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  #1  
Old 06-25-2007, 10:16 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Location: Lafayette Indiana
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Wildlife: Interesting sightings

Yesterday as I was sitting in an outdoor dining extablishment with my #1 daughter, SIL and three grand kids, I looked up and saw a large bird coming into view. I thought at first it was a blue heron. Although they are not nearly as rare as 20 years ago I always stop to watch them when I see them as they are kindof amazing, imho.

As it approached closer I noted that it was in fact a Red Tailed hawk and it was carrying a squirrell in its talons. The tail was kindof moving around but I was unable to see if it was still squirming or just blowing in the breeze.

In 58 years of bird watching I have never seen a Red Tail carrying anything before.

So if anybody else has interesting sightings please post here.

Tom W
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2007, 10:26 PM
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I was at the mall the other day eating at the food court.

I noticed an old man watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, and blue.

The old man kept staring at him.

The teenager would look and find the old man staring every time. When the teenager had enough, he sarcastically asked, "What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?"

The old man did not bat an eye in his response, "Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son."
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2007, 10:31 PM
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There's a blue heron preserve North of us a bit. It's also full of other wildlife. I was there only once, but imagine canoeing into a flock of cranes, getting to within 40 feet of about a hundred of them, and then watch them all takeoff around you one by one and fly around in one big loop and land again in another spot on the same lake. That was pretty awesome.

The zoo here has a raptor show. We see bird of prey go after fake fish all the time. Pretty cool.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:53 PM
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I saw both a young Red Fox puppy, and a lot lizard the other day, from my driver's seat while sitting there playing with myself in my truck, in Nashville Tenn...

The lot Lizards are a pretty common sight, but the baby Red Fox, is pretty rare to see. I almost coaxed her over to my truck, with some dog food I had, and some dog treats. She would not get within arms reach though, and knew exactly how far away to stay. She was cute, and I would have raised her as a pet, along with my Dacshund. (The Fox, Not the lot lizard)... She'd have made a great pet. A friend of mine has two Grey Wolves, which he caught as puppies, a couple of years ago. I used to have a wild rabbit that I caught and raised also.
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Last edited by truckinik; 06-25-2007 at 11:00 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2007, 10:55 PM
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Tell the hawk to fly east

Wish I could attract some of those hawks here. This past winter I've been feeding the squirrels with my tree hung bird feeders. (Not intentionally but those squirrels just don't know when to stop eating. They eat everything and the birds get nothing.). I tried pie tins on the hanging ropes. Nope. Made the bird feeder roof teflon so the squirrel would slip off. Nope. Put the bird feeder on top of a high black plumbing pipe. Saw him climb right up. Do those red hawks winter over? I'm only mile or so from a large wild area even though I'm in a large city so there must be some of everything there. If they winter over just need to attract them here. Just saw a raccoon eying my broken facia board.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2007, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckinik View Post
I saw both a young Red Fox puppy, and a lot lizard the other day, from my driver's seat while sitting there playing with myself in my truck, in Nashville Tenn...
And they make fun of you because.....DUH.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2007, 11:08 PM
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I know of a guy who got to see a wild goose in flight.
Up close, too !!


(While in his Beech Baron.)
(Keep an eye off the glass - and out the plastic, Mistress !!)

Sorry, Tom.
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2007, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
Yesterday as I was sitting in an outdoor dining extablishment with my #1 daughter, SIL and three grand kids, I looked up and saw a large bird coming into view. I thought at first it was a blue heron. Although they are not nearly as rare as 20 years ago I always stop to watch them when I see them as they are kindof amazing, imho.

As it approached closer I noted that it was in fact a Red Tailed hawk and it was carrying a squirrell in its talons. The tail was kindof moving around but I was unable to see if it was still squirming or just blowing in the breeze.

In 58 years of bird watching I have never seen a Red Tail carrying anything before.

So if anybody else has interesting sightings please post here.

Tom W
We get alot of hawks and kestrels (sp) on our fence line. The stars of the yard though are the Sandhill Cranes. They make a heck of a racket when they swoop in. Entertaining to watch as the barn cats run up to challenge them, and soon get chased off with the threat of being fatally poked in the head. GO SANDHILLS.
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2007, 11:18 PM
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I've seen all sorts of interesting things, but a life as a hunter and outdoorsman will allow one to. My best has probably got to be the time I got to watch a mountain lion stalk two does and a fawn.

I was sitting on the top of an 1100ft hill, roughly 600ft above the valley land below. I was watching the "backside" of the hill, really for no more purpose than I like to watch hillsides. I'm in central CA's foothills, at the base of the Sierras. Just a little east of Orange Cove, south of highway 180. The country is mostly open grasslands, with a few scattered oaks.

I was above the scene as it played out, and had been watching the deer graze peacefully. At about the same time, one of the does and I started to look to the doe's west, I wasn't sure just why, but something seemed to be "off" in that direction. I think I saw it first, a tail visible above the grass/weeds/vegetation. She, the doe, just kept looking and sniffing. Finally she decided it was enough of a feeling to warrant caution, moved in the direction she was suspicious of.

That's when it got weird. I know that mothers will go to great lengths, even suicidal ones, to protect their young, but I wasn't familiar with anything like this. Mind you, there are two does, presumably only one of them is the mother...

