Wildlife in Your Own Backyard

Vagabond

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25,576
I live in the middle of a large city, but there is a creek right by where I live and lots of open space and tall trees. The largest mammals around here are coyotes. We have had a breeding pair of great horned owls, and I have also seen a barn owl and a red-tailed hawk. Among the smaller birds we get are house sparrows and Anna's hummingbirds. The famous feral parrots also stop by every once in a while.

What wildlife can you see from where you are or going out for a minute or two?
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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58,955
I live in what they now call an exurb. It's a suburb but it's also the 4th largest city in our area.

Our place used to belong to an avid gardener and we see a lot of hummingbirds because he planted the kinds of bushes that attract them. There are also possums that wander by. And feral cats. But oddly enough, no squirrels.

We are also near the foothills so we have had mountain lions (aka cougars and pumas) in our complex.

Across the street is a creek and a recreation trail. When using it, I see all kinds of water birds, squirrels, and similar urban wild animals.

There are definitely coyotes around here too. But luckily I have never seen them. (Luckily for our dog who has to go out to do his business in particular.)
 

attyfan

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9,177
There is a park about 2 miles from our house -- while on our afternoon exercise walks, my husband I have seen an occasional coyote -- but more recently, some blue herons!
 

Prancer

Chitarrista
Staff member
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56,551
I live at the very edge of a suburb beside a farm that is beside a wetlands preserve, so:

Coyote, deer, oppossums, skunk, raccoons, many different types of snake, great horned owls, barn owls, several types of hawk, bats, herons, ducks, geese, moles, chipmunks, squirrels, foxes, frogs and toads, etc. Pretty much anything that lives around in this area will come my way.

We also have a ferret that either escaped or was turned loose (I didn't expect it to live very long, but it's been almost a year now) and a bird that definitely isn't native.
 

Garden Kitty

Tranquillo
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29,811
Deer, chipmunks, raccoons, possum, skunk and a variety of birds are very common but I've also seen some fox and a coyote, but they're more rare. Years ago I actually saw a serval in the back yard which was pretty scary. The local newspaper later reported that someone actually had it as a pet and it escaped.
 

millyskate

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16,747
Coyotes :eek:
Britain isn't exactly known for it's extreme wildlife, so I can largely see pigeons and squirrels :shuffle: The squirrels are so abundant it's not rare to see 5 or 6 in the same tree. Some bluetits, robins and blackbirds also come into my garden. Late spring we also see rabbits, which is the height of excitement :shuffle:

There's a bird reserve down the road where there are stalks sometimes. And foxes, but not a fraction of the amount I used to see in London.
 

SkateSand

Cat Servant
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2,740
We live about 25 miles from the city in a wooded rural area. We also put in one large pond and four small ponds so we get lots of wildlife stopping by to get a drink, especially in the summer when the seasonal streams dry up. We also planted butterfly bushes, honeysuckle vines, and flowering fruit trees (in addition to a fenced off fruit tree orchard) so we attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The ponds sustain frogs, goldfish (which reproduce on their own), koi, crawfish, and various different water bugs in addition to attracting birds and dragonflies. On a regular basis, we see deer, possums, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, and more rarely, foxes. Neighbors have advised us that there is the occasional bear and mountain lion sighting, which we have never seen, although we have seen bobcats. I consider it a perfect morning if I wake up and look out a window and see a doe with a fawn sipping water from one of the ponds. :)
 

Susan1

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12,006
Not "wild" life, but at my previous house, in a brick subdivision with fenced in yards, I had cardinals born in a nest outside my kitchen window; a squirrel having a baby in the shrubs out front during an Indy 500 rain delay; an opossum every summer along the neighbor's privacy fence. I have a "picture" of three raccoons walking across the back of the yard. You can only see outlines and their eyes because it was dark and I couldn't go out and scare them.

Bunny nests in the front yard. My boyfriend accidentally stepped on one because he thought it was a lump in the grass and bunnies went squirting out all over. I screamed louder than they did. I was always expecting a herd of deer to come romping down my street, but we saw plenty of deer in open or woody areas around town, just on the edge of housing. One time there was one standing on the other side of a wire fence right next to I-75. I kept saying "stay back, stay back". Two different times and places, we saw three of them come out of trees together and bounce across the road.

And I saw a fox near Old River Park on the way to work one morning. I said "I saw a fox" to everybody that walked past my desk all morning. My boss said they saw them at the company golf course a lot. Well, it was my first.

Nothing here but bunnies and squirrels.
 

Susan1

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12,006
Deer, chipmunks, raccoons, possum, skunk and a variety of birds are very common but I've also seen some fox and a coyote, but they're more rare. Years ago I actually saw a serval in the back yard which was pretty scary. The local newspaper later reported that someone actually had it as a pet and it escaped.
My friend was walking her dog years ago (a Brittany Spaniel) and they saw a coyote walking down the sidewalk on the other side of the street toward them. They looked at the coyote, the coyote looked at them, and they all kept on walking in their own direction, looking back at each other.
 

Japanfan

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25,552
I've seen coyotes in my city, but never in my yard.

We've lots of birds around here.

