Jul 20 2008
Birds are pre-empted by mammals today because…
Early this morning as I drank coffee on the front porch I heard an unusual scrabbling noise at the base of my neighbor’s blue spruce. A raccoon was running up the tree!
Raccoons living near people is no surprise, but you rarely see them during the day. I hated to see a coon at that tree because it’s loaded with bird nests so I made my best cat-hissing sound. Stupid me. The raccoon got scared and climbed even higher.
I went inside to get my binoculars and returned quietly. After a while four raccoons came out of the tree and ran across the street to Magee Field. At the edge of the park they nosed around for fruit and considered crossing the street again. I could follow them with my ears as carolina wrens, blue jays and robins announced their every move.
I got a laugh when the tom cat who rules our neighborhood noticed the raccoons and charged across the street at them. The coons’ hair stood up on the backs of their necks and they all reached for a tree to climb. The cat stared them down and left.
There were certainly determined to cross the street. At one point I was surprised to see three sets of eyes peering out from under my car. I cat-hissed again.
Four! All of them were adult sized so they must be this year’s grown-up kits and mother on the prowl for food. Yow. If these coons reproduce next winter the neighborhood will be overrun!
(photo by Chuck Tague of a raccoon family in Florida. They’re everywhere!)
p.s. Aha! Now I know why they wanted to come over here. It hasn’t rained for days and I have a bird bath in the backyard that sits on the ground. After I finished this blog I noticed the bird bath was empty but damp. Thirsty raccoons.