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Old 07-17-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,401,843 times
Reputation: 1920

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Thought I would inject this topic as just public interest. I am amazed at the amount of wildlife which can survive in an urban setting. Chime on in with your experiences, good or bad. These are some of mine.

When Mason first started to explode with subdivisions, it was hard to escape the stench of skunks being killed by cars. Don't notice that much anymore so I guess the skunks lost out.

Two weeks ago I rose one morning to see three deer in my back yard, two adults and a young one. Interesting the remaining wooded plots can still sustain them.

I have a storage shed in my back yard. For several years now groundhogs have been living under it. My one neighbor is upset because they tunnel under the fence and love to dine on his garden. I told him I would not put out poison as I was concerned domestic animals may consume it, but if he wanted to he could hire an exterminator to get rid of them. Another neighbor has two Springer Spaniel dogs who manage to catch most of the young and present them to their owners. This keeps the population down.

Another neighbor has a pond in the corner of his back yard which abuts mine. It is a beacon for not only the pesty Canadian Geese but Mallard Ducks. The Mallards are quite interesting to observe. There was one male with a deformed foot who was easy to identify, as we did over several seasons. The wife called him our homo duck since he was always with the males, the females shunned him. The wife bought sacks of cracked corn to feed the ducks. Before you knew it we had a parade of ducks every afternoon who would fly from the closeby larger lake in the city park and land near the neighbors pond, and then parade to our yard for the corn. It was extremely fascinating to observe the pecking order for who could eat when. Suddenly we had a visit from the local police resulting from a complaint we were causing a public nuisance. Several of the Mallards had recognized the advantages of a food supply such that they had nested in the foundation plantings of our neighbors. To the wife's chagrin we had to shut down the feeder.

This current year seems to have an abundance of rabbits. We are seeing young ones everywhere.

Close to me there is a rundown, vacant farm, which has had most of the property sold off. But now we have reports coyotes have moved into the dilapidated barn and are thriving. I thought coyotes belonged out West but apparently there are still some around here.

Just thought of why the deer were in my back yard. I have several beds of daylillies and they just love to feed on the blossoms.

With reference to another thread. DO NOT buy sacks of in-the-shell peanuts to feed squirrels and store them in your garage. If you do, expect an unbelievable explosion of field mice inside the house. Three guesses, the first two which don't count, of who did this in our household. I never thought mice would feed on peanuts, but YES they do.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:44 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,482,181 times
Reputation: 8244
Despite a perimeter fence (due to the pool) we have deer all the time. They just step over the fence and help themselves to day lillies, hibiscus, tomatoes, etc. We have a wild turkey, snakes, rabbits and lizards, endless lizards. Hundreds of lizards. We saw a fox in the driveway last year.

Here is a lizard video:


‪LMR S153528.5355110-0400 D15202 A3754 F33 E.mp4‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:00 PM
 
5,807 posts, read 10,379,176 times
Reputation: 4311
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Thought I would inject this topic as just public interest. I am amazed at the amount of wildlife which can survive in an urban setting. Chime on in with your experiences, good or bad. These are some of mine.

When Mason first started to explode with subdivisions, it was hard to escape the stench of skunks being killed by cars. Don't notice that much anymore so I guess the skunks lost out.

Two weeks ago I rose one morning to see three deer in my back yard, two adults and a young one. Interesting the remaining wooded plots can still sustain them.

I have a storage shed in my back yard. For several years now groundhogs have been living under it. My one neighbor is upset because they tunnel under the fence and love to dine on his garden. I told him I would not put out poison as I was concerned domestic animals may consume it, but if he wanted to he could hire an exterminator to get rid of them. Another neighbor has two Springer Spaniel dogs who manage to catch most of the young and present them to their owners. This keeps the population down.

Another neighbor has a pond in the corner of his back yard which abuts mine. It is a beacon for not only the pesty Canadian Geese but Mallard Ducks. The Mallards are quite interesting to observe. There was one male with a deformed foot who was easy to identify, as we did over several seasons. The wife called him our homo duck since he was always with the males, the females shunned him. The wife bought sacks of cracked corn to feed the ducks. Before you knew it we had a parade of ducks every afternoon who would fly from the closeby larger lake in the city park and land near the neighbors pond, and then parade to our yard for the corn. It was extremely fascinating to observe the pecking order for who could eat when. Suddenly we had a visit from the local police resulting from a complaint we were causing a public nuisance. Several of the Mallards had recognized the advantages of a food supply such that they had nested in the foundation plantings of our neighbors. To the wife's chagrin we had to shut down the feeder.

This current year seems to have an abundance of rabbits. We are seeing young ones everywhere.

Close to me there is a rundown, vacant farm, which has had most of the property sold off. But now we have reports coyotes have moved into the dilapidated barn and are thriving. I thought coyotes belonged out West but apparently there are still some around here.

Just thought of why the deer were in my back yard. I have several beds of daylillies and they just love to feed on the blossoms.

