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Living with Wildlife

Posted by lilod (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 3, 07 at 17:22

I live rural and I am very fortunate for it. We have a multitude of wildlife and I don't feed any of them, not even the song-birds, hummingbirds or any other feathered creatures I enjoy.
I used to put out bird feeders, and they were taken over by the "bad guys" : crows, blackbirds and jays, they would empty the feeders, throwing a lot of the food onto the ground, where the little ones had a feast, but with the food so concentrated, they were a set-up for cats and small raptors. I realized all these creatures lived here before I did, and so they have natural food.
I had fun feeding humming birds, eventually I had so many more than the place could support naturally, using 85# sugar each season and realized I was not doing them a favor, so quit. there are still lots of hummers raiding the garden, I can enjoy them without manipulating their life.
There are people here feeding deer, raccoons and even bears, something illegal and definitely not to the best interest of the critters. So I enjoy the ones I see, feel good to know the "unseen" ones are around, they use my pond as their drinking hole when the water dries up in the high country, and they are happy and well - I can tell by their scat.
I know this is only one side of the coin, can we share opinions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Living with Wildlife

You don't have to feed wildlife to enjoy it.

You can do plantings for wildlife too. They need water, cover and shelter too.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

As we speak I'm watching 'Backyard Habitat' on animal planet and they're trying to provide food and shelter for the Eastern Cottontail rabbit. Boy are these people going to regret encouraging that! Virtually my entire lawn was destroyed by rabbits this season and they poop all over the place which is disgusting. They eat anything within reach and gnaw at tree trunks.

I see the need to preserve wildlife but to be honest, I don't want any in my yard. Not even the birds. They can survive without my .18 ac.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

I love having birds, frogs and squirrels in my yard. We have ponds and a lot of trees and shrubs for shelter and food.

I do have an electric fence around my fish pond to keep the raccoons out of it but other than that we welcome wildlife.

I do not live where rabbits, coyotes, bears, deer are possible.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Even though I live in a city, I do not put out storebought food or seed for wildlife. Instead, I grow wildlife friendly trees, shrubs and flowers that provide them with naturally limiting sources of food and shelter. I do not use any sort of pesticides or herbicides. The only artificial thing in my yard is a bird bath, which I keep full of very clean water year-round.

People who feed bears are idiots. But I blame our culture, particularly movies and TV shows that have portrayed wild animals as cute and cuddly. Feeding large animals never works out for the animal's best interest. Fortunately we don't have bears in the city.

I love animals, but I respect them. Every one of them can be dangerous, even sweet singing songbirds. If you don't believe me, I have a mockingbird living in a crepe myrtle in my back yard who can make a believer out of you during her nesting season.

BTW, I don't think blackbirds or jays are 'bad'. I kind of like them. Pushy little cussses...

Great idea for a thread!!


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RE: Living with Wildlife

I only feed wildlife by providing habitat and not store bought food, too. I own a vacation rental in a gated community in the mountains and I think it's a disgrace what the people have done to the wildlife there.

They give the deer handouts constantly and encourage them to eat out of their hands. Consequently, the number of deer living right in our yards is much greater than the area can naturally support. They're fed whatever people have handy, like bread, lettuce, or whatever, rather than a healthy diet.

The deer stand in our driveways and see us getting in and out of cars, so they've lost much of their fear of cars, too. You see them hit along the roads and many are lame. Also, if they leave the protection of the 4 square mile community, they will be easy targets for hunters when they walk right up to them looking for food.

It seems like the number of bear sightings around the houses is increasing, too, and I'm sure it's because of all the food lying around for the deer. It's a recipe for disaster when one of them decides to approach someone or smells food and enters a house.

Several of us tried to explain these things to the wildlife feeders on our community forum. I was shocked when people responded that they had bought houses there to enjoy the wildlife and would do what they want. They only care about their enjoyment regardless of the harm to the animals apparently. Disgusting!!


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RE: Living with Wildlife

I live on a 3 acre wooded property with about 20 acres around me that cannot be developed. Our property abuts a creek so we get to see all kinds of wildlife. We love the beginning of June when the honeysuckle come into bloom and the carp spawn. The first year we were here we thought someone was swimming in the creek it was so loud. The marsh grass prevented us from seeing the fish, but since that time we have made a path to get down to the creek to watch what's going on. We've had two dams built at the back part of our property in the creek. What a job that was. My DH went out every single day to destroy the dam, only for the darn thing to build back to its original size in one night. In the event the dam didn't adversely affect our property because of flooding, I would have let it be, but the Flood Hazard Insurance is very limited in scope as to what they will and what kinds of floods are covered.

