Today's Backyard Wildlife

DLJeffs

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There was an article in this morning's paper about how little human activity can cause animals to leave the area, etc. Then you see things like those birds who have adapted and learned that a human throwing a cast net means free food such that they actually look for and come to the human activity. Or the tarpon who hang out under the docks where guides clean fish.
 

JerseyHighlander

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Just now looked out the window and saw this coyote. First one of these I've seen in quite a while. Fun watching him stick his nose in the snow, sniff around, and then suddenly jump and down trying to snag a mouse or vole.

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That's a big Yote. Looks pretty healthy too.

Years ago I had a Siberian Husky/Wolf mix. He would do that, look down into the snow, Male chicken his head back and forth listening and then jump up and dive in. Was hilarious to watch.
 

barry richardson

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There was an article in this morning's paper about how little human activity can cause animals to leave the area, etc. Then you see things like those birds who have adapted and learned that a human throwing a cast net means free food such that they actually look for and come to the human activity. Or the tarpon who hang out under the docks where guides clean fish.
These burrowing owls I saw yesterday seem to be adapting pretty well too, they like berms around fields and irrigation canal banks for homes. As you can see they have longer legs than other owls, and they can run pretty fast, but they can also fly very acrobatically. They were making some king of weird growling noise and standing their ground when my dog and I got too close, probably guarding young ones, they are usually more skittish....
owls.JPG
 

DLJeffs

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I love those little owls and the way they move their head when they're watching something or someone. I'd often see some around the earthen berms around tank fields, especially in Texas and more rural areas.
 

Nubsnstubs

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This is not my picture, but from my friend from Missouri. I would never have thought that a snake would be able to capture a fish, much less eat it. Pretty cool seeing this.
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..... Jerry (in Tucson)
 

JR Parks

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Cool picture- thanks. I have seen a diamondback water snake eat a smaller sized fish. Similar coloration
 

Nubsnstubs

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Cool picture- thanks. I have seen a diamondback water snake eat a smaller sized fish. Similar coloration
Thanks, JR. I must tell my friend about that as he thought he had something scientifically unique.

It's the like the time I was in Missouri installing his stuff for his house about 2008. I got up early one morning, walked outside to enjoy the soft breeze and cool temperature. Saw this huge spider web in his driveway. I believe it had 6 contact points, but the one at 7o'clock was about 12" off the ground and had a 3/8 diameter pea gravel hanging from it. I ran back into the house, got my movie camera, and went back out and stood there for over 10 minutes filming the rock spinning. Never did see the spider, but loved what I saw and thinking that it was using a "tool using" spider to hold down that section of web. Of course, when they finally got up and left for town, that was the end of that. I even tried to show some scientists at the UofA, and all I heard was "crickets". ................ Jerry (in Tucson)
 

DLJeffs

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I had the same opinion Jerry because most snakes rely on heat signatures or movement to locate prey. But the herpetology sites I checked all said watersnakes will eat live or dead fish. They must be able to use smell or taste as a locator. One site said the largest diamondback watersnake recorded was 8.2 feet long. That must make it the longest snake endemic to North America (the pythons in Florida being introduced).
 

JR Parks

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Doug,
We have a great long snake in south Texas - Indigo Black Snake. Wikipedia (I know-) suggests the longest recorded was 9.2 ft. I personally caught one that while holding head at arms length above head it’s tail slightly curled on ground so a little over 8 ft. Solid black and at that length scary looking but docile. Too much so as they are often caught for pets. Jim
 

Mr. Peet

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Not sure where they get numbers from, but we caught several black rat snakes over 8' long on High Point in New Jersey as kids on a scout trip. Seen Timber Rattlers over 6'. Brother and I measured a black rat snake at 11'-4" in 2002. It was laying on on a lumber pile and swallowing an Eastern cottontail rabbit. Was quite a site to see.

As for water snakes, have seen them eat dead fish and parts of fish left behind from snapping turtles and raccoons. Not at all a common sight, but have seen it a few, stressing, Few times. Also seen them take a live fish from the water to shore and hold them until death and then eat them. Had them latch on to fish I caught. Hell of a surprise when you pull the sunny in the boat with a 30 some inch snake on it. Not fun. I don't fish much anymore.
 
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