Posts Tagged 'mammals'

Mammal Monday

It’s just remarkable how the sound of teeth gnawing on hickory shells travels in the winter woods.

Mammal Monday

Curling up on a roof on a cold winter day. For two days, this raccoon spent daylight hours up here on a neighboring roof. The gutter, and poor roof drainage, provided water from the recent snowfall. It disappeared just a few minutes before sunset the first day.  I thought it might be a goner, for canine distemper virus is still taking its toll.

The next day it was again in this corner for most of the day. That second afternoon, a Common Raven flew low over the raccoon. Scouting mission? Twilight Thursday, the raccoon walked towards the front of the house, where a tree presumably provides access to the street. No sighting since.

Mammal Monday

The raccoons have taken a walloping from canine distemper, but they aren’t finished yet.

In honor of the bloggiversary: all the mammals on the blog!

And a couple of personal favorites:
Eurasian Red in the ice-cream.
Muskrat at dusk.

Mammal Monday

Wait, what?This gruesome sight greeted me recently not very far from where a roosting Great Horned Owl was being yelled at by Blue Jays. Suspicion isn’t evidence, but caching of prey is something these big owls do. Especially in nesting season. The male has to hunt more than usual since the female spends so much time on the nest; these birds are some of the earliest to nest and they have to be vigilant about keeping the eggs warm in late winter.

A couple of sources note that the owls will sit on frozen prey to thaw it out.

Red-tailed Hawks will also cache food. So will American Kestrels. I’m sure many other species do, too, but these are the ones I’ve seen do it. And I don’t know if there’s more than one Great Horned Owl here.

Mammal Monday

In which we attempt to glide your way into the working week with something mammiferous. Twice I passed this hole-in-the-bole recently and the Blue Jays were screaming and the Red-breasted Nuthatches were wailing and one or two jays actually got on the lip of the hole and peeked in. “By Jove, there’s something in there, Holmes!” I said aloud, and the world’s first and foremost consulting detective, oddly enough standing there by my side, arched a brow.There was, for instance, another hole, on the other side of the bole. It’s a floor-through! The next day I showed up to see what I might see, and through this keyhole a shapely furry ear moved slightly to the right.Then it was all clear again. I was surprised a raccoon could fit into the entrance, but there it clearly was. While canine distemper has been cleaving its way through the city’s raccoon population, some are surviving.DSC03566.jpg

Mammal Monday

If it’s quiet enough, not generally a condition found within the bounds of NYC, a squirrel gnawing on a walnut will ring throughout the area.The eating of buds, on the other paw, is much more subtle. You may only notice when things start falling on your head.

Mammal Monday

Usually raccoons sleep off the night’s revels in a conifer, as here in Green-Wood, but when in Rome….Someplace, for instance, where the evergreens are in short supply, as in this section of Pelham Bay. A sharper eye than mine pointed out that this hammock is fundamentally made up of poison ivy vine.

In the news: canine distemper virus is sweeping through the city’s raccoon population. Since the infected raccoons can infect dogs, perhaps this will get people to leash their dogs in the woods? The NYCParks website warns about it for Pelham Bay Park. The Prospect Park Alliance has had an advisory up since October. Green-Wood, of course, isn’t a park: no dogs allowed, although it does have feral cats.

I’ve come across five dead or dying raccoons in Green-Wood in the last month.Here’s a sad trio of them. Point of argument, there are probably too many raccoons in Green-Wood. Many of the big trees there have their bases ringed with raccoon turds. The animals are nurtured by the garbage accessible on the bordering streets, the rich takings of fruit and nuts within, and, of course, no predators. Not to be vulgarly Malthusian, but viruses love large populations.


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