We have alot of non-poisonous snakes that are very interesting.

The birds are also great to watch.

I own alot of the field guides so we can identify what we are seeing, especially when we get something that is unusual and we've never encountered before. This past summer our first sighting of a blue bunting. Beautiful teal colored male bird. Size of a cardinal but such a bright blue it was amazing. My first thought was that someone's pet was loose, but I found it in my bird guide. I hope he returns in the spring.

I have the same situation with the deer on my property. I have never fed them. They seem to be attracted to plantings and the like. One summer they leveled an entire pool length of callas. It bothers me when people hand feed animals not thinking that the animals (all) become dependent upon it after a very short period of time. Then they wonder why the animals are on their property when it isn't convenient?

I see the same 6 deer all the time. They stand on my front lawn about 7 foot from our living room window. You wonder how I know its the same group? One of the deer has a problem leg and she limps. She's back every year.

It has been wonderful for us to watch all of the wildlife in its natural state, being respectful of their space and not interfering with the order of things. I wouldn't trade my property for anything. It is priceless.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

You don't have to feed wildlife to enjoy it.

You can do plantings for wildlife too. They need water, cover and shelter too.

I know two different families up here, of which one went in one of those directions, and the other went in the other. One person on the far end of town has a field next to his house that's about 5 acres, right along side the road. 2 acres of that, he plants with corn every summer, another acre, he plants with other misc. vegetables. The last two acres, he plants with wild rice, and other grains which attract deer and moose throughout the year. Even in the heart of the winter, you'll see them out there scraping the snow and ice to the side to get at it. The other family, on the other hand, has a grain feeder in their back yard, which sprays deer feed every day at 5 pm. It reminds me of opening the doors to a theater refreshment stand-- as soon as it opens, all of the sudden, the back yard is like a huge deer party for about a 1/2 hour, and just as suddenly as they appear, they disappear when the feed is gone.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

I have a backyard wildlife habitat and have for many years. I think I am 7001 in the National Backyard Wildlife certification. I live on 1/2 acre in a town on a heavily wooded lot with two ponds and a bee hive. I feed the birds and the squirrels and even a skunk or two..I have frogs and many other critters as well.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

My DD who lives next door and i live on 30 acres of mostly hardwood forest adjoining Ozark Nat Forest. I feed birds in winter if it's necessary.I did the humming bird thing till i got more hummers than i could handle,like lilod.
DD still feeds them tho.
We have deer and fed them a little bit one year when there was very little natural food and they were starving.
There have been a couple bear come through but they did'nt stay.
We have a lot of natural stuff growing that feeds and hides most wildlife. Trees like oak,hickory,cherry,blackgum,dogwood,persimmon,Juneberry,cedar. Plants like wild grape,muskadine,elderberry,lots of blackberrys,i can't think of the name of them but the wild relatives of blueberrys. A small field that use to be our garden that has wild grasses that grow higher than DD 5'8" turkey and deer both have raised babies there. Things are not that habitat friendly in the forest. I still consider them my friends even if i never pet them.
oakleif


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RE: Living with Wildlife

I don't see why anyone can't get a NWF certification. Everyone has wildlife in their yard.
Fire ants, Beetles, roaches, flies, mosquitos, pigeons, rats and mice, bobcats, scorpions, poisonous snakes, raccoons, moles, grubs, moths, wasps, bats, cicadas, worms.

This is the problem that I have with the whole "Oh I love wildlife" thing. Most wildlife totally sucks. Only certain wildlife is enjoyable and even then it's enjoyable from a distance. So it's hypocritical to say you love wildlife when what you really mean is very few species of birds, the occasional deer as long as it doesn't eat your garden and butterflies.

I'd also make the case that creating a backyard habitat contributes to habitat fragmentation and that creating a backyard habitat is solely for human gain.

Feel free to tell me where I'm going wrong with my thinking.

