Sunday, October 25, 2015

Garter Snake Mating Ball

A Garter Snake mating ball - unusual as it is up in the bushes and not on the ground.  Only two heads are visible, but there are three snakes in this small mating ball - a fourth left after I disturbed them - sorry. Filmed high in the Great Smoky Mountains. This was taken on October 5th on a warm day - typically mating takes place in spring right after they emerge from hibernation, but it can also take place in fall as snakes begin to congregate to hibernate, but these snakes should not be hibernating for at least another month. Garter Snakes are very beneficial snakes to have around the yard and are easy to tell from poisonous snakes - so let them live!

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Garter Snake Mating Ball

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Barking Squirrel - The World's Angriest Red Squirrel

Worlds' Angriest Red Squirrel!  This season's mother Red Squirrel sets the bar for the best upset squirrel rant I've ever seen as I finally found her nesting tree. Mid-October is peak Red Squirrel baby season and I expect to see them emerge from their nest on their own any day now! Last year there were six babies!

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The World's Angriest Red Squirrel

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Crow Calling Close Up

American Crow caw calls and extreme closeup of the features of these amazing birds. These are deep forest crows that live in a family unit. They are typically very difficult to capture on camera in the forest cover. Here they are checking out the remains of a corn feeder the Chipmunks have finished off - a lucky capture! A note on crows - they are extremely social and intelligent birds and are  protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal act resulting from a formal treaty signed by the United States, Canada, and Mexico and they can not be indiscriminately killed. Individual states may require permits to control crows and may regulate the method of take. Federal guidelines permit states to establish hunting seasons for crows. During these seasons, crows may be hunted according to the regulations established in each state. Regulations or interpretation of depredation rules may vary among states, and state or local laws may prohibit certain control techniques such as shooting or trapping. Check with local wildlife officials if there is any doubt regarding legality of control methods.

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American Crow Calling

Friday, October 9, 2015

10 Funniest Chipmunk Videos

Their cute looks hide the heart of a comedian - A compilation of 10 of the funniest all-original Chipmunk videos from the Backyard! What makes Chipmunks so cute and funny - perhaps it is their amazing hoarding instinct that takes over when free food is offered which often leads to comedy! 

Chipmunk Attacks Its Reflection in Camera: 
Chipmunks Fourth of July Picnic:
Cute Chipmunk Smells Rabbits: 
Funniest Chipmunk Ever! 
Funny Talking Chipmunk Falls Off Deck ! 
Chipmunk Eats Ear of Corn Time Lapse 
Cute Chipmunk Kisses a Rabbit
Chipmunk Stuffing Its Face 
Bunny Rabbit and Chipmunk Dinner Party Goes Very Wrong! 
plus new original material.

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Cute Funny Chipmunk

Groundhogs Climbing Trees

Groundhogs are excellent tree climbers - who knew! Thinking Raccoon's were eating late season peaches - hard sour peaches not fit for humans - I set up several camera traps and the culprits were "GroundHogs" or perhaps "TreeHogs"! One was so heavy he barely made it up, but despite their considerable size and weight they are a close relative of squirrels and their claws are huge - so perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised. The National Wildlife Federation's article on 10 things you may not know about groundhogs does not list "tree climbing" which should now be at the top of the list: 
More to come on these fascinating creatures.

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Groundhogs  Climbing Trees

Ladybugs Mating - a Tango

Ladybugs or Ladybirds mating dance - little beetles and the timeless tango of Nature. This is a process that goes on for hours apparently - and they cover a lot of territory on a large white SUV - these are just the "highlights". Late September seems like an odd time to mate, but they can have multiple broods throughout the warmer weather. You will see a brief glimpse of a Ladybug larvae - all stages of ladybug evolution can co-exist at one time in the late summer. These are Asian Ladybugs or Ladybird beetles (Harmonia axyridis) in a very remote area of the Great Smoky Mountains.  More information from the Ladybug Lady

Ladybugs Mating