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Archive for the 'Opossums' Category

What is this light colored hummingbird?

A leucistic Anna’s hummingbird (left) eats at a feeder next to a normal-colored Anna’s  (right). Photo by Constance Tweedie, Crockett, CA.
1hummer lite constance tweedie crockett

Gary:
I have observed a new hummer at my very popular feeder here in Crockett.  I’m  on the last street looking toward Port Costa just above the area known as Elk Horn Canyon. Its unusual coloring sent me to my Audubon book and  the Internet in search of a name, but, alas, I have not been able to identify it.  It has very light coloring — an almost white underbelly and light gray wings with a rectangle of light cream on the base of its wings. There are no iridescent markings around its neck. It has integrated into the hummingbird population without incident — other that the usual star wars that go on around the feeder. I hope that you can figure what type of hummer it is.
Constance Tweedie, Crockett, California

Constance:
Looks like this hummingbird (probably an Anna’s) has an abnormal amount of melanin in its feathers to give it color. This condition is called “leucism.” According to a piece I read on the Internet from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, there appears to be several types of leucism.  This condition differs from albinism, which is a pure white bird with pink eyes and no melanin.

The San Francisco Bay Area also has both albino and leucistic raccoons and opossums.

Here’s more information from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology article to help enlighten you on this subject: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/AboutBirdsandFeeding/Albinism_Leucism.htm

Fascinating, don’t you think? Just when you think you have birds and their markings figured out, something like this comes along to confuse you. That’s why bird watching is so much fun. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, by the way, is the best source I know for information on bird feeding, the birds in your backyard, and anything else I can think of on native songbirds.

*** Here’s more on Cornell (and birds!):

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/Page.aspx?pid=1478

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1189

Have fun! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Under: hummingbirds, Opossums, Raccoons | 3 Comments »

Guess what Pat found in her kitchen silverware drawer?

Baby opossum hiding in kitchen silverware drawer. Photo by Pat Manning, Antioch, CA
1possum pat manning antioch

Gary:
Woke up this morning to my cats staring intently up at a closed kitchen drawer. Didn’t think much of it at the time since they ALWAYS seem to be staring intently at SOMETHING!!  When I opened it later, I quickly closed it when I saw a long tail retreating to the rear of the drawer. I was positive that a mouse or a rat had somehow found their way in. Imagine my surprise when I took a closer look and found this little guy curled up in the back of the drawer!  (see above picture) What a cutie!!  We ushered him outside and last I saw, he was heading into the field behind the house.  I  sure hope he finds his way back home!
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Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2011
Under: Opossums | 1 Comment »

Mama opossum with babies riding on her back

andy & peggy mosko, fremont2

“Come on up, everybody, there’s PLENTY of room!”

Photo of mama opossum and her babies by Andy and Peggy Mosko, Fremont, California.

Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Under: Opossums | No Comments »

Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s Wildlife Exclusion Service

Raccoon in the house. Photo by Maureen Wright, Pittsburg, CA
coon in house

LINDSAY WILDLIFE MUSEUM’S WILDLIFE EXCLUSION SERVICE

Wildlife exclusion is a service offered by Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, Calif.,  to ensure the harmless eviction of wild animals from areas where they are not wanted such as attics, crawl spaces and garages. Humane techniques are used to evict wildlife and proven methods are used to prevent re-entry. Proceeds from this service go directly towards funding the museums wildlife rehabilitation hospital.

If you need this service, please call the museum at 925-627-2943

Common problems:
*** Raccoons, opossums, skunks nesting in crawlspace
*** Squirrels in attic
*** Snakes in garage

Typical solution:
*** Identify the entrance
*** Humanely evict the animal
*** Clean or sanitize the area
*** Repair and prevention measures
*** Close the opening
*** Follow up call or inspection
*** Habitat and conservation education

The Lindsay Wildlife Museum is at 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. Find out more about this wonderful place at http://www.wildlife-museum.org /Gary

Mama opossum and babies by Andy & Peggy Mosko, Fremont, CA.
andy & peggy mosko, fremont2

Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011
Under: Opossums, Raccoons, Skunks, Snakes | No Comments »

Turkey Vultures: Mother Nature’s scavengers

Photo by Debbie Ojeda, Pinole, CA
vulture debbie ojeda

Debbie Ojeda of Pinole, CA, took this photograph of a turkey vulture feeding on a dead opossum on Henry Drive in Pinole.

I’m always on the lookout for interesting color photos of wild creatures doing their thing. You can e-mail me your photos in .JPG format to gbogue@bayareanewsgroup.com. Please include your full name and the city where you live so I can give you credit for taking the photo if I use it. Also please include comments in your e-mail saying it’s OK for me to use your photo(s) in my blog.

Thanks! /Gary

Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Under: Opossums, Turkey vultures | No Comments »

A nice warm bowl of opossum “soup”

Opossum in a bowl. Photo by Barb & Carl, Martinez, CA.
opossum in bowl1

More backyard adventures …

Dear Gary:
We have hung a bowl under our bird feeder to catch seeds from falling to the ground. Somehow the critter (opossum) in the above picture got into the bowl to eat what was there.

We don’t know how he got there but to get down he jumped/tumbled into plants below and ambled off under the fence for his next adventure.
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Posted on Friday, May 29th, 2009
Under: Opossums | 3 Comments »

Brake for wildlife! It’s fall & deer, opossums & squirrels are on the move!

BLACK-TAILED DEER
doe1

During fall and winter months, deer, opossums, squirrels and other wildlife are moving around in search of food and a place to hole up during the cold fall and winter months.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
Under: deer, Opossums, Squirrels, Wildlife | 3 Comments »