Author Topic: Urban Wildlife  (Read 3691 times)

Offline AndyBoy

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Urban Wildlife
« on: July 07, 2010, 08:12:59 AM »
I was out walking our dog around our courtyard this morning and saw a fox with a bushy tail that had a white tip. Luckily our dog didn't notice him because he would have gone ballistic. Pretty amazing that a creature can survive with all the development around. He looked healthy and well fed.

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2010, 08:26:48 AM »
If you live around me, he's been fed a steady diet of squirrels.   ::)

Seriously though there are lots of foxes around, at least where we live in Roswell.  They are mostly nocturnal but I've seen them out in our yard in the late morning and early afternoon before too.  They usually hunt for little creatures like chipmunks/moles but they won't think twice about carrion or roadkill if they come upon it.  They do a great job of keeping our neighborhood streets clean of freshly flattened things.

Despite what you may have seen in recent news reports, most of them are completely harmless and they are surprisingly small.  The body is usually not much larger than a large house cat but the long legs and big tail make them look a bit bigger.  

Below is a shot from one of those late afternoon sightings in our backyard.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 08:25:54 PM by HaagenDazs »

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 08:27:25 PM »
Fixed the picture (or lack thereof previously)...

Offline Barnum

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 04:59:57 AM »
On the way in to work this morning dodged a (non-bushy) fox crossing 20 eastbound just inside 285.  Looked fairly healthy, but not sure he'll survive long if he doesn't start using back roads   :D

Offline Foodgeek

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 05:55:08 AM »
The fox in that picture looks very pretty.
Food is my favorite.

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 08:13:05 AM »
The fox in that picture looks very pretty.

It is/was quite a looker!  We still have one coming around every couple of days but who knows if it is the same one or not.  The picture was taken in late January of 2009 so it has been a long while, but right now the one that comes around looks much thinner because it is summer and they lose some of the bulk in their fur (I assume).

Offline Minerva

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 09:27:26 AM »
I have a love/hate relationship with squirrels. We have a big wooded back yard and they're all over it and our deck.

Now I know some of you think of them as being good for nothing but target practice, but you might see them a bit differently if you take a few minutes to read this.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/science/06angi.html?src=me&ref=general

It's a tad long, but there are some (to me) fascinating tidbits in it. Next time one is trying to raid my bird feeder I might not yell at them as loudly as before.  :)
Fish sauce...for when you want that flavor of cat food and athletic sock...in a good way. - Alton Brown

Offline Barnum

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010, 09:34:34 AM »
I have a love/hate relationship with squirrels. We have a big wooded back yard and they're all over it and our deck.

Now I know some of you think of them as being good for nothing but target practice, but you might see them a bit differently if you take a few minutes to read this.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/science/06angi.html?src=me&ref=general

It's a tad long, but there are some (to me) fascinating tidbits in it. Next time one is trying to raid my bird feeder I might not yell at them as loudly as before.  :)

I used to be ambivalent toward squirrels until I spent a couple years battling squirrels in the attack of my last house.  I do not feel their adaptability and intelligence did anything but make my life more difficult (not to mention drove my cat crazy... he could hear them up there...)

Offline totm

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2010, 10:15:15 AM »
Squirrels adaptability and intelligence is quite amazing but to me they are nothing but rats with bushy tails that eat my unripe tomatoes and too small peaches.

Just because Andyboy and I live ITP doesn't mean there aren't sufficient wilderness areas for urban wildlife.  Our area of DeKalb does have a fair amount of park space.

Several times I've been out walking the dog late evening and there is a distinct strong musky scent in the air and the dog will start to rut around.  I get her inside as quickly as possible.
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Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 10:16:33 AM »
I read the article a few days ago...

I didn't start shooting squirrels for fun or furry target practice, I started because they were literally eating my house.  I could have done a few things: (1) ignored it and watched the wood on our eaves and roof line get eaten/chewed to the point where they get access into the attic and start chewing on wires and burning down my house, (2) call a pest guy and pay them several thousand dollars to set up traps and stuff like that or (3) I could go to Walmart and buy a $45 BB gun.  I choose the BB gun... and it works.  

The area that we live in is an older established neighborhood with lots of trees and thus is an excellent place for squirrels to breed and hang out.  Just like with the overpopulation of deer, the fact that we have developed and developed the north Georgia area means that we have displaced many of the natural predators... though obviously some still survive (like the fox).  When the predators are gone there is not much to control the spread of the squirrels aside from a few car tires and the occasional hawk.  As testament to that fact that our area is overpopulated with the rodents, you might be surprised to hear that I have nailed 184 of them so far (as of yesterday afternoon).  That's right, 184 squirrels from my kitchen window.

Offline Minerva

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 10:55:34 AM »
Impressive shooting! What do you do with the furry little carcasses?
Fish sauce...for when you want that flavor of cat food and athletic sock...in a good way. - Alton Brown

Offline HaagenDazs

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 11:14:30 AM »
At first I started burying them.  I didn't go 6 feet down or anything, just enough to get them out of the way.  After a week or so I noticed that the holes were dug out and the perpetrator was missing.  I didn't think much of it, I figured it was a cat or a possum or something so I just decided to leave them in the back corner of the yard instead of lugging the shovel around.  Sitting outside one evening while grilling I heard a little trotting through the leaves.  It ended up being a fox.  It hopped the fence (they can jump super high and balance like a cat) and started through the backyard.  Of course when it noticed me standing there it stopped and we stared at each other for a minute but eventually it trotted over, grabbed the squirrel and ran off.  Thus began our little feeding ritual.  I leave a squirrel in the backyard and we get a little wildlife show when we are around to see it.  On rare occasions a hawk will spot it and go to town but those instances seem to be few and far between.  Either way we get to see some cool National Geographic stuff. ;)

...I have cleaned a couple of them for personal consumption too.  Literally just 2, but I figured if I'm going to have fresh squirrel meat available to me, I might as well try it.  It is very lean as most wild game is, and if I was to compare it to anything I would say it tastes like rabbit.  Quite mild, not gamey or offensive at all. 

Offline Girly

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2010, 06:33:42 PM »
Living way, way, way OTP, foxes, coyotes, deer, bear, bunnies, etc. are all pretty much seen daily. Bobcats are seen rather frequently too. Currently there's a mama bear and 3 cubs in my back yard. You can't hunt in my development, but I wish we could - we are so over populated with deer that I can't drive the 5 miles from my house to the main road w/o seeing at least 10 every single time. I've had 30+ in my yard at once. I carry a gun in my car and have had to use it twice to kill deer I've hit with the car who are writhing in pain. :(

As far as squirrels (try living with a metal roof under oak trees - about 10X a year they spend a few days throwing acorns on the ground which always hit the roof first), the Yankee Flipper has been both useful and amusing. When the battery dies I give it a couple of days before I recharge it to make the little rodents think they can get food easily again ;)

Of course, I haven't had a single store bought plant EVER last past a week of planting w/o something digging it up or even eating it before I get it planted. I've learned to be quite happy with all the natural plants, lol.

Offline uOTPia Dweller

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Re: Urban Wildlife
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 12:51:39 PM »


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