Once a racoon made her or his way into our kitchen. Then quickly made her or his way out.

Don't know whether rats qualify as wildlife. They do in my view, but to many are just vermin.

We have had a colony of rats living burrowed under our back porch for some time. Mr. Japanfan plugged all the holes some time ago and we have not seen one indoors for years. But one got in this past week. Mr. Japanfan went on the warpath, but so far rat = 1, Mr. Japanfan = 0.
 

annie720

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1,318
We mostly have bucks with huge racks. They seem to like an area under a tree in the back yard right next to the house, but we can't see them from the main level. Often our back neighbor will call us if there's a particularly striking one and we'll run downstairs and take a look. Coyotes are very common here and we've seen a number of them on the streets and on the golf course. There's a family of mountain lions living in a ravine in the community, but they haven't bothered anyone. We've seen bear and mountain lion tracks in our yard.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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8,150
I live in a green area in the city. It's a neighborhood full of ravines. Our ravine is a block from my house, so besides being squirrel central we get all the common critters. My dogs go crazy when a groundhog, raccoon or rabbit passes through our yard and will sniff along their path for weeks. I see at least a couple cardinals everyday and we get a lot of monarch butterflies passing through in the summer. Also a lot of neighbors have bat houses and one time a bat came to visit my living room rafters. Other people have seen a coyote in the ravine but I haven't run into one yet. I do see deer around the woods near the railroad tracks from time to time.
 

Finnice

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9,938
I live in the middle of the forest, so we have deer and elks and lots of rabbits. Sometimes a fox, and once my cats chase pine marten to a pine. One of the happiest moments in my life was to see a lynx and cub cross the road about one mile from our house.
We also have lots of squirrels, who seem to live in peace with the cats.
And birds: different types of woodpeckers and hawks, swans, sea eagles, you name it.
Now during the BB it is lovely when the blackbirds have started to twitter.
 

Susan1

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12,006
Wildlife fans? Is there any bird that sounds like a woodpecker? If not, I heard one. I heard the t-t-t-t-t and it stopped for about 30 seconds and then did it again a couple more times. And I was hearing the usual variety of birds at the same time.
 

Kasey

Fan of many, uber of none
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16,395
What I love about Reno is that even in the middle of the city, you are less than 10 minutes away from nature. There are all kinds of bunnies, lizards, deer, coyotes, snakes, birds, etc around here, and bear up in the higher ranges.
 

Peaches LaTour

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2,470
We have had a series of skunks over the last 11 years that have "perfumed" our area in the early morning or during the night. We see some bald eagles, deer, snakes (scream!), there is a pair of red tail hawks that have lived in our area for years.

Bobcats have been seen around here, too; coyotes as well.

One time I was driving down a local road & a young buck pranced out in front of my car. He was chomping on greenery & he had a large piece of a leaf-covered branch stuck in his antler.
 

Susan1

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12,006
Look for a tree with exposed trunk, and the holes you can see next to the bird in the video - dead giveaway.
It was too far away to actually look for. There are some really tall trees, still bare, some dead, behind the house across the street. (People are always having trees taken down in this neighborhood, at the bottom of my street across the street just last week.) That's where it sounded like it was coming from. There are a bunch of hills here, so there's no way for me to go look and I don't have binoculars even if I knew where to look.
I had the storm door screen down in between the storms, and it was just so quiet except for other birds that it really echoed. Stupid question - do they fly? They are birds, huh? I wouldn't know one if I saw one go by. We've got tons of birds and I see cardinals every year. Oh, I watched a bluejay kill another bird in my yard at my previous house. I had to keep my dog away from it till my boyfriend came over and got it. It's colder and windy today, so no open windows.
 

Garden Kitty

Tranquillo
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29,811
A friend recently sent me a video her husband took at their house showing a bobcat casually strolling through their back yard! That's a little too wild for my liking. It's also another good reason their cat is indoors only!!
 

Susan1

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12,006
I used to hear two birds calling to each other at dawn on summer Saturday mornings, when I was still in bed not getting up at 6 a.m., across the neighborhood at my previous house (aka wild kingdom ha ha). Someone said they were morning doves, but the name is mourning dove, so I don't know. It was "cooo-cooo" and then from a different direction "cooo-cooo" and then back again, so they were talking to each other.
 

Vagabond

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25,576
Coyotes attacked a young girl in a park near my house. :eek: That is extremely unusual behavior from coyotes. I wonder what is up with them?
Coyote attacks on people in the Bay Area (where both of us live) are extremely unusual. While I have no idea about the particular circumstances, there are several things people can do to prevent coyotes lessen the risks of coyote attacks -- not just on themselves, but on others as well. These include not leaving pet food outside, harvesting fruit growing on trees before it falls to the ground and picking it up immediately if it does, not abandoning pets, not feeding feral cats, and making sure all compost and trash is kept in the solid containers when it is left out for collection. In other words, please don't feed the coyotes.
 

paskatefan

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8,267
We get squirrels a lot & sometimes bunny rabbits. Every once in a while mallard ducks fly into our yard (we don't live too far from a city park). One day in winter 2019 I was walking to the gym, and a deer was walking around in our neighborhood.
 

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