Wildlife on the Mountain

Wildlife abounds in the country, and in the mountains we have been seeing more visitors lately. It is a true quote I heard somewhere that if you put food out, someone will come along to eat it. I had some scraps left over from cutting vegetables, and thought the squirrels would like to have the asparagus ends and squash seeds. So I put those out, and sure enough, it wasn’t too long before a guest came for a meal. This was after I had set out the apple cores and peels for the crows.

Squirrel buffet at From My Carolina Home

It took him quite a while to get up the courage to look over the edge of the pan and then hop in to take a bite, but he made short work of the squash when he finally did jump in.

Squirrel buffet at From My Carolina Home

This little young woodchuck (or groundhog as some call them) was digging in the meadow one morning last week.   I’m not sure what he found, but he seemed happy enough to frolic in the meadow for a bit.  It was so hard to get a clear picture as the lens was zoomed at far as it could go.  I must have taken a dozen pictures, and this was the only one that came close to being clear.

Woodchuck visit at From My Carolina Home

This raccoon came to visit a couple of times right at dusk.  He took advantage of the asparagus stalks left by the squirrels that I had neglected to pick up.  After I saw him the second time, I made sure to take the pan away.  The last thing I need is a raccoon tearing up the shingles, which I know they sometimes will do.  He can stay in the forest and we’ll get along fine.

Raccoon visit at From My Carolina Home

This little guy came by for a bite of seed. He looks a bit moth-eaten, but in fact those dark spots are his juvenile brown feathers that he hasn’t shed yet.

Juvenille Cardinal at From My Carolina Home

He is still learning how to grab onto the feeder. He fell off and flew away a couple of times before getting the balance to stay on while he ate.

Juvenille Cardinal at From My Carolina Home

It is always a surprise to look out the window and see a fox.  Usually by the time I grab the camera and get it turned on, then get it focused, the fox is gone.  But this evening, the sun was low in the sky, and only a patch of sunlight was available at the edge of the meadow, where the fox was sitting and scratching himself.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

He must have a lot of fleas, as he was scratching and scratching.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

I was amused at how long he stayed in that one spot.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

He started sniffing around for a minute, and I wondered what he was up to.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

Then, he wallowed on the stones in the drainage area that collects rainwater off the mountain and directs it to the drive and across to the stream at the bottom of the cove. Those stones are larger and probably made a good scratching pad.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

He sat down for just a moment, then headed off down the road. Fun to see him stay for a bit, as he usually is just a flash as he lopes across the meadow.  He is so skinny!  But at least we don’t have any mice in the house.

June 2017 Fox visit at From My Carolina Home

On Thursday, a single solitary wild turkey was grazing in the meadow. It looks like a young one, cannot tell if it is a male or a female as it hasn’t developed any of the normal characteristics of a mature turkey yet.

Turkey June 2017 at From My Carolina Home

But, just for fun, I called to it. It looked at me, but didn’t come toward me. It also didn’t run away. It just went back to looking for acorns and worms, and ambled off at a leisurely pace.

Turkey June 2017 at From My Carolina Home

On the feeder, I managed to catch the wood thrush, the spotted breasted bird on the left.  He has been regaling us with birdsong for quite some years, and this is the first time I have managed to photograph one.  The female cardinal on the right has come by every evening now for a week or so.  I have seen the male courting her again, feeding her seeds from the feeder, a sweet sight.

Thrush and Cardinal at From My Carolina Home

It is quite unusual to see a thrush at a feeder, I am told that they like to stay in the woods and feed on the ground in the forest floor underbrush.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen one at all, much less at our feeder.

Thrush at From My Carolina Home

The story of identifying his song was interesting.  I had heard this bird for some years and never knew who was singing this particular song.  I looked on websites, and listened to snippets of bird songs for all the birds I knew were living here, but could not find this melodic birdsong.  I was able to record a video on my camera of just some trees with the bird song, and the video file came out at whopping 576MB!  DH showed me how to extract just the audio using a program on our computer, and export it to the desktop as an MP3 file, at a much more manageable 487kb.  I then sent the file to the wonderful people at the Ornithology Lab at Cornell University.  I got an email back the same day from a very nice guy named Matt, who identified the song for me as a Wood Thrush.   I’d love for you to hear it, but none of my normal outlets will upload an MP3 file – not Flickr, not Youtube, not the blog.  Oh well.  If I figure something out I’ll let you know.

