[CT Birds] Non-bird Wildlife
Kathy Van Der Aue
kvda at optonline.net
Tue Aug 2 22:20:15 EDT 2011
A great argument for the "Keep Your Cat Indoors" campaign.
Kathy Van Der Aue, Southport, CT
kvda at optonline.net
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sarah Faulkner" <sffaulkner at comcast.net>
To: "Jan Hollerbach" <smilifase at gmail.com>; "CT Ornithological Association
COA" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 9:55 PM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Non-bird Wildlife
> It's nice to hear about other wildlife, too, Jan! Thanks for the story.
> There was a coyote that gave me a good staring just around the corner from
> my house a few years ago -- a huge animal, thick coat, broad muzzle --
> looked for all the world like a full wolf. It crossed in front of my car
> and I stopped to get a good look, and it stopped and stared back at me
> through the open window -- and I felt the hair rise on the back of my neck
> and wished the window was closed. One of the few times I've felt like
> Biologists have recently reclassified our Eastern Coyote as a separate
> subspecies, because they clearly are evolving into a more wolf-like
> creature, filling the empty niche for a top canid in the northeast.
> There's debate about how many of them have any of the wolf blood/DNA, vs.
> natural selection choosing those with the best genes to survive our
> climate/snow/food sources, but there are a number of characteristics that
> are showing up in our northeastern coyotes that were not present 20 years
> ago: larger overall body size; thicker, stronger legs; shorter, broader
> and stronger muzzle; shorter and broader ears; and -- and this is a little
> controversial -- a bushier tail that some are holding upright. It used to
> be that you could tell a coyote from a wolf simply by the way it held its
> tail. Wolves run with their tails up, while coyotes run with their tails
> down. Apparently this is no longer the case. Also, coyotes did not in
> the past hunt in a structured pack with an alpha pair as wolves do. This
> meant that coyotes couldn't hunt deer, which requires coordination and a
> hierarchy. Recent data in Connecticut indicates that the social structure
> true of wolves has been observed in at least one family group of coyotes.,
> and they've been filmed hunting deer. Fascinating, no?
> I had an interesting but yucky wildlife experience on Sunday morning. I
> went out to get my newspaper, ready to sit in my garden, drink my coffee,
> and enjoy the early morning birds and coolness, when I found something
> gross on the front lawn: an animal's stomach and a length of intestines.
> Both were sizeable, and so I put on my best biology detective hat: final
> analysis showed there had been a kill on my front lawn only a few hours
> earlier, and my neighbor was missing her cat whose fur matched the pieces
> in the grass. I'm thinking the predator was a bobcat, since the kill scene
> was pretty clean, with only the stomach and piece of intestines (plus
> bloody grass) to show anything had happened. Coyotes usually make more of
> a mess, and owls usually take the whole prey away. Whatever it was took
> the time to disembowel the prey before running off with it.
> Cool/gross/scary to know that a sizeable predator took down a 14 lb
> housecat on my front lawn just before dawn... in little Collinsville!
> (And, with apologies to the cat lovers amongst us, I was not overly upset
> at this, since that cat had been hunting my songbirds!!! Justice in the
> animal kingdom!!!)
> Sarah Faulkner
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jan Hollerbach" <smilifase at gmail.com>
> To: "CT Ornithological Association COA" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 8:44 PM
> Subject: [CT Birds] Non-bird Wildlife
>> Got home from work and went to clean/refill bird baths when I saw
>> movement in the "wilderness" section of my yard. Usually it's a deer, and
>> at first glance I thought it was a small deer. But then it stopped. And I
>> stopped. And it was a coyote!
>> Now, having grown up in CA, I'm used to the raggedy slinky "Wiley Coyote"
>> types. Kinda like a guy in a bar trying to pick you up wearing a
>> "leisure suit". This was not that guy! I remember the discussion about
>> Coyote X Wolf, and this looked more like that possibility. This Coyote
>> was bigger, less dissheveled looking and did seem to have a good-sized
>> head. He was pretty intimidating! After a good staring, he walked off,
>> but I'm thinking I may not need to apply Bobbex to my plants to keep the
>> deer away anymore!
>> Also, around dusk I was gonna go out and fill my bird feeders on the
>> deck. When I looked outside to make sure there were no more birds at the
>> feeders, what do I find but a baby racoon asleep on my deck railing!
>> I guess trying to make your yard bird friendly doesn't stop with the
>> Jan Hollerbach
>> Sent from my iPhone
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