Posts Tagged 'mammals'

Striped Skunk RIP

(Foot-long boot for scale.)


On the pale bark of a big white oak…
…a Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus).

First of these I’ve seen. Eastern Red Bats are more typical here in Brooklyn. Several other species of bat have been identified by their distinctive sounds as they fly over Green-Wood.

Mammal Monday

Dead raccoon’s back foot.
Exterior wanted in. Interior didn’t want the exterior inside. Exterior got in.
Lots of squabbling in the trees now, two three four five squirrels racing up and down, leaping between trees. I saw two squirrels fall recently, one from about eight feet in a squirrel-tussle and one from even higher as a Red-tailed Hawk made a bold attempt to get lunch. Both seemed to shake it off.
This was one of at least seven on three neighboring trees who froze when a Red-tailed sailed low through the trees. Frozen, but not silent. They make a very distinctive sound when they’re threatened or worried like this. This one was still sounding off when I passed underneath.

Mammal Monday

The quick and the dead.

Just Batty

A Green-Wood gardener called my attention to two Eastern Red Bats hanging from maple leaves in the cemetery last week. These were at eye level. Who knows what was further up…. Looking like old leaves or rotten fruit/cones, this is their day camouflage.
I’ve seen the occasional bat in flight in Brooklyn over the years. There are a couple species found in our air space, and closer to the ground. These, Lasiurus borealis, are the most common. November seems an odd time to see them, but then it has been warmer than usual (when do we drop the “than usual” since this is the new usual?). This is not a species that resorts to bat caves, or mass hibernacula, for the winter. Some seem to migrate, but others may stick around, hibernating inside leaf litter or tree trunks. Here’s some more info.
Remember not to handle bats because of the dangers of rabies.

Mushroom/Mammal Mashup Monday

Watched this one eat two small gilled mushrooms that it rooted out of the sward.Discarded the woodsy stems…


dewy grass
wet-bellied woodchuck
good morning

I come across woodchuck/groundhog holes in Green-Wood with some frequency. (Good to keep at least one eye on the ground there, lest you miss a grass-clutching moth or a one-way trip into the underworld…) But I hadn’t seen an actual Marmota monax for some time until last weekend.
A typical sighting…. They are out and about now, foraging as the acorns, hickories, walnuts, and crab apples fall.
“Whistlepig” is a name you come across in the literature. Has anybody out there in readership land ever heard one whistle?
Last Monday, I had a close encounter. Turned out the entrance to the den was right here.
Your nose would be a bit dirt-smutched if you lived underground, too.
Anthropomorphizing here, but this strikes me as a skeptical look, and, well, wouldn’t that be justified?

Mammal Monday

Dirty squirrel digging up an old nutty something or other.

Mammal Monday

Why yes, this Common Raccoon does seem to be splayed belly-up in a tree crotch on a hot, humid day.
One can only imagine the nocturnal debaucheries this beast has been up to.


This post dedicated to David Burg, who passed away suddenly on Saturday. He was about 70 and died while walking in the woods… A former President of NYC Audubon and head of WildMetro, David was an indefatigable naturalist-explorer, in love especially with old, open field oaks. He was a gadfly, thorn-in-the-side of officialdom, and had, from my perspective awful politics. But I always enjoyed his company and respected his commitment to the wild things. I will miss him.

Rest in, and of, the earth, David.

Mammal Monday

Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus) are few and far between in Green-Wood. I see them there rarely, but the other day a wren-brown spot in the distance, which I thought might, in fact, be a wren, turned out to be this one.

There are rather more Chimpmunks in Prospect Park. The closest these two green islands in Brooklyn come is just over half a mile. Windsor Terrace, the neighborhood in between, is not a wildlife corridor. A friend who lives in Windsor Terrace calls it Alpine Brooklyn, because it is between the two highest spots of elevation in the borough.


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