What is the wildlife doing at your place?



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24 thoughts on “Wildlife on the Mountain

  1. Sylvia

    Good morning Carole…..I’ve been enjoying your blog for several months now and love all the photos you share with us. I was taken with the photos of your little fox and thought he might be suffering from Mange, given the appearance of those sores and loss of hair, so I looked it up and found a picture of a little fox, looking very much like the one you posted today. Poor little guy. The itching must be driving him crazy.

  2. Wow, Carole! That was so interesting to read about and see all your wildlife! Great job getting photos–that’s the tricky part! We have rabbits galore around here this year.

  3. Loris Mills

    Such wonderful photos! We live on the central coast of California and this seems like a record year for at least the casual walker 🙂 to spot seals, otters and even breaching whales….one was putting on quite a “SeaWorld” show the other day. On land we have two sets of twins in the deer families, foxes, weasels and also the dreaded skunks who have taken to trolling it under walkways and managing to spray between the slats! Have a wonderful 4th!

  4. Very cool. Never thought of sending mp3 to get bird songs identified. I may have to try that – there are so many birds I hear but never see.

  5. Pat Evans

    The Ornithology Lab at Cornell has an interactive program online called All about Bird Song, so anyone who wants can listen to the bird song and see video of the birds. The Bird Academy on the Cornell Ornithology Lab website is a wonderful resource.
    As far as our local wildlife, the deer, rabbits, and woodchucks are busy devouring everything in sight. And the chipmunks and squirrels are digging away. And a red-headed woodpecker has been diligently working on two tree stumps. He’s a riot to watch with his head bouncing up and down, a mile a minute. No sign of the bluebirds I saw last summer (first time I had seen them in my yard, although they do nest in our local area.

    1. Melanie

      Thank you, Pat, for the information; I shall look into IDing a bird here that we listen to regularly but have no idea what it is! m

  6. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole! You have presented some very interesting information about each of the animals you mentioned in your post. I found each one fascinating and of course loved your spectacular photos! Kevin has been able to get a few good pictures of our foxes over the years, but just a few. I agree with your assessment that your fox has fleas, they are awful in our area this year. Aside from the foxes, we are only seeing and listening to the birds. Not sure where all of our small critters went off to, but since Spring we have not seen any signs of any not even the aroma of a skunk. I also found it fascinating how you were able to what you did and send off to find out what the bird song belonged to. I am going to make sure Kevin reads this and I know he will find it fascinating. So thank you for sharing it. Aside from listening and watching our marvelous array of birds, I am working very hard at getting all quilting projects done and or caught up. Yesterday and Today though, I did stop making quilt blocks and made a couple of new pillowcases! Both of our bedrooms really needed some fresh ones. I hope that you have a fantastic day!

  7. karenfae

    I do not see near the wild life that you do but I know they are there as we are in the country and have wood on several sides. We see deer now and then and a fox once in awhile but mainly it is the small critters we see and I do not feed them – too many squirrels in our area and they are bothersome here! I do not put food scraps out 🙂

  8. Melanie

    What a wonderful and interesting blog, especially the story of the wood thrush and your ID-ing it’s song. I was wondering how the heck to ever do that as we hear a very sweet and melodic bird here that we have never seen nor identified. I have an MP3 players, so should you ever be able to share that birdsong, I’ll be waiting. We cannot feed the wildlife here; it attracts the bears. Mostly they are harmless, but could become worrisome if needing to protect their food or cubs.