I was just watching a big bird wade around a pond behind my house. I enjoyed watching that bird. But that wasn't in my yard. I'll make a list of wildlife that I'd like to see in my backyard...
*Ummm.*
*scratches head*
*stares at ceiling*
*taps fingers on desk*
*Oh. I know.. Oh wait wild mustangs poop a lot forget that one*
*I'd say butterflies if it weren't for the whole cocoon thing*
*Bison are kind of big, that wouldn't work*

Aha I got one. Hermit crabs. I'd like to see more hermit crabs in the yard.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

We have just about everything here in NW Pa in abundance. As a market gardener and plant breeder along with breeding exhibition poultry and exotics we do have some problems with some forms of wildlife. It is a constant battle to protect out crops and animals from predation. we do plant crops specificly for wildlife in areas away from cash crops. We also try different means of discouragement such as electric fencing. The deer population seems to be coming under control with the game comissions management plan but even a very few deer can ruin a years profit. trapping does help with some of the other pests. I dont mind sharing but I cant afford to lose an entire crop! We have had problems with mink, weasels and racoons killing our birds but that is now under control.
We have always fed the birds at several stations around the yard and have a large frog population in the water garden. I grow plants specially for butterflies and hummingbirds, also try to encourage any pollinator species for our brambles and ribes.
We use cameras placed on game trails and in other locations to capture wildlife in their night time forays, its interesting. Bears are really expanding their habitat here along with coyotes. the coyotes are a real problem to some even entering barns and killing sheep and goats.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

We live in a suburban area of quarter acre lots. Our neighbor has well-producing apple trees and there are a few still left on the ground. I assume that is what has been attracting the possum. Twice I have had to go out at night to call off the dogs and bring them in the house. The last time, it was in the pouring rain.

We thought that when we moved away from the junky house kitty-corner behind us, we would leave the possum behind. No, here in cement-city, we have them, too. I have heard him up on the roof a couple of times, too. After the rainy "death" scene in the backyard the other day, I did a web search about the critters. I learned a lot I didn't know. They may sound vicious - snarling and spitting when cornered, but they do not attack. They will try to climb out of a situation, then go into a death faint when threatened. They even put out a smell that smells like rotting meat. That usually convinces predators to leave them alone, since a predator will not eat carrion. When the predator is gone, the possum wakens and waddles off.

The good news was that they are great neighbors. They do not dig or mess much. They eat snakes, mice, rats, any kind of garbage like those rotting apples. They live in brush piles or other dry spots and generally are not too commited to dens except for momma possum. If you have possum, you may not have mice, bugs, or rats anymore. They can take the bite of even poisonous snakes, so are great to have around if you live in an area with vipers.

So I have decided to not be upset at the possum. Now that I know how scared he is, how he does not bite, does not carry rabies or other communicable diseases to the dogs (just fleas, maybe), he is welcome to pass through anytime.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Right but wouldn't it be best if he went to live with the other possums in possumland? I don't see how it can be a happy possum living in an urban area with all that fear and lack of predators to keep their populations under control.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Apparently, suburbia is possumland! We provide a habitat that suits them fine. In rural areas, people drive faster and they are probably more likely to get squished on the roads. And possum hunting people and cars are their two biggest predators.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Apparently, suburbia is possumland! We provide a habitat that suits them fine. In rural areas, people drive faster and they are probably more likely to get squished on the roads. And possum hunting people and cars are their two biggest predators.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Quirky - no offense, but would you be happier living in a high-rise in the middle of the city? Only even there you may have to deal with pigeons and, in lots of places, peregrine falcons. to deal with the pidgeons, and how about rats, mice and cock-roaches?
Wildlife is wildlife, and maybe we are related?


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Quirky..I really pity you... hating wildlife. I cannot imagine a person who hates birds and squirrels and opossums and butterflies and hummingbirds. And there are certain criteria the National Wildlife assoc. wants before issuing certification. Don't worry, you probably wouldn't qualify.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Emotional responses to a valid debate. You didn't even read what I wrote very carefully as I never said I hate wildlife, especially birds and desirable wildlife, I just don't want them in my yard/property. Most wildlife isn't cute and friendly and wildlife can be a real pest with diminishing habitat and with humans taking over as caretakers.

