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Archive for the 'Raccoons' 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

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

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:

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!):

Have fun! /Gary

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

Got raccoons prowling your backyard?

A couple of raccoons checking out the photographer. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1coons dave harper oakley

Got raccoons prowling your backyard?

More photos of wild creatures of the Urban Wilderness (your backyard) by Dave Harper, Oakley, California.

Raccoons digging up your yard? (This is what I’m talking about:

If your yard is looking like the above example, email me at and request a copy of “Gary’s Raccoon Help” and I’ll email you back an electronic copy of my 7-page raccoon brochure. It’s is FULL of information on how to humanely stop raccoons from destroying your lawn, plus an explanation on why they are doing it.  /Gary

Find a raccoon in your backyard? Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1coon dave harper oakley

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Under: Raccoons | No Comments »

Springtime arrives in a local backyard, along with a pair of raccoons

Springtime in a local backyard. Photo by Linda Bowman, Fremont, CA
1coons linda bowman fremont

Here are a pair of young lovers after they consummated their relationship on our back lawn one morning. After mating they cleaned themselves up completely and headed for the edge of our pool to give me this shot.
Linda Bowman, Fremont, California

Spring is definitely in the air. And now for a dip in the pool … /Gary

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012
Under: Breeding season, Raccoons, Spring | 1 Comment »

Raccoon TV: Look who’s been peeking in the window!

Raccoon paw prints on the outside of the family room glass door. Photo by Margaret Elliott, Alamo, CA
1coonprints margaret elliott alamo

Here is a picture of raccoon paw prints on our family room glass door showing that raccoons were looking into our family room while standing out on our deck. Usually the view is from the other side when our cat Puddy is inside the family room, watching the squirrels outside eating peanuts on the deck. Looks like dirty paws!
Margaret, Alamo, California

We’re so busy looking out our windows to see what’s going on in our backyards … we usually don’t bother to check and see who or what might be looking back in … like raccoons, birds of all kinds, neighborhood cats, deer … and who knows what else. It IS a jungle out there, you know. /Gary

Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2012
Under: Raccoons | 4 Comments »

Raccoons: Are they taking over the world?

Baby raccoons up a tree. Photo by Ted Meyer, Walnut Creek, CA
1coons ted meyer wc

Looks like Roy Burns of San Leandro, CA, may have been right in your Sept. 22 newspaper column (Roy described how raccoons were unscrewing lids on jars containing dry cat food for his cats, and eating it. Headline: “Are raccoons taking over the world?”). Ted Meyer, a friend, took the above photo out his kitchen window late one night. “Mama” was down at the base of the tree and called them down about 3-4 seconds after this picture was shot. They disappeared seconds later into the night.
Jud Swan, Walnut Creek, California

Raccoons do indeed seem to be taking over the world. They thrive in suburban and urban areas on our garbage and other sources of food. They tear up backyard lawns in search of grubs and earthworms, leaving your yard looking like it has been bulldozed. They turn your swimming pool into a mud bath. They even enter houses through cat/dog doors and go through cabinets looking for breakfast cereal to eat. (My raccoon friends tell me Cheerios and Coco Puffs are a favorite.) Still … you have to admit, they really are cute!

If anyone is having serious problems with these little characters, send me an e-mail (to: asking for help (explain your problem) and I’ll e-mail you back my (free) 7-page “Gary’s Raccoon Help.” It’s full of humane solutions that have been used successfully by many of my other readers to resolve their raccoon problems. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
Under: Raccoons | 4 Comments »

Big muddy pawprints appear to be from a big raccoon

Raccoon paw print. Photo by Eve Goode, Concord, CA
1coonprint2 eve goode concord

Attached are photos of muddy animal paw prints I found on the cement floor of my open patio. It rained last night. I live in Concord and I am surrounded by single family homes separated by 6 ft. fences. I have no pets. The size alone of this paw is a little intimidating to me. A dollar bill is six inches long. I darkened the contrast of some of these photos. The right paw is clearly visible but the left one is madly smudged. What do you think? What kind of local wildlife would have these large size paws?
Eve Goode, Concord, California

Looks to me to be the back footprint of a large raccoon. These characters that live here with us in suburbia — feeding out of our garbage cans, eating pet food we leave out for our dogs and cats on the patio, fruit and veggies out of our gardens — can get pretty big on that diet, maybe 30-40 pounds. /Gary

Raccoon paw print. Photo by Eve Goode, Concord, CA
1coonprint eve goode concord

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2011
Under: Raccoons | 1 Comment »

Raccoons competing with squirrels for peanuts

Raccoon peeking over fence. Photo by Bill & Ann, Concord, CA.
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Spotted this little guy peeking over our back fence.

He/she returned later that night to clean up the peanuts our squirrels left. The second one was taken at night through my kitchen window. That’s why it’s dark and blurry.
Bill & Ann, Concord, California

Bill & Ann:
Raccoons seem to be interested in everything … as long as it’s edible. /Gary

Raccoon eating peanuts. Photo by Bill & Ann, Concord, CA.
coon peanuts bill ann concord

Posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011
Under: Raccoons, Squirrels | 2 Comments »

Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s Wildlife Exclusion Service

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


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 /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 »

‘White’ raccoons: Ever seen a white-blond-tan raccoon before?

“White” (left) and normal colored raccoon (right). Photo by Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, CA
raccoon white ann sevier wc

My hubby and I came home to find 4 raccoons on our deck last evening.  I had seen them once before, but failed to get a good pic.  Last night I got 2 good pics showing their unique color.  Please let me know how common tan and brown raccoons are!
Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, California
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2011
Under: Raccoons | 17 Comments »

A raccoon in the wild … a raccoon in wild suburbia

A raccoon in the wild. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA.
raccoon dave harper oakley

Above, is a raccoon in the wild.

Below, is a raccoon in a wild suburban backyard. /Gary

Lawn damaged by raccoons foraging for earthworms & tasty insects
raccoon damage2

Posted on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
Under: Raccoons | No Comments »