Posts Tagged 'mammals'

Mammal Monday

Hanging from a tree by the back legs.

Mammal Monday

I’ve been watching squirrels rush along mid-building parapets and window casements to get to this spot all winter.
Thought it was a nest, and voila, four youngsters! Parent on the left in these pictures. I gather that there’s plastic covering a small A/C unit here. The outer lining, open at the top? Don’t know what that’s about. There must be space between the window and the A/C unit, which is presumably where they nested. The young ones have been tearing around here, but only yesterday did they venture as far at the screen window, and underneath this whole set up.
Note the House Sparrows on both sides in the lower corners. There are also bird nests under this cage, on both sides. It was scolding sparrows that first alerted me to the rambunctious squirrels.

Didelphis virginiana

How sad to run across an opossum stiff with death and cold.
This one was the size of a very large cat. I hope he or she was a great fount of progeny.
The tail is finely haired.
Magnificent and remarkable creatures with bad press. They snarl when cornered, they’re vicious in a cage. But then, aren’t we?
Our only marsupial. As they’re nocturnal, I’ve only seen them a few times here in Brooklyn. Long ago in Prospect; once here in Green-Wood; and once a few blocks away on a residential street.
Did you know they hoover up ticks like there’s no tomorrow? They’re also immune to rabies.

Come on, Iowa, you can do it!

Bits and Pieces

Jawbones. On iNaturalist, someone thinks these are Brown Rat. The coin is an inch in diameter.
Same coin, different jaw. I pulled out the incisor: rodent teeth keep growing.
6mm long claws extracted from a pellet. Owls swallow everything. I’ve seen our local American Kestrels choked down the entire legs of their bird prey, talons last. You don’t want these sharps heading though the cloaca, evidently (I certainly wouldn’t), so up them come in packets of undigestible parts.

Still More Squirrels

I don’t want anybody to get the impression that all the squirrels are being eaten. Ran into all these on Wednesday in a small patch of Green-Wood.

In American Kestrel news: yesterday a female was seen from the windows here for the first time in months. She came to our attention because she was calling. The male flew in, over, and past and then returned, making a good bit of noise himself. A few minutes later they were mating. Seconds after settling side by side on a roof pipe they scattered in opposite directions as a young Red-tailed Hawk flew up to the pipe! The hawk soon flew to a local antenna, where the falcons regrouped and made a few diving runs over the big buteo. The hawk flew out of sight. Combined with the Peregrine spotted on the regular perch of the smokestack in the distance, that made four raptors seen before 8:15 a.m.

The fucking Republicans are now opening the flood gates of poison into streams and wetlands. They are simply, definitively, the party of death.

Mammal Monday

Directly above this very cautious squirrel was a
A Red-tailed Hawk (and some obstreperous Blue Jays).
The hawk had a very full crop. So digesting and chillaxing.
In the same tree as the hawk, another squirrel.

Out with the Year…

Not infrequently, a wanderer in Green-Wood will find piles gingko nuts at the base of trees.
Or higher up trees, as in this example. Raccoons have been at work.
Here’s another pile out on a big limb.
And where there is poop, there are flies. I’ve really noticed the flies this fall: they can take cold weather other flying insects don’t go near.

12th Month Insect

Diptera are the only things out and about now, and just barely. This fly was on the Dead Horse Bay beach the other day.

A gnat landed on my nose yesterday as I walked down the street.

Flies are hard to ID when they are not in hand. Out of a total of 80 iNaturalist Diptera observations, I have 24 identifications that are research grade.

The coyotes are coming. In fact, they’re already here. Here being NYC, specifically the Bronx — which is part of the mainland and abuts coyote-rich Westchester Co. — and Queens, which is only connected to America by bridges and tunnels. 45 individual coyotes have been charted in this study of our new neighbors. It’s a certainty they will show up in Brooklyn, which borders Queens. However, this single Kings County iNaturalist observation isn’t very convincing.

I saw one in Woodlawn in the Bronx years ago. It was in the middle of the afternoon. My friends were just waking up from a nap… why yes, they did lay down in the cemetery to nap. The coyote looked at me and I looked at the coyote. On our way, we said “We saw a coyote!” to the gate-keeper. He was very Blasé about, saying they crossed the road from Van Cortlandt Park.

A reputable source still has the best local sighting, however: a berg of ice headed down the Hudson with a coyote on one end and two bald eagles on the other.


Went on a walk last weekend in Central Park in honor of Alexander Von Humboldt and the late mycologist Gary Lincoff. We met at the Explorer’s Gate, next to the Humboldt bust. The baby vomit stench of ginkgo fruits, rotting and crushed on the sidewalk, deterred us not.

The venerable American elm behind Alex reaches over the wall to the right and sends branches well below the street level down below to the park level. It’s cosseted by cables linking the outstretching limbs. It’s a good metaphor for the park itself: it takes a lot of support to keep this going, to handle the millions who pour into its bounds every year.

Seen amidst the conversations:
A very pale Mallard variation, presumably a feral domesticated bird.
New York City, baby! Big as a Sherman Tank and just a few feet away from the second most crowded bridge in the park.
Hackberry Star Gall, caused by a psyllid, Pachypsylla celtidisasterisca, a kind of true bug.

Mammal Monday

Yes, it was hot this weekend. A little house-crazy, I ventured into Green-Wood early Saturday morning. My shirt was plastered to me in no time, and this in the shade before 9 a.m. But everybody’s got to eat. In my case, I need the sustenance of life, like for instance spotting this munching squirrel. And being, in turn, spotted.


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