So you're right, I probably wouldn't qualify when I don't see the benfit in encouraging wildlife where it would be in danger or disturb the natural balance and have wildlife become pests. When a bear wanders into populated areas and is caught eating trash or whatever, they don't drive the bear back into the woods. They kill the bear.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Quirky, my response was really meant to be tongue in cheek, I know you don't hate wildlife; you probably respect it a lot more than those who feed bears, raccoons and deer and make it a point to attract the creatures, and then refer to them as "my" wildlife.
I am saying that I live at the edge of the wilderness, the critters were here first, and there is no way I want to, or can, control them. It's not up to me to say they are good or bad.
I protect my direct environment best I can to keep damage to a minimum and live my life and let them live theirs.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

All that aside, let's examine the 9 reasons the NWF gives for making you backyard a wildlife habitat.

Why should I garden for wildlife and certify my yard as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat site?

1. It's fun! You'll attract beautiful songbirds, cheerful butterflies and other interesting wildlife to your yard. Watching wildlife can be fun for the whole family.

Fun is for humans not for animals. Nice "beautiful songbirds" and "cheerful butterflies" are mentioned but not hungry buzzards, rodents or possums.

2. It's relaxing! The natural environment of your habitat will provide a peaceful place to relieve stress and unwind, day or night.

Relaxation is for humans, not for animals

3.It makes your yard more attractive! Replacing barren lawn with beautiful wildflowers and other native plants will increase the appeal of your property and will provide a nurturing place for wildlife.

Primary benefit: Makes yard more attractive

4. It nurtures and supports wildlife all year! Habitat restoration is critical for wildlife where commercial and residential development has eliminated most natural areas. Wildlife especially need your help during the cold winter months.

Habitat is removed or destroyed by development. Few people have the resources to create a sustainable habitat in their back yard. I don't have a solution to this problem. Wish I did but an emerging concern is habitat fragmentation.

5. It benefits the environment! Gardening practices that help wildlife, like reducing chemicals and conserving water, also help to improve air, water and soil quality throughout your neighborhood.

Self gratification is for humans (as are the benefits of conserving water and improving air), not animals and this doesn't address why backyard habitats are a good idea, merely good gardening practices.

6.It rewards you! NWF will recognize your dedication to creating a place for wildlife in the modern world. When your habitat is certified, you'll receive a handsome, personalized Certificate of Achievement suitable for framing, recognizing your yard as part of the National Registry of Backyard Wildlife Habitat sites. With your permission, NWF will also send a prepared press release to your local newspaper announcing your certification.

Nothing quite like a handsome paper product and proliferation of unsorted newspapers that don't decompose in landfills to show your respect for the environment.

7.It expands your gardening knowledge and lets you share your love of wildlife with others! Once certified, you'll receive a subscription to the quarterly newsletter, Habitats, providing you with a steady supply of tips and projects to maintain your Backyard Wildlife Habitat site year after year.


Not, not a love of wildlife... a love of certain wildlife. Namely attractive species of birds. Yay more paper products!

8. If your yard is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat site, you are eligible to order and post an attractive yard sign to convey to your friends and neighbors your commitment to wildlife conservation and the environment.

For $25 plus tax for 10 different states.

9. As soon as you certify your yard or garden space, you will automatically become a member of National Wildlife Federation with full membership benefits, including a year's subscription to the award winning National Wildlife magazine.

If you don't want to lose habitat to plantations harvested for paper, Reduce consumption of paper products. This is something you can do TODAY to show your love for wildlife and keep wildlife where it belongs, in the wild.

Anyway, not compelling reasons that attracting wildlife to one's backyard is a good idea. To remind those who might just be joining us, I'm not convinced this is in the best interest of the wildlife and I don't believe most people have the resources to restore a balanced, sustainable habitat in their backyards.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Your opinion has validity, however, I don't want to narrow this debate to only attracting wildlife to probably inappropriate locations, many of us live in the same place the wild things do, and we have to learn to live and let live.
I have a 3/4 acre fenced hill, I keep pigmy goats to control the vegetation. Hot wire on the fence discourages predators, but smaller critters, such as quail and rabbits fest on the goats' leftover hay and grain.
Wild ducks and herons come to my pond.
The quail will also enter the chicken-run and clean up the cracked corn.
Deer browse the horse arena for remnants of hay and to feast on the acorns from all the oaks standing on the property.
The Mountain Lion follows the deer and feasts on venison.
There are all sorts of birds and other beasts crossing the area, some stop to take a bite of something attractive.
To me this is my place, to the wild things this is the wild, I definitely don't attract them, but there is no way I can rid the place of them either.
There are coyotes around.
It was a pair of dogs (apparently someone's pets) that dug under the goat fence and attacked my goats, and I heard they killed a number of goats in this area.
The wildlife and I co-exist.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

