Jul 20 2008

City Raccoons

Published by at 7:48 am under Mammals

Raccoon family in Florida (photo by Chuck Tague)

Raccoon family in Florida (photo by Chuck Tague)

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 in the city are no surprise, but you rarely see them during the day.

I didn’t want one to be in that tree because it’s loaded with bird nests so I approached and made my best cat-hissing sound.  The coon climbed even higher.

What next?

After a while four raccoons — mom and three grown kids — climbed down the tree and ran to the park across the street.  There they nosed around for food while Carolina wrens, blue jays and robins announced their every move.

The neighborhood bully, a tom cat, arrived on the scene and showed why a cat hiss scares the coons.  He charged straight at them from across the street.  The coons’ hair stood up on the backs of their necks and they all reached for a tree to climb.  No one moved. The cat stared them down and left.

Later they crossed the street again and hid beneath my car.  Why are they so determined to come over here?

They’re aiming for my backyard.  They left a mess of pawprints in my bird bath and the water was nearly gone.  Thirsty raccoons.

If they reproduce next winter the neighborhood will be overrun.


(photo by Chuck Tague of a raccoon family in Florida.  They’re everywhere!)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “City Raccoons”

  1. Jon 25 Jul 2008 at 2:15 pm

    That’s a funny story. I grew up in Brentwood Boro and my family had a couple close encounters with raccoons. My dad was a contracter and as such had rented a garage about a block from our house to store most of his tools and materials. One summer he discovered that a coon had made a den up in the ceiling of his garage. I forget if it had babies or not (this was more than 15 years ago), but he had to call animal control to get it removed. A few summers later my mom was awoken one night by the sound of something falling down the chimney leading to the fireplace in her bedroom. Fortunately the fireplace was nonfunctional and the chimney closed off. She had a person come and take a look down the chimney and they said there was a distinct tunnel through all the dirt and debris that had collected in it and that a raccoon and likely fallen down the chimney and later climbed out. We had screens installed on the tops of our chimneys after that.

  2. Marciaon 23 Jul 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Reminds me of the first time I saw a city raccoon. I was feeding a stray cat & had no idea there was such a thing as raccoons in the city. Went out back & thought it was Miaow at the dish until I realized the critter was too large. Makes me laugh because of the TV commercial of the lady mistaking a raccoon for a cat because she needs new glasses….well no one will ever call me “eagle eye”!

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