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Upper Midwest Gardening: What Critters are visiting your garden or yard ,good or bad

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huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2009
12:34 PM

Post #6662749

What critters are visiting your yard and garden? This is my first visitor,30 -40 lb snapping turtle,most likely came to lay eggs,yup she snapped at me,I jumped DH laughed!!!

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enya_34
Madison, WI

June 9, 2009
7:45 PM

Post #6664606

That is incredible! Now I appreciate that my yard is only visited by birdies, chipmunks, squirrels and opossums. I used to complain about chipmunks, but now I know better :)
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2009
8:13 PM

Post #6664725

enya_34,we had a beaver in the wetlands a week ago ,couldnt beleive it,didnt get a pic either !!! Heres a picture from last yr,we are wondering if its the same snapper? Pictures are not really showing its size,big enough to be afraid of for sure!!!

This message was edited Jun 9, 2009 4:20 PM

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jcoakley
Chicago, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 10, 2009
12:41 AM

Post #6665837

We have a couple of mourning doves hanging out lately; I think they're so sweet. I couldn't get a good pic because they kept running away from me . . . I've noticed a lot more birds this spring & summer, which I love, and I'm assuming is because they like the things I've planted. Robins (of course), cardinals and some cool little guys with dark black-green shiny feathers (no clue). Still waiting for butterflies to arrive!

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enya_34
Madison, WI

June 10, 2009
6:52 AM

Post #6667285

I love the cooing of the doves :) but get to listen more to the screeching of the chipmunks :(

Have not seen butterflies yet either. Do get bees and bumble bees at my catnip though.

Oh, I do have a new visitor this year - a birdie that built a nest in our car porch.
Every time I go to my compost bin I disturb the poor thing and feel guilty :(
I'll try and take a picture of it but it's very small and quick.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 10, 2009
10:14 AM

Post #6667432

momma trying to convince a baby to come out

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huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 10, 2009
10:20 AM

Post #6667440

momma,really trying ,to pull a baby out,she was moving them,and the last of 3 said no way mom ,she got the first 2 moved very quickly,3rd one it was 24 hrs later he didnt want to go,so funny

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huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 10, 2009
10:26 AM

Post #6667452

Please,

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huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 10, 2009
10:29 AM

Post #6667457

dont make me do this!!!! ( this was a few weeks ago)

This message was edited Jun 10, 2009 6:32 AM

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enya_34
Madison, WI

June 10, 2009
4:03 PM

Post #6668587

Your place is a haven for wild life with single family housing on site :)
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 11, 2009
3:59 AM

Post #6671688

Wow, that's a big snapping turtle! In general, I like turtles...but snappers are a little scary, particularly if they're protecting eggs. I remember my parents warning me about them (I lived on a lake as a child).

I have the usual squirrels and chipmunks in my yard--nothing out of the ordinary. Oh, and there's a mourning dove nesting in my attic window. They're very pretty, and I can see that the babies are getting big.

Unfortunately, my yard has one less chipmunk as of earlier this week. This is my greyhound, Ella, after she and her half-brother, Quin, caught a poor chipper. (The guy has been pilfering a lot of birdseed, but I really didn't want him to end this way.) The expression on Ella's face says, "Ohmigod, this is completely disgusting...but I can't seem to put it down!" with a dash of, "Am I in trouble for this? I know I'm not supposed to chase the cat, but..."

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textilis
Saint Paul, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 11, 2009
4:11 AM

Post #6671728

I have seen multiple eagles and a fox...which is why, I presume, our rabbit population has dwindled significantly! Yea! Also saw and heard a great horned owl..I love those. The deer ramble through every so often, as do various egrets and herons..

In the past week I've seen lots of butterflys, no humming birds yet.