I don't differentiate between desirable and undesirable animals and birds. Used to make me mad when my mother would clap her hands to scare away birds she didn't like while welcoming the cardinals. I welcome everything..and that epecially means opposums and skunks and wood chucks. My yard is very interesting and has NO grass to speak of..all bushes and perrenials and trees and ponds, so that's why they like me. Even the hawk comes but I net the pond so he doesn't kill another prize koi.I don't hand feed or name them, just do my part since so much of their habitat is gone forever in housing developments..


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RE: Living with Wildlife

You can't have the rabbits without the foxes.
You can't have the birds without the snakes.

Most people would soil their trousers if they came across a fox or snake in their neighborhood.

There seems to be a lot of people that hate the concept of lawns and that's fine but in many parts of the country it's needed for low cost erosion control. Grasses are beneficial to wildlife also providing food for rabbits and cover for the snakes and rodents. Not too many wildlife buffs interesting in harboring snakes and rodents though.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

There are better ways to establish vegetation for erosion control than lawns.

Sure a lawn is better for erosion control than bare dirt. But there are many other kinds of vegetation that provide better erosion control than a typical cool season turf grass lawn. That is mowed too short, fertilzed and watered to make it grow and then mowed again... a perfect lawn uses too much fossil fuel and too many artificial inputs to be considered good for the environment.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

My property abuts a marsh. I own about 1 acre of "swamp land". I enjoy living here. My marsh land has snakes, fox, rodents and every other animal you would see live by and in the water. Not unusual to see a fox now and then. I wouldn't call myself a wildlife buff, but I do enjoy watching all of the wildlife including the snakes. The rodents, not so much, but they are part of the food chain...

We don't fertilize and I don't really have the beautiful lawn like those that I pass in the developments on my way to the store. Those lawns are beautiful, but I will take my setup over having to maintain that specially cared for grass. I don't have to have a six foot privacy fence because my neighbor's yard bothers me for whatever reason.

We try and keep the natural configuration of the property by not putting chemicals into the aquafer below, little less lawn, alot less pollution.

I didn't make my yard a backyard habitat, I just happened to stumble onto a little piece of heaven and would like it to stay that way. Thank heaven for the Wetlands Act!


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Snakes! I used to fear them something fierce (still do if I want to be honest) we have the rattlesnake, the cottonmouth and the copperhead around here, and I swear everytime someone would see a brown snake it was deemed a copperhead and killed, I was afraid of them but didn't want to get close enough to kill them, and would not of been able to do the deed anyway. I went to the Missouri conservation dept. and got a nice magazine of the snakes in our area, made me so happy to find out not once in the 5 years I have lived here have I actually seen a copperhead (we live right up next to the woods) one guy killed this snake that was black and white spotted, a bunch of people was standing around it, I went up to them and he was saying how he had killed this cottonmouth, I took one look at it and said "good going sherlock, you killed a baby blacksnake" (I poured over that catalouge for DAYS) Which by the way it is illegal to kill any snake in the state of Missouri. I still don't like them but at least I can rest easier with my kids playing in the yard.
We have possoms, lots of them, don't care for them either (the hissing really spooks me) the only time I got a kick out of them was the time I seen the mama carrying the babies, they clung to her back like monkeys.
Raccoons are here as well, really fun to take your trash down at night, to see something raising up out of the trashcan (sure the neighbors in the next county heard me)
We used to have foxes, I rather thought they were cute, the neighbor was feeding them cat food, found 2 dead in my yard, then I never seen any more of them again (secretly wondering if the neighbor was poisoning them)
We have deer, never would of known they were coming into the yard (so far they haven't touched my hostas) but the time it snowed DH, excitedly brought me outside to see the buck tracks (who would of thunk their toes are different from does?)
we have some sort of a Black cat roaming around that everyone says is a black panther (what? do they think we are not living in America?) not too afraid of that one, even though it is probably the one I need to be afraid of.
Hummingbirds I would love to feed, but someone once told me if you start feeding them, they become dependent on your feeder for food, so decided I better not.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

We have only a couple of varieties of poisonous snakes, one being the water moccasin (sp). When we encountered the first one, DH who was extremely wary of snakes, followed the thing all night until it went up into a 80 foot poplar tree for a nap. It was about 8 ft. long. I have accidentally stepped on a brown snake in my vegetable garden. LOL. Not so funny then. You just get used to them I guess. They serve a purpose, eat the rodents, etc.

