Wildlife in our gardens


Roadrunner on our shed roof :slightly_smiling_face:



Dekay’s brown snake.


How sad is this poor little guy? I found him in my orchard Friday and have been nursing him all weekend. I was able to just bend over and pick him up so I knew he was in trouble. Clearly some kind of animal had tried to eat him and had managed to rip almost half of his body hair off and scratch him up. But once I got him hydrated he has been doing ok. Rabbits are by far the hardest animal to rehab so I’ve got an uphill battle, but I’m going to see what I can do. Yes, this is odd since I sometimes hunt rabbits and I hate them in my garden/orchard as much as anyone. I have a photo right on this website of a wild rabbit all butchered and quartered for for cooking and eating from the last adult one I found in my garden. If I’m able to save this guy I’ll relocate him far, far away like I did the other baby rabbit I found this year. But he is so cute I have to try!!! Poor little guy. Not sure how I feel sorry for my garden enemy # 1 but I can’t help it…we will see how it goes!



I “saved” one a little younger than that from my cat once, poor thing had a heart attack and died right in my hands. I did manage to get an even younger one to a rehabilitator, and she said the same about them being the hardest to rehab.


Your experience is very common! The prevailing theory is that they die of heart attacks so easy so when a predator catches them they don’t have to suffer while being eaten alive. Not sure how we can ever know if that is true but it sounds good.
I’ve rehabbed almost every local animal there is, and people always call me when they find an injured or abandoned baby. When it’s a rabbit I always tell them to just put it back when they found it because 1) it probably wasn’t abandoned (mom rabbits only visit and feed their babies 2 times every 24 hrs for about 5 minutes, and usually in the dark) and 2) It will probably die on them anyway if they keep it. They require a very difficult to replicate flora in their gut for proper digestion. And of course there are some legal issues to be considered, so generally people shouldn’t take in wild baby bunnies and if they do they will most likely be unsuccessful. But I think I can get this little guy back on his feet so I have to try! 3 days and now he has an amazing apatite and is very active and doing well. fingers crossed.


I knew about leaving them when you find them, but my cat doesn’t kill baby animals. She just leaves them outside the door, the other one had a puncture wound. I’m 50-50 with baby deer mice.


haha. Hope it didn’t sound like I was lecturing you for trying to save a rabbit. I’m sure you know when intervention is worth the risk- and a hunting cat usually makes it worth the effort since it will likely drag it to your door anyway! ha. Besides, even I get a little put off by folks who go around ondeming others for trying to help or telling them how its illegal and so on We are all adults and have google, so chances are most of us can figure those things out ourselves! I also will admit I’ve lost several baby bunnies myself…they are just HARD to do.


Hantavirus had me second guessing the deer mice, I held my breath and misted down the container each time I opened it to avoid breathing any dust and washed my hands really well after, still here :wink:


Red shouldered hawk on our fence…I’ve seen him/her around before but never just sitting there like that…he was there for about 10 minutes just looking around, then took off…too bad there weren’t any squirrels…


That doesn’t look like pulled fir. It could be mites. And they could be contagious.


I was wondering the same thing but didn’t want to jump to conclusions. I would imagine some skin damage would be present if it were the former.


@galinas and @BambooMan
You are right in the sense that the fur wasn’t actually pulled out, but it’s loss was undoubtedly caused by injury. The photos just don’t show the whole story, so I completely understand both of your questions…

The thing you can’t see in the photos is that there are patches under the fur where there were still scabs-just like you get if you scrape your knee. Then-even in the first few days I had her (turns out its a girl) I was able to see those scab wounds fall off with CLUMPS OF FUR, thereby leaving more bear skin just like seen in the photos. These scabs and scars were intermittent- being worse in some areas than others. Then- and this is important in understanding what you see in the pics- the little rabbit would start licking in the area where the scabs had been, and she would continue to lick at it until all the fur around it was gone. So instead of there being some spots of hair missing right where the scrape injury had been, the little rabbit licks it down clean- I’ve seen her do it.

