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Robyn's Wildlife Page

Last Updated: 11/11/13

Seven of our deer feed on the first grass of spring in our front yard, 2/14/99.

Wildlife - on this page

Wildlife - on other pages

Eastern Wild Turkeys
Songbirds
Vultures
Deer
Squirrels

Wild Animals that Frequent Ponds

Mammals
Birds
Snakes
Attracting and Deterring Wildlife
Turtles
Frogs, Toads, Newts, and Salamanders
Insects
Microorganisms

Butterflies and Moths
The Organic Pond
The Wildlife Pond


Other Wildlife

I have moved a lot of the text that was on this page to other pages with more detail. Mostly, I moved information on deer, foxes, ducks, and squirrels to pages on those animals.

We have seen the following mammals on our land in central Maryland: deer, raccoon (keep me up at night screaming!), opossum, gray squirrel, chipmunk, bats, red fox, cottontail rabbits, meadow voles, house mice, moles, brown wood rats (native rats that live in the country), and ground hogs (also called woodchucks; neighbors had them but I finally saw one on our land in October 2006 which you can read about in the November 2006 pond newsletter).

I saw what looked exactly like a mink crossing the road about 1/4 of a mile from our land back in the 1990's I think. On 8/22/05, I could have sworn I saw three mink cross the back of our land. Read the details in my September 2005 newsletter.

We have seen the following rare and/or large birds: turkey vultures, Eastern wild turkeys (only two sightings in the late 80's and early 90's but then another on 4/21/03, see my May 2003 pond newsletter under interesting animal sightings for details), red-tailed hawks (they bred on our land, and the babies scream a lot), red-shouldered hawks, goshawks, falcons, Canadian geese, and great blue herons (more often with my crystal clear pond with bright red fish to signal them in!!).

Other animals we have include a few resident Eastern box turtles, tree frogs, American and common toads, bullfrogs, pickerel frogs, leopard frogs, wood frogs, spring peepers, and millions of species of insects and arachnids. Snakes that we have seen include black rat snakes, orange corn snakes, garter snakes, copperhead (one baby), one Northern ringneck snake (see my August 2006 Newsletter), and perhaps an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (one baby). For more information on box turtles, go to my box turtle page. For more information on toads and frogs, go to my frog page.

We know the following exist but we never see them: screech, great horned, and barn owls, and striped skunks (seen a few squashed on the road).

Believe it or not, there have been unsubstantiated sightings of black bear, wolverine, coyote, mountain lion, and wolf in our area. The only one I saw was the wolf but it could have been a malamute (I can usually tell them apart) or part wolf. It was trying to kill my turkeys through the fence during a deep snow. Its behavior of stalking and strength slamming the fencing and its huge paw prints made me think wolf and not domestic dog. The turkeys were covered in blood afterwards from slamming the fence right back at him! I doubt any of the other sightings were real but you never know!

Thanks to a certain developer who shall remain nameless (so I do not get sued!), about 900 acres abutting and near my land are being destroyed for a mini-city. [Update 2/12/07, about half the development is done; a lot was destroyed). A state park is still behind us and a county park (former landfill) is in front of us. One city is on 800 acres of abandoned farmland and old growth forest. The other is about 100 acres of 50% corn field and pasture and 50% over 200 year old forest on steep slopes. Needless to say, I detest developers, especially this one. We fought the destruction, but he has most government officials on his side. It is all about money. Millions of trees, plants, and animals were and are being killed while others migrate to our land and other semi-safe areas. Our deer population has quadrupled due to the migration. We now have a resident raccoon (well, probably a bunch of them!) which we never had before. A hideous house now sits 10 feet from our property line. The light and noise generated from there scares off more wildlife. Currently, there is a beaver dam in the path of his bulldozers, soon to be obliterated. Unlike most mammals, the beaver probably will not run from the machines and be crushed in its home. When I picture an increasingly-rare Eastern box turtle being crushed under a bulldozer, it makes me horribly sick. [Update 2/12/07, the beaver was hit by a car a few years ago before they bulldozed the wetlands.]

