2018 July to Dec - Bird & Animal Sightings


At 1 AM I sat outside on the deck - beautiful weather (73.5F/23C, mostly clear and calm). As I sat there looking up at the stars a red fox began barking his fool head off just over the hill across from the brook at the bottom of the hill on my son’s property. Eventually I could hear two red fox “arguing”. :laughing: The first one that began barking was making the most commotion. Slowly they were making their way to the top of the hill and moving directly across from me. They started out a little to the northwest. Finally, the second one stopped barking back at the first and was in apparent retreat with the first chasing it off toward the creek to the south. The entire ordeal lasted just over 10 minutes.

One thing I’ve failed to mention over the past 2 weeks was bats. For the longest time I hadn’t seen nor heard any. But suddenly they started to appear, but seem to be keeping lower to the ground than usual.

Fireflies have been around for months, but very very few! When I was a kid we used to run around the yard and catch a dozen or so with 5 minutes. But sitting out for 10 minutes now I might see 6 to 8 - and flying closer to the center to the tops of trees. No catching these guys! I wonder how many other insects have their numbers diminished as well. :slightly_frowning_face: So far this year I can count on both hands how many mosquitoes I’ve seen. In years past we’d be swatting them away non-stop. Not complaining mind you, but with this many less mosquitoes, that’s a lot less food for the bats. I wonder if those “scientists” that are trying to eradicate mosquitoes around the world even realize that they are a food source for another animal. Killing off one species will most definitely harm the other greatly. :neutral_face:


I think this was evident in the “Honey Bee” numbers in the last few years. Although they have not pinpointed the exact cause; whether pesticide, herbicide, global warming, or radiation; the affects are felt everywhere. The Honey Bee is responsible for pollination for many crops, Some crops…such as almonds, blueberries, cherries… the Honey Bee is the sole/primary pollinator. Can you imagine how their demise would affect our world? Part of the problem, like most animals also, is their habitat is being destroyed. Put up a bee hotel in your area, here are instructions…quick kind or wood kind…




Today I am wondering how I am going to get this little gopher out from under my steps and out of my flowerbed…I think I will try trapping him first and move him “out of town”! He doesn’t have any “friends” yet so this is the time! :smiley:


Meanie! :angry: :wink: :smile:


Trap and moving him…his colony lives on one of the dirt roads I take photos on!!! It must be his “family”…he looks like them!!!..:smiley::rofl::smiley::rofl:


Oookaaayyy… :roll_eyes:


Last night as I left my house, the flowerpot on my sidewalk shook and fell over…yup…that gopher was in there eating my violas!!! Healthy little guy!! Now to move him to his “natural habitat”…


I hope you’re packing him a “travel snack”! :laughing:


I thought I’d make him a lovely farewell dinner of some of my “wilty violas” and the last of the “dandelions” from the boulevard lawn…I could add a few nasturtiums for a little extra color!!!..all before he “single handedly” takes down my flowerbed completely!!! :grimacing::grimacing::grimacing::grimacing:


My “visitor” is still here, no trap arrived yet. Soon…before my flowers are all gone.:sunflower::sunflower::sunflower::sunflower:


I think the rabbits are on their second litter. We watched some time ago as the little ones ventured out into the world and started getting bigger. Now we’re seeing little babies again! My daughter’s dog grabbed one as it popped up out of its den. Mama Rabbit decided to dug a den right next to my daughter’s front steps! Not a good place to build! :grinning: The dog immediately dropped the baby bunny as soon as my daughter yelled to her and the bunny ran back into its den. We’re just hoping it’s okay. :pensive:

This afternoon I watched a bald eagle soaring overhead. They seem to like coming over the river valley to hunt - as do the osprey, and the several species of hawks, and the turkey buzzards and black buzzards. Nearer to the bridges spanning the river you’ll find the falcons. They love to build their nests on the underside of the bridges. Later on my thirteen-month old granddaughter and I watched four crows harassing a turkey buzzard. My granddaughter pointed and kept on repeating “bird!” Then she turned around and repeated over and over, “moon!” She loves the moon and stars, so I made it a point to bring her outside just before she was going to bed so she could see the moon a little bit brighter than before. She loved it.

After dinner my youngest granddaughter and I were watching four ravens and a chipmunk eating beneath the maple tree out front. We had gone for a walk earlier and upon our return tossed out some seed and refilled the hanging feeder and the suet cake cage. The chipmunk must have gotten a little too close to one of the ravens and it grabbed it, flung it into the air and went back to eating the seed and cracked corn. The chipmunk ran under my car, but within thirty seconds was right back next to the raven. The bird gave it a quick glance and ignored it. Lucky for the chipmunk this raven didn’t want meat for dinner tonight.


