedia, Nature Mapping Foundation]

    So, keep your eyes peeled.
    Interesting. I shall indeed have to keep my eyes peeled but I'm pretty sure this is a cottontail.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  15. #1875
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    Caught a picture of this little guy trying to follow me into 7-11.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The problem with this sort of thing is determining if roller grill hot dogs smell that good to a fox or if it has rabies. It seemed very comfortable around people and cars. Since I was totally safe and not accessible to it, I'd like to hazard a guess that he knew he could get food out of the trash and was not too dangerous.

    It does occur to me that foxes are slightly bigger than house cats, but even a cat is big enough to do some damage if they decided to do so.
    Solfe

  16. #1876
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Caught a picture of this little guy trying to follow me into 7-11.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The problem with this sort of thing is determining if roller grill hot dogs smell that good to a fox or if it has rabies. It seemed very comfortable around people and cars. Since I was totally safe and not accessible to it, I'd like to hazard a guess that he knew he could get food out of the trash and was not too dangerous.

    It does occur to me that foxes are slightly bigger than house cats, but even a cat is big enough to do some damage if they decided to do so.
    We had a fox who was a regular visitor to our yard (haven't seen them lately, not sure why). I know of other people who have reported similar. I think fox are just very adaptable and have learned to navigate a human environment. Humans are probably less of a threat to an urban or suburban fox (as long as they learn to avoid cars, which they seem to have - I've never seen a fox roadkill), than a fox in the country with farmers that would love to kill it.

    I found this interesting website about urban foxes.
    Urban foxes live in cities where they have learned to adapt and survive. They take refuge in abandoned buildings and in small plots of land that still have a few trees and bushes. They live in any place where they can safely raise their young, feeding on rats and vegetation.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  17. #1877
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    We had a fox who was a regular visitor to our yard (haven't seen them lately, not sure why). I know of other people who have reported similar. I think fox are just very adaptable and have learned to navigate a human environment. Humans are probably less of a threat to an urban or suburban fox (as long as they learn to avoid cars, which they seem to have - I've never seen a fox roadkill), than a fox in the country with farmers that would love to kill it.

    I found this interesting website about urban foxes.
    We just moved to a very suburban place, but this particular 7-11 is more rural. It's surrounded by forests and such.
    Solfe

  18. #1878
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    It seems I have an animal trap attached to my home. It's a window well with a fire escape ladder. It's about 4 feet deep. I rescued 3 frogs and two mice in the past week. They fall down the well and can't get out. Our cat alerts us to newly trapped wildlife and I go in after them. It can get rather wild in there, me trying to wrangle some sort of hopping creature in the confines of a 4 by 4 by 4 space. My wife was massively amused when a mouse ran up my leg before reversing directions to get back to the ground.

    I found a plastic cover for the window well in the basement. I might have to put it on to save some wildlife and me some trouble climbing down there.
    Solfe

  19. #1879
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    It seems I have an animal trap attached to my home. It's a window well with a fire escape ladder. It's about 4 feet deep. I rescued 3 frogs and two mice in the past week. They fall down the well and can't get out. Our cat alerts us to newly trapped wildlife and I go in after them. It can get rather wild in there, me trying to wrangle some sort of hopping creature in the confines of a 4 by 4 by 4 space. My wife was massively amused when a mouse ran up my leg before reversing directions to get back to the ground.

    I found a plastic cover for the window well in the basement. I might have to put it on to save some wildlife and me some trouble climbing down there.
    You might try putting a stick or board in there, slanting up from the bottom to the top edge. That will at least allow some critters like mice to climb back out on their own.

    We had a little artificial pond at our old house that had some pretty steep sides, and we had a chipmunk drown in it when they couldn't climb out. So we put in an escape stick that critters could use to climb out.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  20. #1880
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  21. #1881
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    That is the most weirdly awesome, or awesomely weird headline in the history of headlines.

    Meanwhile, I had to put up the blinds in the guest room yesterday. Because while I was grooming the kitty, she could see that there was something moving in the front yard. Because we intentionally got blinds you can see through while reducing the intensity of the light.
    Kitty was not happy. "I need to see moving things NOW!"
    It was crows. Like about 9 of them. I don't know what they're eating in the front yard, but they're pretty busy out there. So was the kitty's jaw, as she sat on the sill making "birdy noises".
    I tried to tell her they were big birdies and would peck her little blue eyes out, but all she saw was prey.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #1882
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    I was rummaging through my garden shed and found that mice discovered a partially filled bag of grass seed left over from Spring.
    They chewed a small hole, but managed to remove most of the seed. Interestingly, it was both spread out and piled in the shelf corners, interspersed with droppings.

    The seed was coated with some blue moisture retaining stuff, so I wonder if the mice got a nasty belly ache. I vacuumed up the mess with my ShopVac and dumped it in a far corner of the lawn.

    I briefly considered stationing my cat in the shed overnight, but she’d probably just find a way to poison herself.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  23. #1883
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    Some years back I discovered that holes had been chewed in the bags of cat litter. Why would they do that? Oh yeah, we were using "World's Best" cat litter, which was made from corn. Switched to clay.

    And I'm puzzled about doves. We've had our place since summer 1997. When we first put up bird feeders, we had rock doves, i.e. common pigeions. Then they disappeared and for a while we had mourning doves. Now we don't have either of those but do have Eurasian ring-necked doves. Why?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #1884
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    I was doing my daily* workout in our swimming pool, when I paused to shake a snake off my arm. A thin black snake, maybe a foot long. He swam very nicely through the water, but probably couldn't get out of the pool, so I snared him with a handy net, and Mrs. M released him in her garden, outside the fence.

    Just where did he come from? I was in the middle of the pool, and I don't think he dropped from the screened roof overhead.

    I had earlier used this broom on a long metal pole to brush some leaf debris away from a filter. I'm guessing that the snake had crawled into the hollow tubing of the handle to get out of the sun or to drink some water within, and had fallen out while I was sweeping, attaching to me to avoid drowning.

    *I haven't missed a day in the last two years, except for December, January and an occasional bad thunderstorm. I always feel great in the water, and it's literally painful to go back into normal gravity. I wish we did have the science-fictional retirement homes on the moon.

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