Posts Tagged 'mammals'

You’ve Been Warned

dogwoodThis is a kousa dogwood of some variety, multi-trunked with interesting mottled bark. img_9850They say the fruit is edible. I tried one once. Meh. It was very woodsy.dogwoodooFor some mammals, though, that’s not an issue. Raccoon scat, if I’m not mistaken.

Doves on the Roof, Aloft If Not Aloof

Zenaida macrouraOn a glass roof. A not bad illustration of the anisodactyl pattern, the three toes forward/one back arrangement of some bird feet. Passerines, the song birds, also known as perching birds, have this layout. The members of order Passeriformes make up half of all bird species. Doves, however, even with the same toe-pattern, are members of the order Columbiformes.

Meanwhile, the zygodactyl pattern, with two forward/two back, are seen in woodpeckers, parrots, owls, Osprey, and others. There are other layouts as well. Ostriches are unique in having only two toes.Felis catusWe were cat-sitting. The screened porch had a glass roof, a good containment pod for this invasive species. Cardinals, Robins, and Jays were some of the other avian life forms noted outside. A surprise was a quick visit by a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, who was checking out the unopened red honeysuckle flowers.

Our close proximity to Prospect Park meant we saw Common Nighthawks over the Long Meadow about one hour before sunset on two nights: there were six overhead at once on Sunday.shadowAnd in the afternoons, the shadows of doves…

Legion of Raccoons

Procyon lotorLate afternoon in Green-Wood, a crusty old bandit walking like a old cat. Procyon lotorElsewhere: one of two young and a mother who were just crossing the street then they saw us. They climbed back up the tree they’d come down.Procyon lotorThe youngsters seemed very curious.Procyon lotor

Mammal Eyes

Sciurus carolinensisA young Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Green-Wood. You have to watch out for these: once, one started climbing up my leg, looking for a parent.Tamias striatusWinter’s coming! (As hard as it is to imagine.) So there’s no time for paternity suits at the NYBG. Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus).

Marmota Monax Update

Marmota monaxHow many Groundhog/Woodchucks are there in Brooklyn? We saw three the other day.Marmota monaxThese two were munching near a burrow now completely covered by understory growth. The second pictured here was rather smaller than the first, so perhaps it was a youngster. The third of the day’s Whistlepigs was some distance away.

Out of the Sun

Procyon lotorA Raccoon (Procyon lotor) was sprawled out on the second story fire-escape of my building’s inner courtyard yesterday. The critter probably found the shade most welcome on a hot day. It’s no tree cavity out there, true, but real estate is a bear in this borough. The animal was snoozing, as they are wont to do during daylight. Procyon lotorBut woke up to the paparazzi. Unfortunately, the animal is not welcome. The basement has to be secured against its marauding.

But Let’s Not Get Too Sentimental

Turdus migratoriusAmerican Robin nests are the easiest to see, not least because there are so many of them. Turdus migratoriusThis one was in Inwood Hill Park. When we walked by again coming down the hill, it wasn’t filled by the parent bird. Sometimes the birds will dart off, but that does leave the eggs vulnerable. The day before we watched as three Crows each took a turn eating the eggs in a high nest in Prospect Park. A bit of blue egg was seen. Other thrushes have blue eggs, so it may not have been a Robin, but it probably was.

So Crows are notorious for raiding nests, but their reputation here is much overblown. This may surprise you, but this species actually takes more bird eggs than Crows: Tamias striatusYes, the adorable Eastern Chipmunk. Which just goes to show you that moral views of nature should always be suspect.


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