Posts Tagged 'mammals'

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.

Squirrel Pile

Sciurus carolinensisSciurus carolinensisYou didn’t think I was going to let you get away with just one picture of the baby Gray Squirrel Pile, did you?
Sciurus carolinensisSciurus carolinensis

Eastern Chipmunk

Tamias striatusTamias striatus.

Great Swamp NWR







Home Turf

The block across the street is made up of yellow brick bow-fronted row houses which are, thankfully for my view from the 4th floor, only 2.5 stories high. One of these houses has a cage frame for an air-condidtioner in its second story window. There’s no air-conditioner, but there is what looks like some kind of plastic sheeting, perhaps for insulation purposes. A local squirrel climbs up the forked garden birch two houses over, runs along the brick edging of the intervening building, leaping across the gaps, then upwards to the cage. The plastic within looks like it’s getting crowded with leaves and, I’ll wager, foodstuffs. Here’s where it gets more complicated. The underside of this air-conditioner cage is favored by House Sparrows, who do not have a Good Neighbor policy towards the squirrel. They dive at the mammal at almost every sortie. Nesting season is still weeks away, but the birds are already fiercely protective of their space. It’s just another day in nature city.

Squirrel Downtime

Sciurus carolinensisTwo Eastern Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in curious resting positions on branches.Sciurus carolinensis


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