Posts Tagged Wildlife

Rabbit Head

Although we don’t think of this as a particularly tough neighborhood, this is the second severed head we’ve encountered in the last few years during our routine walks:

Rabbit Head

Rabbit Head

We doubt a predator would do such a tidy job of parting the head from the body, then discarding it. The eyes surely went to a bird, though…

It was across the Mighty Wappinger Creek, near the far end of Romca Rd. The Red Oaks Mill Civic Association is long gone and their building burned to the ground a few decades ago, but their name lives on.

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Monthly Image: Red Squirrel

This red squirrel has the reddest tail of all:

Red squirrel on patio - front

Red squirrel on patio – front

Those white eye rings help carry off the whole “insufferably cute” thing:

Red squirrel on patio - side

Red squirrel on patio – side

We often see them scampering through the pine treee out back, where they pause to strip the seeds off unopened pine cones and toss the empties on the driveway.

Taken through two layers of wavy 1955-era glass with the Sony DSC-H5.

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Pheasant Sighting

I rolled the bike around the corner of the garage, saw something move, and spotted an exceedingly agitated Ring-necked Pheasant atop the shredded leaf compost:

Pheasant in compost bin

Pheasant in compost bin

He ran back and forth on the pile inside the cage, apparently having forgotten he had wings, while I fumbled with the camera. Just after I took the picture, he managed a short-field takeoff and flew away through the trees away from me.

A pair of female pheasants then emerged from the forsythia behind the pile at a dead run, made a hard turn to their left, and ran off in the general direction the male had flown. One of the pair seemed smaller and may have been a chick this year, but it’s hard to say.

We haven’t seen any pheasants in the yard before and hope they return …

Taken with the Canon SX-230HS through a layer of deer netting, alas.

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Insouciant Squirrel

Squirrels spend most of their time on all fours and, when they do pop up for a look around, generally seem hunched forward, ready to drop-and-run.

Not this critter:

Squirrel leaning back

Squirrel leaning back

Definitely brandishing a big leaning ‘tude

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Grasshopper on Broccoli

This critter has been ravaging the broccoli plants in Mary’s Vassar Farms plot:

Grasshopper - Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden

Grasshopper – Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden

Nothing to do but eat, excrete, and procreate in the warm sun:

Grasshopper - Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden - overview

Grasshopper – Broccoli at Vassar Farms garden – overview

Life is good!

She can’t bring herself to mash it, as she does with the myriad other critters having no redeeming virtues. Grasshoppers, it seems, have good PR agents.

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Monthly Image: Hawk vs. Squirrel

A hawk, perhaps an immature Red-Tailed, landed on a branch outside the kitchen window while we were eating lunch.

After a minute or so, a squirrel ran up the maple and began taunting (?) the hawk:

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel - approach

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel – approach

The hawk obviously had no clue what’s going on inside that critter’s little brain:

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel - faceoff

Immature Red-Tail Hawk vs. Squirrel – faceoff

The squirrel alternated between inching out on the branch, closer each time, and dashing back to the tree trunk, for maybe ten minutes. It eventually reached the rightmost patch of lichen, a foot from the hawk, without suffering any damage, after which it ran down the tree and away. We have no explanation.

Perhaps this is the same squirrel as before? All we know: (over)confidence goeth before gibbage.

Taken with the DSC-H5 near the end of the adventure; it took me a while to deploy the camera. The first picture looks diagonally upward from the kitchen, through three layers of 1950-era glass. The second comes from the back door, zoomed about 10x, with no tele-adapter. Obviously, good color correction didn’t happen here…

 

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Too Many Deer, Twice More

We spotted a classic example of deer damage at the corner gas / repair station:

Deer-smashed car

Deer-smashed car

The undamaged bumper below the smashed grill and hood is diagnostic; the legs bounce off the bumper, while the body punches the grill back through the radiator. The airbags didn’t fire, but I’m pretty sure that car is just as dead as the deer.

Plenty of deer-colored fur clinches the diagnosis:

Deer-smashed car - hair detail

Deer-smashed car – hair detail

A few days later, a vulture overflew me on Hooker Avenue:

Vulture - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Vulture – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

It was flapping strongly, powering its way up to cruising altitude, which seemed odd that far into the urban heat island. On the return leg of the ride, I saw what had its attention:

Deer carcass - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Deer carcass – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

All swoll up, as the saying goes, and ready for the carcass disposal crew…

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