Bad dog…good dog…!!! Yes I have been seeing baby rabbits on my travels in the country also. I also believe we are on the next set of squirrels, chipmunks etc. Some of the ducks have very very small ducklings and were either late starting or are on their second batch. I always wonder how they will be big enough to fly all that way come migration.

You are training an “astrologer” there!!!:slightly_smiling_face: Have you used Star Walk, or Skyview or some of the other apps you put on your phone, ipad, and hold it up to the sky and it identifies the stars you are looking at? We used it at the lake…where on clear clear nights, we could lay on the deck on the lounge chair pads and “star gaze” for hours as we saw those around us, plus the ISS passing, plus the meteor showers, or others…it was always amazing. Of course, if the Northern Lights appeared …that was a bonus!!!

EDIT: My visitor seems to have left…could it be the tabasco, the cayenne, the coffee grounds I put out??? or he just decided the pastures were “greener on the other side” of the street!!! :smiley::rofl::smiley: We will see tomorrow whether more of my flowers are gone!!! :frowning_face:


Maybe he went to tell others of the delicious garden buffet he’s discovered and will be showing up with “the breakfast crowd”! :laughing: Really though… I hope he has left your garden for greener leaves.


:rofl::smiley::rofl::smiley: I’m going to keep an eye on the “breakfast crowd”…just in case!!!


This is the baby Avocet I took earlier walking along the water’s edge. Feathers have changed color, grown, but still having its “mid morning nap”…lol


Like some of us old folks (I mean youngsters)! :laughing: I am actually feeling tired tonight. Started yawning at 9:20 PM. I think I’m calling it quits at 1:00 AM instead of 2:30 or 3 AM.

The three turkeys were back late this afternoon - between the rain storms. The ravens seem to have almost chased the crows away from the bird feeder tree out front. :thinking: Not too many other birds come until after the ravens have left. Something I keep on forgetting to mention is that for the past 2 to 3 weeks there have been a few bats - not many - that started showing up nightly. Odd how the seem to be flying lower to the ground than what they used to. I also don’t hear them as much as I used to - and no… my hearing is just fine, @EmeraldEyes. No old age loss. :laughing: The northern flickers were having a smorgasbord between the rains. Seems the ants are busy building up their mounds around the entrances to keep the water out. The birds are picking off the ants as they shore up the mounds. A short while ago it sounded like a very young red fox calling for its mother. It sounds like it wanted to call out, but was keeping it a little to the soft voice side. It was just across the brook in the southwest corner of the property.
Was a pretty quiet day bird-wise as the with all the rain, they must have kept to the trees and played bingo or something. :laughing:


Do you know which kind these are? We have the big and small brown bats. AT the lake as soon as it was dark and we were sitting by the campfire, we would watch the bats go back and forth eating mosquitoes!!! We just were beside the forest…so we added bat houses in our area to keep them and give them some place to live!!! The Boreal forest provided us with several animals you normally don’t see at the lake.


The most common “little brown bat” is the myotis lucifugus - the kind I used to collect for the Cornell University Medical College back in the early 1970s. They were doing research to find what cellular chemicals and the mechanism behind them that would cause cells to go into hibernation. They hoped to synthesize the chemicals to see if they could cause cancer cells to go into “hibernation.” A Dr. E,A, Nunez was in charge.
As for the larger brown bats, they could be a number of different species, including the “big brown bat” which has a range from the northern part of South America all the way up to and including Canada. And then there’s another large bat - the “northern long-eared bat” - which is native to all of North America. These are but a very few of the possible bats you’re seeing. I used to come across some Indiana bats, but I don’t recall ever seeing an “eastern red bat.” Spent many an hour in caves of all types and sizes back in my younger days as a zoological supplier. :smile:


This has always been a problem in the Banff, Jaspar, David Thompson Highway corridor, Sightseeing buses will actually stop and encourage their foreign visitors to get in the ditch with the bear to take a photo, or the bull Elk…several have been seriously injured…and yet they continue. This woman could have been charged a fine of up to $25000. for this stunt. Poor bear…harassed by visitors who want a SELFIE!! :open_mouth::smirk::unamused::angry::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


Wow you are knowledgeable!!! I believe the smaller ones are Little Brown Myotis. The larger ones may be Hoary Bat or the Big Brown Bat.

Caving would not be one of my things…slightly claustrophobic

Two of my favourite books to use for my photos are the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mammals and Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. They help me determine some of the birds I see, and some of the unusual mammals…and bats!!!