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Thread: Backyard Wildlife

  1. #1531
    Just got up and after putting wood in the stove went to the kitchen to get some cheese and crackers, then heard the coyotes outside.
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  2. #1532
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    The other night I took my Lab Brody into the back yard to do his business before bedtime. The yard was pretty dark and I spotted a light patch of something near the base of the maple. It was an adult possum.

    Brody saw it and started after it. It ran. I freaked out … how do I get him away from the possum? They ran to opposite sides of the crape myrtle, stopped, and stared at each other around the trunk. Brody's tail was wagging enthusiastically. Then he stopped, walked away a few paces, and did his business. After which he trotted to the gate to go back inside.

    Enough adventure for one night, I guess.
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  3. #1533
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    I am seeing some rather dark reddish brown squirrels. Except for the color they look like our familiar gray squirrels along with the black ones that have been around for a couple of decades. I wonder if they might be hybrids. The red squirrels I have read about are smaller, and in some places they can be endangered by invasive gray squirrels.

  4. #1534
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    I think grey squirrels can come in considerable color variation. Vancouver, BC, is known for black ones.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #1535
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    We had a fox run through our backyard this morning, but unfortunately I couldn't get a picture.
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  6. #1536
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    I don't know how these survive in our garden, which has a high stone wall all round and no ponds or standing water. Every year I turn up frog spawn in puddles and plant-pots, which I usually cart down to the pond in our local park, and every year I find mature frogs sitting around in the garden. Earlier this year we even had a couple get into the house.

    Grant Hutchison

  7. #1537
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    WOLF!

    Well, technically I haven't spotted a wolf in my backyard. Since a good 2 years, wolves have returned to Belgium after being hunted out of the country more than a century ago. But they'd always stayed on the German side of a big canal close to my place. Until last week when a wolf looking for his own spot crossed it (likely not swimming but using a lock or bridge). And for the last week he's being spotted in my hometown and all towns surrounding it. Middle of the street, middle of the day.

    Apparently not extremely shy of people, I still don't expect him in my backyard. But the wolves are finally back, and that's good news.
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  8. #1538
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    The return of wolves has been VERY controversial here in the USA.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #1539
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    Here somewhat. They were hunted out by humans, they returned on their own, historically and today they haven't attacked humans. People who have eg sheep will have to rethink their fences after a century without wolves, but once that's taken care of they feed on prey that doesn't cause trouble.

    Still, some people believe we will all die and think of the children, and some hunters see them as competition.

    But objectively, Belgium is small and crowded for wolves. Last year when there were 2 wolves, one of them was killed in traffic after a week... Luckily that hasn't happened to the other wolves there are now. One of them, with her offspring, was killed by supposedly hunters. Very, very illegal of course. I think that longterm, mainly the wolves themselves will decide whether or not they feel they have enough space here.
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  10. #1540
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    Coyotes are everywhere here, interbred with wolves in Canada. See them occasionally. You can never get rid of coyotes, they're bred to survive anything.

    That's why we do not have outdoor cats.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  11. #1541
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Coyotes are everywhere here, interbred with wolves in Canada. See them occasionally. You can never get rid of coyotes, they're bred to survive anything.

    That's why we do not have outdoor cats.
    Tell me bout it they were right up by our porch door on Christmas eve.
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  12. #1542
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    My wife tells me someone she follows on Facebook has deer in the yard of her new house!
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  13. #1543
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    I almost posted this in the “bugs me” thread.
    This morning, before dawn, I was preparing for my bicycle ride, and noticed that the motion sensitive light for my backyard was on.

    I moved to the window, and spotted a fox climbing the deck stairs. As it came to the top, I pulled out my phone to take a photo through the window. The fox was no more than three feet away.

    My phone decided it wanted to take a flash photo, which for some reason, requires turning on its light for a few seconds prior to snapping the photo. The light scared the fox away, and I got no photo.


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  14. #1544
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    A couple of owl pellets below the apple tree in the back garden this morning, though I didn't hear an owl last night.
    Tawny owl, I think, based on the pellet's size and colour, our urban setting, and the fact it's full of feather quills.

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #1545
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    This is unusual for us. More moose tracks appeared overnight/today.



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  16. #1546
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    Sorry, but I have to ask why it is unusual? With my, very limited, knowledge of moose I thought that they were fairly widespread across your neck of the woods. Is it the wrong time of the year for them to be around?