For photos and information on our squirrels, see my squirrel page.

For photos and information on our raccoons, see my raccoon page.

Here are three photos of a sort-of-rare red bat that my mother found dead by the side of the highway (hit by a car?) on 11/5/06. The ruler shows how big is was. It was very fuzzy and reminded me of the lion tamarin (a small monkey).:
Bottom View
Top View
Top View with a wing held open

Here is a mystery for you. On 10/4/07, Dawn from New Hampshire sent photos of this egg that someone found. Someone told her it was a turtle egg but it is WAY too small for that. It looks to be about a quarter inch in diameter. It seems totally round (but she says it is not) which normally rules out birds. It is about the size of a hummingbird egg though so maybe it is a distorted one? The egg looks hard shelled but she says it is not hard nor is it rubbery? Do you know what it is? I am thinking it is a distorted hummingbird egg or maybe a fence lizard egg? If you know, contact me, and I will let her know.
Egg in a Lego barrel
Egg next to a dime
Egg


Books

I have a lot of good books on wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation. E-mail me if you would like to know what they are (I may add them here later).


Wildlife Web Sites

I belong to the first four organizations, and my mother belongs to the squirrel club.

These links were last tested on 2/12/07.

National Wildlife Federation - magazines, backyard wildlife habitats, and more

Defenders of Wildlife

The National Arbor Day Foundation - great inexpensive source for trees!

Bat Conservation International

The Nature Conservancy

The WindStar Wildlife Institute - includes a free e-mail newsletter. To see articles I have written for the newsletter, visit my pond articles page.

Backyard Wildlife Habitat - a site with information on creating habitat for wild creatures and lots of neat stuff like your own online habitat planner specific to your area. This is part of the National Wildlife Federation's enature.com site which is a great place to look up and identify species of animals native to your area by entering in your zip code.

Wildlife Rehabilitators.com - this site contains a long list of wildlife rehabilitators around the world so if you need to find one to help a wild animal you have found, check this site if your local yellow pages do not help. See that this site knows about your local wildlife rehabilitator. Our local helper of wildlife was not on the list; it is called Frisky's.

Wildlife Rehabilitators Look Up - this site also has a list of wildlife rehabilitators.

North American Butterfly Association

Monarch Watch

North American Bluebird Society

The Nest Box

Hummingbirds.net - large site on hummingbirds

Canadian Wildlife Federation

Wildlife Protection - a site on living in harmony with wildlife instead of killing them (based in/on Pennsylvania)


Wildlife Habitats

Our property was designated a wildlife habitat by the following three organizations. Click on their web sites to find out how to register your wildlife oasis! The four keys to attracting wildlife are food, water, shelter, and a place to raise young. I also belong to a Backyard Wildlife Habitats web ring which can be found at the bottom of my pond page.

National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat - since 11/99; NWF BWH for short.

Maryland Wild Acres - since 12/99

Humane Society of the United States Urban Wildlife Sanctuary Program - since 11/01

One NWF Backyard Wildlife Habitat that has a web site is Wrenaissance which I found because they link to my pond page and other certified habitats.

The WindStar Wildlife Institute also certifies properties but I have not taken the time to apply (no time!).


Wildlife Quotes

Two of my favorite quotes on wildlife:

"Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed - chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns or magnificent bole backbones....It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods....God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease...a thousand straining, levelling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools."

John Muir, 1901

"The variety of life in nature can be compared to a vast library of unread books, and the plundering of nature is comparable to the random discarding of whole volumes without having opened them, and learned from them. Our critical dependence on the great variety of nature for the progress we have already made has been amply documented. Indifference to the loss of species is, in effect, indifference to the future, and therefore a shameful carelessness about our children."

Peter Matthiessen, 1986


A tiger swallowtail butterfly feeding on one of our butterfly bushes on 9/21/02.


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