Yesterday there were 14 deer on my front lawn. I have never seen that many together in all the years I have lived here. The marsh was totally flooded from the rain and I guess they were displaced temporarily. There were at least 6 fawns. It was a sight. I couldn't get to my camera fast enough so I opted to just watch and hope I don't get early onset alzheimers and can remember the beautiful sight.

Panthers - whoa. Do you think perhaps someone was keeping a pet they shouldn't be and it got just a little too big???? That I would be afraid of.

I confess, I have a hummingbird feeder out by my pool. I also plant alot of red and yellow flowers to attract them. DD makes fun of me when we are out there since I am constantly saying - look there's another hummingbird. I love them. One of my personal favorites next to the blue bunting that came last spring.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Micke said it all.

I could have asked for a better supporting argument.

Labmomma also has a good example of habitat fragmentation. Since many cities have regulations on conserving small parcels containing natural areas such as wetlands, cypress domes and so on and so forth, the developers will just have to build around it and farther and farther away from the urban core. Numerous other consequences that come along with this such as environmental and economic. My feelings on this type of conservation is mixed. It's obviously not ideal but Lord knows I have supported this development.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

This cat is not a Panther (I thought the same thing originally, somebody turned their "pet" loose) but I have seen it, it looks more like a Cougar, but it is black? The face doesn't look like the Panther and it is smaller, the ears are more pointy with tufts of hair coming up at the top of them. Someone was saying the tail was as long as 6ft. but it didn't look that long to me, actually at first I just assumed someone made the story up and it just spread across our community, but When I seen it down at the dumpsters I decided that it was a mighty big trashcan cat (lol) I know the conservation dept. had been alerted about it around a year ago, guess they weren't worried about it, seen it again in November. The only thing that ias concerning about it, is he really don't act like a human scares it, more like he just ignores you, weird huh?


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Maybe a bobcat where are you?

Correction for my previous post.
"... could have asked for a better supporting argument"
Should have read.
"...couldn't have asked..."


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Hummingbirds I would love to feed, but someone once told me if you start feeding them, they become dependent on your feeder for food, so decided I better not.

Micke, plant some butterfly bushes (buddleia) in your yard. I have three and the hummingbirds adore them. These shrubs require little to no maintenance, except for being cut back to about 18" in the late winter.
Feeding hummingbirds through a feeder has other issues. If the feeder is not cleaned regularly, the sugar water can grow bacteria which make the birds sick.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

There are many attractants for hummers, another good one is Kniphophia, or torch lily(red hot pokers), butterfly weed is good too along with several liliums. Hummers eat a great many spiders and other bugs, they only use the feeders as a supplement.

Bobcats are not uncommon in many areas; the population in Pa. has increased to the point where they can now be trapped and hunted.

Panthers, Pumas, Painters, all the same animal. Large cats are normally very human shy and they will see you but to see them is unlikely. Its my opinion there are more than officials will admit to.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

We are in Mo. there are suppose to be Cougars here, but they are goldish brown colored. Bobcats are here too, but they don't have a tail do they?
well when officials turn them loose to help control the deer population and it backfires, who is going to admit to anything?

I have tried to plant butterfly bushes and so far I have killed them all, had some seeds from a trade but they never came up. I think they are so pretty, I am going to try again this year (keeping my fingers crossed!) When is the best time to plant these? I think my downfall was planting them too late in the year. I did that with my mimosa too, coulda kicked myself, it was growing happily along in a pot I took it out in July and planted it. Dead in no time:(
I have a crepe myrtle and sometimes I see them around it, but not often so I am not sure if they like it or not.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Usually Butterfly Bush is pretty cheap at places like Home Depot or Lowe's. They have lots of different colors, hummers are attracted to red mostly, but go to pinks, purples, blues and whites also. Try some Black and Blue Salvia, or some Lady in Red Salvia. Also, Phlox, Trumpet Vines, Coral Honeysuckle, Nicotiana, Hummingbird Plant, Shrimp Plant, Monarda, Cardinal Climber, etc. I've even had success with Red Petunia's, but most people don't. If you do put out a feeder, make sure you clean it frequently, especially when it gets hot. You can make your own feeder, or buy one. You can make your own sugar water solution of 1:4 or 1:3. Good luck :) Christy


