Unexpected Wildlife Encounters

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by scotpens, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I've heard it said that our eyes take in more information than we consciously process (same thing is true with hearing). You may have spotted the owl out of the corner of your eye, and only subconsciously registered it, strong enough that it eventually triggered your conscious mind to feel like you're being watched. :)

    I saw a PBS nature program about crows. It was fascinating (with all due respect to Mr. Spock). The crows can recognize people from very far away, and have a "communal" understanding of who is dangerous and who is not. If one spots someone potentially dangerous (resembles someone who previously endangered them), they'll rapidly communicate with each other about the danger then deliver vicious call sounds to the potentially hostile intruder.

    Animals are generally more aware and knowledgeable than most people realize.


    Yesterday I was walking around outside and I saw what appeared to be a black stray cat. It started to scuttle across the street but looked both ways first, and when it got midway it paused, waited for a car to pass, quickly looked both ways again and then darted across the rest of the way to safety. I've seen human beings far less observant of traffic when crossing the street!
     
  2. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

    Joined:
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    Terra Inlandia, Kelvin timeline
    I never met a skunk in that neighborhood (you could tell now and then that they'd been around) but used to see possums all the time - the block wall separating the apartment building where I lived from the one on the next street over was like an opossum main thoroughfare. Meetings with raccoons were much less frequent, always unexpected, but never involved copulation.

    Where I live now, there's a young Cooper's hawk I've met a couple of times. Once, he'd just caught a gopher underneath the big cedar next to our driveway; the other time he'd been cornered on the ground by crows, and my walking unannounced around the corner of the house distracted the crows for long enough that he was able to make his exit.
     
  3. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    My partner and I were traversing Monitor Pass (about 8,300 ft. elevation, over the Sierra Nevada mountains) last spring, and were at the highest point of the pass (just passing the sign for it). We were the only car in sight and it was a beautiful sunny day. Here's a picture get an idea of the open terrain in that spot: Monitor Pass.

    All of a sudden, we see a large brown bear running at full speed across the road in front of us. We could see it starting all the way to the left of the open terrain, running across the paved road, and slowly disappearing as a speck into the field on the right. It was far enough in front of us that it didn't seem to know or care about our presence, but it was a beautiful sight.
     
  4. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Amazing. I'd never have expected Merlins to go that far south and into such a hot and dry climate. Ours live mainly on small birds and mice which both would be rather rare near the salt lakes, I imagine.
    I'm at about the same latitude as Vancouver. Elevation varies between 4700 feet and 1200 feet (the area is a bit hilly...)
     
  5. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    :lol:

    Yes, my old pond in the back garden suffered from heron predation too. One of the local grey herons must have spotted it while on his rounds and added it to his usual patrol. So much for the fish population.

    Other than that, I wouldn't say there's a lot of "unexpected" wildlife in my garden. Some young foxes make a patrol of it most nights, and we used to have hedgehogs until they picked a fight with the cars. At university, muntjac would sometimes walk past my window, which was always a nice surprise, and of course there were my bats. I say "my bats" because I grew quite fond of them. I think I was attracting insects, because they tended to swoop around me, far closer than I thought they'd come.
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Is this the start of a beautiful friendship? Or at least a satisfying alliance?

    "Ever having a gopher problem, mate; well, give me a call, I'll see what I can do, you get my meaning?"
     
  7. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    LOL that reminds me of my buddy Diane from Canada who once ran out of chat screaming "MY FISHIES!!!!!"
    Turned out that she has a goldfish pond made of thick plastic foil and a herd of moose jumped the fence, waded into the pond and ate all the water lilies, slicing the foil with their sharp-edged hooves and causing the pond to fall dry.
    Afaik she's been eating a lot of Moose stew lately...
     
  8. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
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    Well it is pretty cold and wet (with snow) right now; when I saw the bird we had gone about two weeks without temperatures above freezing. We're well within the merlins' winter range, and there should be plenty for them to hunt. I've seen them in rural areas before, but never in the suburbs.

    Justin
     
  9. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Brooklyn
    I was walking down 6th avenue with a friend when a guy walking a few feet in front of us suddenly stopped, pulled down his trousers, and shat in the middle of the sidewalk. Not really wildlife, but I figure it's as close as I'm going to get.
     
  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
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    where it hurts
    Moose were a common fixture at Eielson. I sure remember trying to escape their attention whenever I saw one, especially when they had their kids in tow. My parents' van almost got rammed by an angry mama moose once--as in, it charged and the van barely got out of the way in time. :eek:

    When I was a kid living in small town Illinois, I found a dead bat on the stairs inside the house. My mother didn't believe me when I told her it was there, until I stabbed it with a fork and brought it to her. (I knew better than to touch a dead wild animal.)

    One time while living in Indiana, my neighbor had a raccoon in her garage. We were trying to shoo it out, and it climbed up onto the automatic opener dealie. Trying to scare it out, I hit the button to start opening the door, and it thrashed and globs of something fell out onto the car. My neighbor's daughter started screaming, "you're squishing it!" But no, it had just shit itself in fear. It ran out of the garage, never to be seen again. Crazy ass raccoon.
     
  11. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A good stealth lesson. Are you sure your Sgt didn't specially arrange it as part of AIT?
     
  12. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Back when my wife and I were dating, we went out camping one weekend at Grayton Beach State Park, on the Gulf Coast. There was a walking trail there that was marked as a sand dune trail. About a half mile or so in, the terrain started to change to more of a swamp, but we were still on the trail. I was actually keeping my eye out for alligators, when all of a sudden I heard a noise in front of me, and my future wife took off screaming in the other direction. I look down, and right in front of my sandal-clad feet was a Cottonmouth, coiled up, mouth open, and ready to strike! :eek: If she hadn't run screaming, I may have just frozen there and got bit, but thankfully she did. I don't know if I took off after her more in fear or more out of concern for her. Since that day, though, Indiana Jones and I have something in common - I hate snakes!!!
     
  13. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks I like the Beats and the Shouting Premium Member

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    Were you stationed at Eielson?
     
  14. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    where it hurts
    My father was, so I spent 4 years up there.
     
  15. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks I like the Beats and the Shouting Premium Member

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    What years? I was there 87 to 90. Usually don't meet to many people who were at Eielson.
     
  16. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    '95-'99. Graduated from BEHS.
     
  17. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Driving home last year I saw this on when I got off the highway.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    I see turkeys when I drive through Pennsylvania. It's weird. They just wander around at the side of the road.
     
  19. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    QC, IL, USA
    Yeah, my sister just moved to Pittsburgh, and she was talking about how turkeys just wander around the sidewalks. Bizarre.
     
  20. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    It was very weird. They were strolling along like they didn't have a care in the world.