My neighborhood is rich in wildlife. Yours probably is, too.
I have written about the birds that feed on my patio. They consume about 100 pounds of hen scratch every month: pigeons, rock doves, mourning doves, jays and a great variety of little guys I can’t name. Mockers dancing on chimney tops. Crows foraging in the street. A hawk in my oak tree looking for a pigeon meal.
I was surprised that here in August, I heard and saw a flight of geese flying over McCoy Creek. Pretty early, I thought. I didn’t think they made the southbound trip until September. Maybe it’s a sign we are going to have an early, more severe winter. Birds seem to know about these things.
This morning on my early walk, I saw two rabbits at the bike path beside McCoy Creek. Not naturally wild; one white and one black. I think these were probably Easter bunnies that someone turned loose. They seemed to be doing just fine. I had noticed the remains of a jack rabbit next to the bike path a week or so ago.
The idea for this column popped into my mind when I saw a man and woman on the bridge over McCoy Creek who seemed to be looking for something. I stopped and asked what was happening. They told me that they were looking for a family of otters that they had seen before; four or five of them.
Otters? Why not? McCoy Creek has the right connections. Rush Ranch has a display of the wildlife that inhabits our area. They’re here, we just don’t see them or pay attention when we do.
Back to my house and my immediate neighborhood. Neighbors Gwen and Fred, and I, have been talking about the many feral cats that are here. Apparently, one of our neighbors feeds them and they congregate. There is a feral cat spay, neuter and release program here in Solano County. For a donation of $20, they will spay or neuter the cat, vaccinate, and do a number of other procedures. They will even loan you a humane trap. To me, feral cats are a smelly nuisance.
There are other more interesting wild animals in the neighborhood: raccoons abound. I hear them running around on my roof at night. Gwen tells me thay have seen possums many times, hanging by their tails from one of my trees. They and the raccoons like to “walk the fence” in the back of my house.
The wild animals seem to have adjusted to us and adapted. I’m not so sure we are good for them. Like they say in the parks, “Don’t feed the bears. They will become dependent on people food.” There are some human parallels. We are feeding folks and not teaching them to fish for themselves.
I would be interested in your neighborhood wildlife stories if you would care to share them. Email them to me or give me a call.
I like watching and listening to nature and sharing the experience with friends. How about you?
Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or email@example.com.