The "lead" does took a few aggresive steps towards the stalking lion, and stopped. She stood there huffing? Grunting? I'm not sure what she doing. The other doe basically took the fawn and through careful directional nudges, got the fawn to move away from the "lead" doe. At about this point the lion realized his cover was blown and stood up from his stalk position.

I can't speak for the doe, but this was the first I knew for certain what had been stalking her. I'd heard that mountain lions inhabited this area, and had seen big cat tracks before, but I never really knew if they were just big bobcats, or large-looking tracks made in softer dirt or mud. Now I knew firsthand that the big cats did indeed stalk the same hills I did. Mind you, when I saw the tail moving through the grass, I was pretty sure what it was, but nothing beats that moment when the big cat steps into full view. In any case...

Now that the lion is in full view, the "lead" doe gets even more upset, and the other doe and the fawn greatly increase their speed of departure. The lion it seems figures he may give it at least a half-hearted attempt, and makes a less than spectacular lunge towards the lead doe.

She holds her ground. Then she rears up onto her rear legs, and begins thrashing her front legs at the lion! The lion backs up, seemingly taken aback, and the doe pursues! She starts stamping the ground and pawing at the lion. He seems to want none of this and dashes further back. When he does, the doe turns and runs to joing the other two, who are now quite a ways away, and have slowed their gait. She catches up with them and they make a liesurely retreat down the hill we're all on, and up the next.

The lion follows them at a comfortable distance, I'm assuming with the intent of making another go of it, but never does. I watch until they're hard to see, perhaps a mile or so off, and then, for lack of anything better, standup, holster my sidearm, and walk off down the other side of the hill.

It was truly an unforgettable moment. The sort of thing I'll forever be grateful to see. I couldn't have asked for a better vantage point, and I was close enough that it seemed like I was watching it on TV through a telephoto lens (indeed, that very evening I felt an urge to buy Mutual of Omaha insurance...). It's the sort of thing that makes my listen politely and smile when someone describes to me how wildlife interact, and how they'd never behave a certain way. The sort of tale I tell when folks ask me why I don't attend any church services, and I explain how I feel more at one with my god wandering about in the world. Just writing about it makes me want to play hooky from work tomorrow and go out to see what I can see...

MV
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2007, 06:07 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Wow, great story. It is amazing that a deer would stand up to a mt lion, and more amazing that it worked. I suspect the lion may not have been all that hungry though. They also may not want to risk injury from the deer hooves.

The sandhills are truly specataular. They land in large numbers north of here in the plowed fields and rest on their trip north. I have driven by and seen hundreds of them at a time in the fields. I am not sure but I suppose they are eating either worms or grain residue too. For anyone not familiar with them they are birds with about a seven foot wingspan.

The red fox is I believe fairly common around here but I have only seen one that I can remember in the wild. It was sitting next to the road as if it were resting and just looked at us when I stopped the car. My Dad was with us that day. He said it probably had been hit by a car and couldn't move its hindquarters. Another possibility is that it was rabid. They stay very well hidden.

I think my most exciting sighting was last summer when I drove out through Wyomming and saw the wild horses up on the plateau.

Thanks for sharing.

Tom W
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2007, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf-n-Turf View Post
And they make fun of you because.....DUH.
I saw Redd Foxx on TV several times but I wasn't jerking off.

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  #12  
Old 06-26-2007, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carleton Hughes View Post
I saw Redd Foxx on TV several times but I wasn't jerking off.

Dammit, I've got to clean the coffee off my screen after that
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2007, 07:26 AM
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The coolest thing I've seen is the increase in bald eagle activity along the CT River here in central CT. The nests are huge, easily 5' across. There aren't a lot of visible nests, but I would imaging that most of them are smart enough to keep them away from the people. For these parts it's a big deal. They are a sight to see in flight. Truly mesmerizing.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2007, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
Yesterday as I was sitting in an outdoor dining extablishment with my #1 daughter, SIL and three grand kids, I looked up and saw a large bird coming into view. I thought at first it was a blue heron. Although they are not nearly as rare as 20 years ago I always stop to watch them when I see them as they are kindof amazing, imho.

As it approached closer I noted that it was in fact a Red Tailed hawk and it was carrying a squirrell in its talons. The tail was kindof moving around but I was unable to see if it was still squirming or just blowing in the breeze.

In 58 years of bird watching I have never seen a Red Tail carrying anything before.

So if anybody else has interesting sightings please post here.

Tom W
PBS did a special of the Red Tail Hawk in New York City that has been mating for the past several years on this one building ledge across from Central Park. They named him Pale Male. It was a great special.
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2007, 09:28 AM
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We live in a big city, but in an older neighbourhood surrounded by forest, so we get a fair amount of wildlife. Lots of birds and there is a resident falcon (a merlin, I think) that feeds on the birds feeding at our feeder. The food chain in action.

We get deer in the winter, coyotes howling in the summer and occasional fox sightings.

I posted this a while back, but the one that really startled me was a wild turkey on my lawn. I was mowing the lawn when all of a sudden I saw this guy strutting past. He was calmly perusing my wife's garden, not at all bothered by my presence. Hung around long enough for me to snap a pic.

They were re-introduced here a while ago and it was apparently a very successful program!
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