Backyard wildlife

For the past few years we had grey squirrels and black squirrels in the back yard. They seem a bit scarce this year. Crows would often come down to feast on the bread the SO put out. I think the SO got tired of the crows eating the bread she’d put out for the squirrels, so she stopped doing it. Very few crows this year. Raccoons, which the SO says are huge compared to the ones she knew in Tennessee, come around after I go to bed, but she sees them.

I’m not a birdwatcher. I can usually tell a raptor from a sparrow, but that’s about it. Blue jays used to come round a lot, feasting on the zillions of spiders in the lawn. I’ve only seen one or two this year. I’ve also seen a couple of woodpeckers, though they didn’t stay long. Robins seem to be in abundance this year.

There were birds this Winter that I call ‘cheepie birds’, since I don’t know what they are. They’re only a couple/three inches long and flit about seemingly happily, as they cheep merrily. They’d hang out around the perimeter of the yard, or the wood pile by the back door, or the cords of wood stacked by the deck. These guys are greyish-brown with a black head and a white mask or throat. They move pretty quick, so I’m not sure about the white. I just saw a bird matching that description flitting from the ‘pollensicles’ on the maple tree. It wasn’t making the characteristic cheeping noises though.

We have hummingbirds, which the SO says are huge compared to the ones in Tennessee. She bought some very nice hummingbird feeders that they use frequently. She didn’t dye the ‘nectar’ this time, and they seem less interested than when she did.

There’s a bald eagle’s nest nearby, but I haven’t located it. Should be easy to find, but I haven’t bothered. We see bald eagles occasionally, and also hawks sometimes. I snapped a pic of a great blue heron high up in a tree next door last year. They’ve never come into the back yard. Once some seagulls landed in the yard to steal the bread intended for the squirrels and black birds. They got chased off and never came back. Nasty creatures, gulls are. And of course there are sparrows.

A few years ago we saw a scrawny coyote crossing the back yard. No sightings recently. A skunk and I surprised each other one morning. Fortunately, I was not perceived as a threat and we went our separate ways.

I have hummingbirds: One is the loneliest number - Miscellaneous and Personal Stuff I Must Share - Straight Dope Message Board
And Hawks: Ruthless killers living in my backyard. - Miscellaneous and Personal Stuff I Must Share - Straight Dope Message Board
nesting in my backyard.

We also have Gambel’s Quail, Gophers, Coyotes, Owls, lots of toads, the occasional raccoon, and unfortunately, roof rats.

The 'cheepie birds" might be chestnut-backed chickadees. But I don’t know.

Various birds, mostly crows, starlings and sparrows. Hawks drop in occasionally. Lots of mice, never saw a live possum but found a skeleton after the snow melted one year. Deer come through, occasionally wild turkeys, ducks and geese. Had two garter snakes that were regular visitors but they haven’t showed up this year. Not wild but the neighbor’s chickens come to feed. Always squirrels, but the population goes up and down. Luckily skunks are rare. Cottontails are always around. Lots of feral cats in the area when we moved here in the 90s, but there was a surge of coyotes for a while and all the cats disappeared. Fisher cats are in the area now but I haven’t spotted any yet.

ETA: And foxes, including a mangy one that luckily disappeared.

Is it the Rufous hummingbird? I’ve never seen one, so I have no idea if they’re bigger than the Ruby Throated hummingbird. The raccoons should be the same size, though.

We get a lot of hawks and herons in Atlanta. I actually saw my first Georgia coyote on the way home last night. Surprised the hell out of me.

We gets lots of possum and raccoons around here, but the wild turkey in the heart of Atlanta freaked me out a bit. We also had a deer in the yard one evening, which is very unusual for us. They are taking over the state.

The kids and I keep track of a lot of the birds we see, but we get the most excited when we see Pileated Wookpeckers. I love those things.

Tons of rabbits. A few raccoons, and once, a fox. Considering we’re a 2 minute drive from DC, it’s quite a surprise.

I’d bet your black-headed ‘cheepie’ guys are Black Phoebes. We’ve got 'em in my So Calif backyard. Funny that your SO is trying to feed the squirrels when I’m thinking about shooting some in my backyard with a pellet rifle - I consider them (cute) varmints who play hell with my fruit crop each year.

Rabbits, deer, foxes, squirrels, and huge turkey vultures that like to fly in and sit in dozens on the rooftops once in a while. A couple of turtles once in a while. And frogs after it rains.

According to Wiki, it looks like Southwest Oregon is about as far north as they get. I’m about 500 miles farther than that.

I like having the squirrels around. Food source for when the zombie apocalypse comes.

Oh – The raccoons. I like them. Don’t want them making a mess or tearing things up (which they haven’t yet), but I think they’re cute. Nevertheless, I’ve thought about making a Daniel Boone hat. (Last night I was thinking of a cartoon showing a family of raccoons, and then another panel showing a human family wearing coon-skin caps with the father wearing a hat made form the male’s pelt and face; the mother, the female’s; and the kids, the kits’.)