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Be careful with butterfly bush -- it is an invasive species in some areas.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Funny, but even here in Michigan we get rumors about black panthers. They are not native and officials always say that people who report them are really seeing big domestic cats. The more people get away from nature and have little experience in judging the size of a moving animal at a distance, the worse we get at estimating size. I guess I doubt that they are really Panthers, too.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

I love the unlovable animals too. toads,lizards,snakes(except copperheads),i've killed 2 copperheads and i was sure they were copperheads,we are overrun with the things and my hound was bit by one. I still feel bad about killing them as i even take spiders,granddaddy longlegs and grasshoppers outside to avoid killing them. i have heard a panther a time or two but never seen one.

Don't use pesticides except once when a Direct tv serviceman made me sprey the wasp nests around our porch.They had never bothered me.
I have never seen a possum around here. They must all live in town. LOL Have all kinds of birds,bugs,and creepy things. I leave them all alone except for copperheads and if they left my dogs alone i'd leave them alone.
Its really true that its a jungle out there and humans are the most dangerous animal of all.
vickie


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Now it is cougars. I heard a story on NPR this morning about how there are a lot of cougar sightings, but few traces that would lead the DNR to believe we have a breeding population. They seem to have been releases of "pet" cougars that people got tired of, or that get too big or dangerous to keep at home.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Each to his own I guess. I don't mind sharing the space. Seen in the yard:

Got some good pics of a turkey buzzard in my tree somewhere.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Looks very much like my dog except my dog has floppy ears.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Great shot, Cnetter! We share our property with a family of foxes, they've been here for the past 5 years or so. We have well over 20 acres of undeveloped land plus the 5 that we consider yard, we are a wildlife habitat tho I don't remember the number. We do feed the wildlife, deer, possums, skunks, foxes, raccoons and of course the birds and hummers in addition to planting with them all in mind. We also have ponds, watergarden ponds that are home to frogs and aquatic critters (salamanders, dragonfly nymphs, etc) and a large koi pond.

When we designed the koi pond we did so with the predators in mind, it has a roof so the herons can't easily see it when doing their flyovers and at 5 feet deep, it has straight sides to deter the raccoons. So far so good!


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Little did I know that putting up bird feeders and providing a heated birdbath (only liquid water in a 1/4 mile radius) was only for my hedonistic pleasure. I was really enjoying the flock of Cedar Waxwings that emptied out my birdbath this morning. Maybe I should feel bad about the couple of pairs of Downy Woodpeckers that relish my suet feeders. I have a dog door entrance to the crawlspace under my house: originally it was an escape for wild rabbits to get away from feral cats. Now, I seem to be breeding 'possums under there.
Even if it was all for my pleasure, what would be wrong with it if the wildlife gain? I'm in the middle of suburbia with 3/4 acre (1/3 acre is organic garden). I share my produce with family, neighbors, and needy people.
I feel no guilt for setting the table for wildlife even if I gain the most.


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RE: Living with Wildlife

Now it is cougars. I heard a story on NPR this morning about how there are a lot of cougar sightings, but few traces that would lead the DNR to believe we have a breeding population. They seem to have been releases of "pet" cougars that people got tired of, or that get too big or dangerous to keep at home.

I don't know about Michigan, but I know in Utah, my brother in law had no choice but to take this one down. He was shot in mid charge from horseback:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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RE: Living with Wildlife

That is one big kitty cat!!!!!!
We are told by the Forest rangers that there are no mountain lions here but us oldtimers,esp those that spend alot of their life in the woods know better. They're an endangered species but not gone completely.
vickie


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RE: Living with Wildlife

See that is what this one around her looks like, but it is darker colored, more like the color on the top of the head all over it's body. the Neighbor that owns the property came through and cleared the whole area where the kitty had been staying, since then I haven't seen it, maybe he killed it, who knows, this is the same guy that killed his two ponies and dismembered them leaving them in the field, so the kids from around here who had been going over to pet them and feed em tufts of grass got to get a good look at em (humans are the most dangerous animal of all)


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