With reference to another thread. DO NOT buy sacks of in-the-shell peanuts to feed squirrels and store them in your garage. If you do, expect an unbelievable explosion of field mice inside the house. Three guesses, the first two which don't count, of who did this in our household. I never thought mice would feed on peanuts, but YES they do.
Coyotes at one time were primarily found in the great plains and southwest, that is why they are still associated with those parts of the country.

As other predators such as wolves were exterminated, and the eastern forests cleared for farms, (thus created an open environment that is similar to the plains) they expanded and thrived. Coyotes really don't hunt in packs, are flexible in finding new territory, which makes them more able to thrive with people.

Why anyone would actually feed squirrels is beyond me. Usually people try to keep them away.

You can find rabbits even in very urban areas. When Chicago was planting its flowers at Millenium park, the rabbits were a big problem as they kept nibbling down the plantings they had to deal with that.

In fact, as hunting is not allowed in urban areas, often times wildlife actually thrives. I would think this is especially true in Cincinnati, with its hilly terrain, bluffs, and ravines, provides a LOT of space for wildlife to wander.

There are tons of wooded parks all over. Last time there, I went through a walk in Mt. Airy forest. I didn't see any deer as I recall, although I'm sure there are plenty there. I would think even places like Mt. Adams would have more wildlife than one might think, being close to Eden Park (which actually has some natural woods).
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:19 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,963,901 times
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Some years deer have nearly decimated eveything they can eat in Mt. Airy Forest and you couldn't drive through there without seeing them everywhere. A little-publicized culling program's apparently been helping somewhat.

When it gets dry, they eat any kind of foliage with a high water content (blossoms, hostas, stonecrop), and in the winter they've even eaten the holly bushes in our yard. Black pepper and those little white canvas bags with deer repellant in them help, but only up to a point. And I cannot leave a bird feeder out at night due to the aggressive raccoons. But hey. It's their neighborhood, too.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:21 PM
 
405 posts, read 755,229 times
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We had coyotes in Hyde Park on Grandin road. They would run by very frequently at night in the back (where it is wooded) and make the most outlandish noises, yips and howls. I only saw them once in 1.5 years, they were quite pretty. They hopped over fences with ease. They drove the dogs in the neighborhood crazy.

Our current house is on a hillside (well more like a cliff) and in back there is a large hole near a foundation pier, apparently racoons live in there. My wife was on the exercise machine in the basement when a large raccoon strolled onto the back porch, stood up and tried to open the door. Their footprints are everywhere. I think they think they own the house and we should get out.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:27 PM
 
405 posts, read 755,229 times
Reputation: 140
Default re: lizards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
lizards, endless lizards. Hundreds of lizards. We saw a fox in the driveway last year.
Here is a lizard video:
I'm sure you've heard the story about these lizards. What I heard was they were native to Milan (I think) Italy and in the 1950's some Hyde Park kid brought about 6 of them back. Apparently the climate was similar enough that they thrived. I have heard they really need the old fashioned stone walls. At our house in Hyde Park that is where they lived, in the cracks.

Someone else told me they are expanding their range by going down the railroad tracks and have made it to Indiana, where they are not highly regarded. But, I like the little guys.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:21 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,482,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolden View Post
I'm sure you've heard the story about these lizards. What I heard was they were native to Milan (I think) Italy and in the 1950's some Hyde Park kid brought about 6 of them back. Apparently the climate was similar enough that they thrived. I have heard they really need the old fashioned stone walls. At our house in Hyde Park that is where they lived, in the cracks.

Someone else told me they are expanding their range by going down the railroad tracks and have made it to Indiana, where they are not highly regarded. But, I like the little guys.
I have heard the story. I think there are two variations of these lizards and I know there are at least two stories. For my part, I like the little fellows. They eat insects, drive the cat nutz and the birds come to get one every now and then.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:15 PM
 
405 posts, read 755,229 times
Reputation: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
I have heard the story. I think there are two variations of these lizards and I know there are at least two stories. For my part, I like the little fellows. They eat insects, drive the cat nutz and the birds come to get one every now and then.
Did you ever see one of them running around with just a stump for a tail? I think they have those "fall off" tails that can fall off when a predator grabs it. But it does hurt their vanity
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:19 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,482,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolden View Post
Did you ever see one of them running around with just a stump for a tail? I think they have those "fall off" tails that can fall off when a predator grabs it. But it does hurt their vanity
I'd bet half of my lizards have a nipped off tail. I saw a baby today that was about 2 inches long and had a truncated tail. I assume it is the birds that get them. Robins probably.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati near
2,511 posts, read 3,366,086 times
Reputation: 5621
In my neck of the woods we have a big deer problem. The deer are abundant and not the least bit skittish. My dog will run to the edge of the fenced portion of our yard barking with an entire family of deer about 10 feet away on the other side of the fence, and they will just stare at her. I have thrown acorns and sweetgum balls at them to try to get them to leave, but unless the projectile hits them in the head they and wait like I am going to feed them. They eat my wife's hydrangeas and flowers, and leave dung all over our back yard. Sometimes at night we will see a dozen of them laying on the ground sleeping, and certain times of year this kills the grass.
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