If your hummers have a green back, they’re likely Anna’s Hummingbirds. They’re quite common in the PNW and we have them year round. We get black capped chickadees, bushtits, scrub jays, the occasional northern flicker, crows, purple finches, lesser goldfinches, juncos, and European starlings. Our small back yard gets fairly crowded at times. There are other birds with calls that I don’t recognize. We had a lot of robins early on, but they seem to have gone away. There are eagles nesting near a nearby park and lots of other bird life over there, including egrets and other waterfowl. I’ve seen deer over there, also. We get the occasional raccoon or possum in the yard, although we usually don’t see the possums until they’ve become roadkill. Occasionally one gets a whiff of skunk. And of course we have squirrels.

Sadly wildlife doesn’t stand a chance in my back yard when the dogs are out there - two out of the three dogs can and do kill critters. Even birds - the Rottweiler caught a robin in flight last summer. I’m frequently woken up in the middle of the night by those two barking to go out, because they smell (or hear) a skunk, raccoon, possum etc out back.

But a big part of my lot is wooded and outside the fenced area, and I have bird feeders out front. I’m urban but on the edge of some larger wooded and swampy areas and not far from where urban stops and farmland begins. So I have possums, raccoons, skunks, garden snakes, the occasional turkey and snapping turtle, squirrels of course…I enjoy them all. As long as they stay out of the back yard because I don’t enjoy cleaning skunked dogs or cleaning up critter entrails (or, a couple of months ago, stray cat entrails - stupid cat came into the yard when the dogs were out and was killed right in front of me). :frowning:

Because I feed birds year around I have a huge variety and I can identify almost all of them. There’s a pair of American kestrels around here; I have the feeders under a large fir tree because the kestrels will prey on the birds visiting the feeders and the tree protects the feeder birds…then again raptors need to eat too and they occasionally get a feeder bird.

Also a backyard wildlife watcher here. I grew up here in the 50’s south of Los Angeles. It was semi rural then with a lot of open fields. Frogs, snakes, reptiles and even nutria and woodrats, shrews, voles were common then. They are all virtually gone now. Since the urban sprawl has taken over it seems skunks, possums, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and cooper hawks have become very common. Sparrow hawks, shrikes, and a few other hawks are now rare. Red wing black bords used to nest here buy the thousands in the flooded fields full of while mustard. They are now gone as well. No more killdeer. Red squirrels and fox squirrels have become common everywhere.

Our cat chased a moose out of our backyard once. We’ve seen deer, bear, turkeys, the aforementioned moose, fisher cats, and foxes. Plus a whole buncha birds.

I miss the moose in our yard in Anchorage. But there were fewer bird types there: mainly chickadees, ravens and magpies, with the occasional bald eagle.

Victoria, on Vancouver Island. There are Anna’s hummingbirds all year round. Which means I keep feeders going all year round. Johnny L.A., they don’t need coloured nectar–just sugar and water. The dye isn’t good for them.

Our unfenced back yard borders a regional park, so we see critters–deer, often, raccoons, rabbits (introduced, not native), squirrels, birds of all kinds, garter snakes, one frog, a few snails, lots of slugs, um, hawks. We have those little birds with the band as well. They like to drink water from a small watering can I once hung in a rhodo on impulse, so I leave it up all the time for them.

The weirdest thing I ever saw, however, was a pure white peahen. She hung around for two months one summer. Where she came from, I don’t know. Where she went, I don’t know, either.

No cougars, yet, for which I’m grateful, but something clawed the hell out of a tree where the yard blends into the park, and I still don’t know what it was. Co-workers who hunt said it was a scared young black bear trying to climb the tree.

We have deer wandering by behind the house several times a week, usually in the early morning, but sometimes right at dusk, too. Squirrels torment our youngest dog–the other two have been around long enough to know they aren’t going to catch one, so they quit trying. Rabbits, possums, rarely a skunk or a raccoon. I have seen a fox and a coyote, but those were one-time sightings. Birds of all kinds, including at least one owl that likes to roost in the tree closest to the bedroom.

I had to shoot a possum the other night. It got hit by a car, mangled, but not quite dead. I moved it off the road and dispatched it. The next morning, another possum got hit in almost the same place on the road. It was dead before I found it.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To show the opossum it can be done!

We have an occaisional deer. Some Bald Eagles, Jays, and Crows. Seals and otters too.

Squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, skunks… I know we have coyotes in the neighborhood but I’ve never actually seen one in my backyard. The raccoons, opossum and skunks I see sometimes when pulling in at night and catching them in my headlights by the garage or trundling along the fence line (not all at once, of course). Birds are usually just robins and some doves although this spring we’ve had a mated pair of cardinals hanging around the yard. One year I had a duck nest under my son’s old play set. Oh, and a hawk come down once and take one of “our” squirrels pretty much in front of me.

This is in the Chicago suburbs. Only mentioning stuff actually seen in my yard – aside from the coyotes. All sorts of other stuff in the area, just not on my property.