So it wasn’t right for me to say a predator had pulled the hair out. A predator had scratched her up, caused scabs to form, and then the hair either fell off along with the scabs or she licked it off. The wounds heal faster than the hair grows back so the scrapes cant be seen in the bald areas. Your comments are certainly logical, though. I actually check all my rescues for ticks, fleas, lice, and mites using a superfine comb and magnifying glass and I have a dip that a vet tech friend gave me for when I see parasites or the telltale “dandruff” looking material they leave. There was no sign of any of those things.

As final reassurance I’ve included updated photos from this morning. Keep in mind No treatment was given for mites or any other parasites. She has simply had the time to heal and the hair is growing back. It is astounding how fast wild animals heal! Remember, this is the same rabbit just 4 days after the photos above!!! 4 days!



I can definitely see the whole picture with the detailed explanation. In fact, the pattern of missing hair perfectly matches what would result from obsessive scratching and licking.


I went a little (lot) overboard with the details as usual, but I didn’t want you guys thinking I just picked up a
mangy, parasitic rodent and thought I’d done something. haha But I am kind of proud that I’ve been able to keep her alive. Baby rabbits really are such a challenge. But also just cute enough to make it worth it. (I’m trying not to think about my honey berries that got butchered by rabbits last winter! haha


Janet’s photo of Milkweed bugs and Monarch butterfly on orange milkweed.


Well, it was a matter of time, but I had my first run-in with one of these this evening. It was about 15 feet from my shed, one of my cats alerted me to it.

Three feet without its head and rattle. So, about 40 inches total. I first thought it was a rat snake until I hit it with a rock and it coiled up and started rattling!

After that it skittered down the hill up against a tree. So, I started pelting it with big rocks and nailed it with one. It rolled down the hill towards the creekbed and its rattle kept going off, like continually. So, it was hurt, maybe badly, but still alive. I went in the house and got my 9mm and told my wife to take the kittens in the house as I was worried the gun noise might scare them off.

I loaded up 6 hollow points, and carefully scooted down the hill to get closer to it. I fired from about 10 feet and after the first shot it skittered up against another tree. I took some more shots at it, but don’t know if I hit it, but it was still flicking its tongue and moving a bit. I reloaded 6 more and got a bit closer and shot some more, but still didn’t know if I had hit it. My accuracy was a bit off, as I hadn’t shot in about two years.

I think I had hit it a few times, but it was still moving. So I had my wife to roll a garden hoe down to me and I hacked at it. After about 3 whacks, I broke the hoe. So, out of bullets and without a hoe, I climbed out of the creek bed and got another hoe. After about half a dozen more whacks, the head was off. I buried the head, and brought the rest of it up the hill to show my wife and she took some pics. After that, I hauled it down to road and threw it into a drainage ditch.

I didn’t examine it too closely, but I did see a big hole in its midsection, and maybe some other wounds. So, one or two hits out of twelve isn’t too good, but trying to hit that small of a target at 10-15 feet is kinda tough, considering the situation. Need to practice more!

My wife and brother in law have had their encounters with rattlers, he killed one earlier this year, but not me, until today. I shudder to think it was only a few feet from our shed, we are in and out of that building many times a day. And that’s about 50 feet from the front door! Thanks to my kitty who alerted me. He was sitting at the front of the shed, and was very intently watching it before I spotted it. Glad he didn’t get too curious.


Have an unusual bird problem in the orchard this year. Bird (mostly crows) are picking off the small, unripe apples from the trees. They have cleaned the immature fruit off a couple of smaller trees. I have never seen this before, eating apples when they are ripe or close to ripe is common, but going for tiny (still marble to golf ball sized) hard apples is a new one.

Anyone have any thoughts as to why they would be interested in this unripe fruit?


I lost my Odysso apples at pingpong ball size to something…I assumed birds.


I hope to see more pairs like these during season. Such a pretty bird…and tasty…



for the 2nd year in a row , i have a nesting pair in my big spruce trees. i see them in my garden all the time. i throw feed outside the chicken coop to help them along. they’ve become pretty tame. i like to hear them call in the evening. not many around these parts so its a treat just to see them.