  9. Oh that little fox is so skinny and scraggly looking…poor guy. I love listening to the birds in the yard this time of year too. Am even more pleased to see some have nested in my birdhouses. Thanks for sharing your beauty with us. 🙂

  10. Carole, I’ve moved from Maryland to Maine and here I am seeing a Baltimore Oriole! Beautiful orange color, too. He, along with all the other birds in the back yard are enjoying suet and seeds provided all year long. Those visiting are woodpeckers, bluebirds, cardinals, blue jays, catbirds and others along with the neighborhood squirrels and chipmunks. I’ll have to visit the Cornell website to identify some of the birds we don’t catch at the feeders. Once I saw the back of a huge brown-winged bird flying through and the yard grew silent for the longest time. It was eerie. Probably a hawk.

  11. I am so impressed that you got a picture of a thrush. I saw one once on Long Island. It was very early in the morning when I looked out to see the bird that I had heard singing for years. I hear them all the time here in NC. It’s my favorite bird song. Loved all your photos, as usual.

  12. You take the best pictures of wildlife! (well and all the other things you share with us.) I generally use my iPhone for pictures because it is actually better than the last camera I bought. We had 3 yellow finches at the feeder on Tuesday. The 2 males were arguing amongst themselves. I eventually got an ok picture of one of them.

  13. Greag photos Carole, thank yiu for sharing. We dont have much wildlife here that I have seen, there might be bandicoots in the reserve kver the road, but they are nocturnal and shy and hard to see. We do have lots of birds, wattle birds, crimson rosellas, blue fairy wrens, galahs…they were swinging on the oower lines yesterday in the rain having a shower, so funny to watch!! We have sparrows, thrushes, eastern rosellas. Having said there are no animals we do get possums and fruit bats!!! Not my most favourite visitors as they are all the figs off the fig trees this year!!

  14. Love your wildlife, some the same as ours, turkey, fox(and yes yours is really skinny, poor little guy), cradinals, racoon, and yes squirrels! Last night as we were sitting at the fire pit, mama deer and the twins were checking us out(she is a daily visitor). Happy 4th!

  15. Cheryl Buchanan

    Absolutely loved the fox, poor thing. We have an increase in deer in my area in the last couple of years and I especially love the babies. Last week my Mother and I came upon 3 very young raccoons in the middle of the road. They didn’t offer to move and we had to wait on them. Turkey are prevalent in our area as well as bears. The last couple of years the bears have becoming increasingly more forward and not afraid of humans. I also love the birds on the bird feeder and have several humming bird feeders on the porch. Last week I caught my 2 boxers trying to catch a humming bird. They were really cute to watch. Thank you for sharing your wonderful life. Hope you have a blessed day!

  16. Susan

    Love your photos but my fox(es?) do not look like yours at all. They are reddish and fluffy. Is this little guy a baby or ill?
    I have cameras on our property and see deer,bears and a BOBCAT! Omg, I have also seen fox and coyotes as well as turkeys but never a bobcat! Hope I only see him on the camera and not up close and personal!

  17. Mary Jean Cunningham

    That squirrel looks well-fed! The fox, not so much…I have to admit to a big fondness for squirrels, those bad boys of the garden, and I actually put a water dish out just for them – I find them very amusing – even though they eat my tomatoes! And the chipmunks are cute, too, although my neighbor is certain they’re taking her vegetable garden apart – if we could just get them to behave…!

  18. So fun to see all your wildlife photos, Carole! I especially enjoyed the series of pictures of the fox. I love the Cornell All About Birds website – it has helped us to identify lots of birds. We live in the city, but feed the birds and have tons of different kinds, including hawks who come to feed on the songbirds! I enjoy the squirrels too, but they do sometimes dig around in my pots and mess up my plants. 🙂

  19. Mary Crawford

    So much wildlife would bring my grandchildren outdoors all day long! We live in Minnesota on the prairie on a farm. Despite only having a grove near us, it is amazing the animals that do frequent our farm. Of course, we have the normal cows here and cats visiting, but last week 3 large raccoons stood and stared at me by our bins. One day they climbed to the top. What a photo that would have been but I didn’t get to see it. I almost hit a deer on our gravel road a couple of weeks ago which is not normal for this time of year. Sometimes we hear fox at night down by the creek. Rabbits are usually abundant but not right now – since it is garden time and we had to take care of most of them. Always a delight, thanks for the photos.

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