  17. #1547
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    While they’re more common around the Muni than stray dogs, moose don’t seem to like our neighborhood very much. We encountered a cow and her calf in our driveway a few winters back and we’ve seen evidence of only these two others. We’ve been in the house going on 15 years.
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  18. #1548
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    While they’re more common around the Muni than stray dogs, moose don’t seem to like our neighborhood very much. We encountered a cow and her calf in our driveway a few winters back and we’ve seen evidence of only these two others. We’ve been in the house going on 15 years.
    Oh Ok. Thanks for the reply. Perhaps your house name could be "No Moose Manor"?

  19. #1549
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    Trivial things that bug me: More than one goose are geese. But more than one moose are moose. I tend to say "meese", just because. It's a funny language.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #1550
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Trivial things that bug me: More than one goose are geese. But more than one moose are moose. I tend to say "meese", just because. It's a funny language.
    Etymology, again. Goose is Old English, and takes the old irregular plural. Moose is Native American; Mongoose is Marathi--no reason they should use an Old English plural form.
    The plural having the singular form is interesting: mooses was about as common as plural moose, back in the early nineteenth century, but plural moose became dominant in the twentieth. A lot of these plurals, like deer and fish, are Old English forms, but I get the feeling some of the non-Teutonic ones are used as in-group markers: safari guides and hunters often talk about plural zebra and giraffe, for instance, two animal names that have never been near Old English.

    Grant Hutchison

  21. #1551
    Last night before going to bed I heard the coyotes howling.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  22. #1552
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    My wife's cousin-in-law posted a picture of a bear in their yard. With two cubs. They're kind of in the sticks of northeastern Washington.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  23. #1553
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    I am seeing would could be hybrids between gray and black squirrels. There is one in my yard with a dark brown body and light brown tail.

  24. #1554
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    It's the same species, so variants could be expected.
    We saw a gray squirrel near our house yesterday. We'd rather they didn't come here and drive out the native Douglas squirrels, which are half their size.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #1555
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    I just startled a groundhog in my backyard, causing it to take off with such speed - straight at my pond - that it couldn't stop or turn, and so it did the most beautiful/comical swan dive I've ever seen - right into the middle of the pond.

  26. #1556
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    The former owner put an orange tree near the master bedroom of my house. I can see it outside the sliding glass door. An orange tree can be messy, but it is nice in mid-winter just to walk out a few steps and pick some oranges off the tree, and for a short time of year the smell of orange blossoms is amazing.

    Anyway, there are now some old remaining oranges high up not worth picking. I have been noticing some partly eaten oranges spread around the yard, and bits of orange rind here and there. So the other day I had the sliding door open, letting air come in through the screen door. I heard a noise, saw two oranges fall on the ground and a squirrel ran down right after, grabbed one orange in both arms, and started chewing off rind and spitting it out, watching me the whole time, then started eating the inside of the orange. It looks like the squirrel has been chewing stems and dropping oranges, eating some and moving others, and it appears squirrels don’t like rind either. It was funny watching it hold the orange in its arms, like a person holding a huge ball.

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  27. #1557
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    The deer are really getting tame in our area. I thought this one was going to follow me home.

  28. #1558
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    I put up some humming bird feeders but so far we've only seen one or two. I suspect their nests are in the woods behind our home so it may be a hike for them to get into our backyard. Here's a short video with one feeding, in slow motion. (And yes, I know the patio needs to be cleaned. The concrete is not truly green.)

    https://youtu.be/VfJRbRutiqU

  29. #1559
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    We had Shane The Yard Guy put some plants in a little area between the new house and where the old one was, near the shed. I went out to water them today and Oh, aren't you a cute little guy!

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    He (or she) is a probably Northwestern Garter Snake, Thamnophis ordinoides, but I'm no expert. We used to see a lot of them in the yard, but this is the first I recall seeing in a few years. The stripes come in an amazing variety of colors, from blue to green to red, to orange, to a dull off-white as on this one.

    Note to self: In future, do not show picture to wife without warning. She started saying how good the flowers looked then "EEK, a Snake!"

    Many years, and about three houses ago, a long deceased cat discovered where they were denning up in the winter and brought us five or six a day.

    ETA:
    The first picture was Portrait on the phone, Landscape in the photo editing program, Portrait again when I was writing the post, Landscape when the post loaded, and finally Portrait when I click on it? What the actual heck?
    And now that I'm editing, I expect it'll be all different.

    ETAA: Not all different, just the second one rotated! But is still portrait when I click on it. Jeez!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #1560
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    The deer are really getting tame in our area. I thought this one was going to follow me home.
    Turns out mama deer had a fawn stashed nearby and was on patrol. Yesterday I saw mama and the fawn crossing from one wooded area to another - and no more stalking.

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