Saturday, October 11, 2008

Evening Raccoons

The spring thrill of nesting bluebirds was followed by visits by a pair of raccoons each evening during July.
Frequent readers of the Colvin Run Habitat know that I have posted two other photos of raccoon visitors. But, in early July, we had a raccoon visitor each evening between 7:30 and 8:30 PM. The two were never seen together.

Of course, the main attraction was the sunflower seeds that the crows scatter from the feeder to the ground every day. Every once in a while, a raccoon would dig in last fall's leave mulch.
After 10 days or so, it was clear that I was dealing with two different raccoons. In addition to slight differences in the color of their coat, two very distinct behaviors were observed. One (later determined to be a female) allowed me to approach to within 10 yards of her and to even use the flash for photos. The other would run into the brush as soon as I left the back door.

So how did I know one was a female? One evening, she rose up on here back feet to inspect the feeder (the only time either showed interest in the feeder versus the seed on the ground). Of course, when she rose up, the fact that she was nursing was clear. I never observed any of the young. I suppose that the other could have been a young raccoon, but seemed to be full size for that early in the season.
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