Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday: January 2018

It's the first Wednesday of 2018 and that means Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says....".  It's also been really, really cold down here in South Texas for the last week or so.  Not as cold as some places we've lived, but we chose not to retire to Boston for good reason.  With busy December behind us, I did get some cool wildlife photos.

American Robins joined us for Christmas week this year.  Tell a child the Robin's scientific name is Turdus migratorious and they just might find bird watching more fun.  My kind of fun fact is their eggs are the same color as a Tiffany box.


True to the "migratorious" designation, Robins are only temporary spring and fall visitors so we don't get to see their nests or eggs.


Round orange bellies and active, assertive personalities make them fun to watch while they're here. 

Coyotes have been increasing in numbers around our neighborhood which is a serious cause for concern since they have been taking pets and deer.  We've heard the pack at night loudly tearing into their latest catch.  While the local deer herd could use a little thinning it's a very unpleasant sound.  I was quite surprised to look out from the kitchen around 5pm last night and spot a coyote wandering across the yard in daylight and sub-freezing weather.




He must have been looking for water but it was all frozen.  Neal went out and made some noise which is the best response according to the city website.  Make them feel unwelcome.  Okay, that's pretty much the case since I really don't want to look up from weeding some day and find one of these canines walking around like he owns the place.

Despite all appearances, we don't live in the country.  There's a 9-story hotel looming over the back yard and 70-foot high flyovers of a major freeway interchange are just a few blocks away.

We're warming up fast and should be back in the 70s by Sunday.  That's a good 50 degrees warmer than yesterday!

Check out the comments section at "My Gardener Says..." for more backyard wildlife.

14 comments:

  1. That's pretty exciting, although the sounds of them attacking their prey are disturbing. We have quite a few coyotes and foxes in the Madison area, too. People can report sightings through the Urban Canid Project. I hope they'll stay away from your property. We have some robins here through the winter, but they stay by fast-moving springs and the limited open water in the area. Great motion-capture videos!

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    1. I did read that some Robins remain through the winter in some of our coldest climates. The grip of cold has chased them farther south at least for a while.

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  2. Conditions must be tough if the coyotes are coming close to your home in suburbia. It would be awful to hear them taking an animal, even though its just Nature at work (as long as it wasn't someone's pet). Do coyotes attack people at all, or do they just sniff and explore and are easily frightened off?

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    1. Coyotes easily adapt to urban conditions and they are losing natural habitat at a rapid pace. They are wary and easily frightened off for now but as their numbers are sure to grow it's a concern. It's extremely rare for a coyote to attack a person without first being threatened.

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    2. Glad to hear the coyotes aren't an immediate threat to you and your family. And it sounds like another sad story of animals being pushed out of their natural habitat and being forced to adapt to a developed environment. Unfortunately this kind of thing happens to many animals all around the globe.

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  3. Wow--look at your robins!! I rarely see them and just love them; please tell them about me. :) As for the coyotes, yes we see that here in Austin, too, though not in my part of town. They're definitely opportunistic and you're wise to make noise and make them unwelcome--that seems to be the best deterrent. Also, not placing out pet food, that's a big problem here as they see the food and the pets as easy catches, which of course, is true.

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    1. We enjoy leaving water for our wildlife visitors which ranges from wasps to foxes. That might have to stop if we have a problem with coyotes.

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  4. Wow, that's a lot of robins. We see them year round here and get to watch them rais their babies but they don't sing in the winter. Looking forward to spring and the return of their song. Yikes, a coyote in your yard! There have been sightings of them here in town as well but I've yet to see one.

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    1. That's interesting Robins don't sing in the winter. I'd love to have them all year but I think they find our summers a bit harsh.

      Yikes is right, I didn't care for the coyote so close to the house.

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  5. I love the robins. We're troubled by coyotes here too. They took one of my next door neighbor's Pomeranians right out of her fenced backyard last summer.

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    1. That's so sad and I've heard similar stories around my neighborhood too. I understand losing habitat and the natural order of things but packs of coyotes do cause problems.

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  6. I love American robins, and I love your little videos of them hopping around your bird bath! My British mother-in-law disparaged them. They're very different from English robins, which are much smaller birds, with a different red blotch. She saw one on our lawn one spring when visiting, and made a disgusted face and said, "Is that what you call a robin? It's nothing like!" We were living in Boston then, where they were a harbinger of spring, and I loved them. Every once in a while we get notice from the police that there has been a bear or mountain lion sighting in our town.

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    1. I did see photos of European Robins while researching mine. They are different. Our Robins are good guests and we enjoy them. When we lived in Boston and other northern places I remember looking for Robins as a sign the winter would end eventually. No bears here but we did see bear tracks in the woods behind our house when we lived in Boston. During drought we have heard mountain lions were present in local parks and a few weeks ago Neal spotted a pair of bobcats in the back yard but the photos were too blurry to show.

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  7. We've got coyotes here too (semi-rural NC). They moved into our immediate area a few years ago. My cats are old now and don't go outside anymore, but even if they were younger I wouldn't let them outside. The coyotes are not a threat to my horses, as even the pony is 700 lbs. My horse is over 1200 lbs and is aggressive towards any dogs that are not small dogs. (Foxes are fine though, since they are small. One time my husband looked out the window and saw a gray fox curl up to sleep in the paddock with the horses in there. lol)

    I had heard that coyotes had even moved into cities. I didn't realize you had a hotel so close by! From your pictures I had indeed pictured you being more out in the country.

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