Lots of geese with babies right about now. All the goslings are following mama goose everywhere. Wish I had a video camera on a few days ago...There were 2 large broods following 4 adult geese, something tripped up one of the fluffy baby geese in the front of the pack, and it caused a real pile up. It looked like a pile of wriggling feathers with a foot sticking out every so often...took a few minutes to sort itself out and for the goslings to all be back scampering in the right direction.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 11, 2009
11:41 AM

Post #6672435

KayleyRed,yea I know about chipmunk losses,we are up 6 kills and 2 red sq.And my cat is on a leash !! 2 snakes that ended up in the house !!! they were 10-12 inches long garter snakes,good thing little ones dont make me scream !! I was like what is that,then I saw it was a curled up snake,with puncture holes,poor thing,I dont mind losing a few chips and the red squirrels,although they are awfully cute ,they have to be kept in ck,I hate it when the cat kills a snake.oh yes I satyed a good 4 ft. from the snapper ,when she snapped at me,her mouth was as big as my hand,I have not so small hands.I hope when she decides to go back across the road ,we see her,so we can asist her safely back over to the large pond .
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 11, 2009
12:59 PM

Post #6672658

Huggergirl, I do feel sad when my dogs kill an animal (which they don't often do, actually)...but I do figure it's just nature at work. Just like your cat, my greyhounds were bred to give chase and to catch anything that moves fast. They're just doing what their natural instincts tell them to do.

If I were out there poisoning or killing chipmunks or squirrels or rabbits, that would be a different story. I couldn't live with myself then.
enya_34
Madison, WI

June 11, 2009
8:15 PM

Post #6674487

I have to admit that I meticulously survey the flower beds and close every hole chipmunks dig there. What I don't understand why do they have to dig around the house when there's lots of space a few feet away where they won't be disturbed.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 11, 2009
8:54 PM

Post #6674635

I have huge amount of squirrels and birds; chipmunks, dratted bunnies ( they ate my lilies down to almost zilch last year), the occasional possum and an occasional female turkey. We've a couple of geese in the pond and a duck. We had a raccoon sunbathing here once last year.
grrrlgeek
Grayslake, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 12, 2009
12:19 AM

Post #6675454

We have tons of squirrels, chipmunks, doves/pigeons, and other birds. Somebody dug up the ferns I was growing out in a window box in the shade. My favorite critter is the woodpecker who visits for some suet if he can get it before the grackles. We apparently had a couple of raccoons visit our second floor deck last week; they pooped right up against the house. Needless to say, I was out there with the bleach water, then boiling water twice, then the hose, then I took a shower. Blech!
duck_toller
Middleton, WI
(Zone 4b)

June 12, 2009
1:10 AM

Post #6675707

the red tailed hawks that hunt the area take care of anything that might burrow in my garden. it always worries me that the neighbors let the cats out

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 12, 2009
1:32 AM

Post #6675855

I don't mind the squirrels so much; we put corn, peanuts and sunflower seeds out for them daily. I have some woodpeckers, which I love; finches, red-wing blackbirds, chickadee, house finches, robins of course. The chipmunks don't really bother me but the bunnies...they are a different story. They eat my stuff so badly but I found some stuff last fall that I put out and then again in early spring. They left the tulips, the lilies and the clematis alone this year; I bought it at Steins Garden center called Rabbit scram and it seems to have done the trick.

Last year and the year before I used Liquid Fence and the baby bunnies didn't seem to know they were supposed to be repelled by the smell and the taste and ate the plants any way. This year I guess the new batch got the message.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 12, 2009
1:34 AM

Post #6675861

my husband always teases me about a hawk getting my beloved sydney the cat,I dont let her out without a leash,or as we call them kitties on a string.Any way here is a picture of a pileated woodpecker,late feb,sorry thought the picture was better than it is.

This message was edited Jun 11, 2009 9:38 PM

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cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 12, 2009
1:47 AM

Post #6675920

I could see the bird...better than the one I took of a Baltimore Oriole last April...couldn't even see the bird.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 12, 2009
1:54 AM

Post #6675955

I should wear my camera around my neck,I never have it when something shows up,one morning went out in the screened porch,then stepped out the porch door ,its just daylight,I hear something and look up and out in the yard 15 ft, an 8 pt buck standing there looking at me,we have a lot of deer ,had lots of racoons ,live trapped and moved lots of them over the yrs,I see 2 bunnies ,I never see more,which is weird,but ok.I hope to get a much better shot of the pileated woodpecker sometime,we have a beaver come visit when our wetland gets fuller after a rain.
enya_34
Madison, WI

June 12, 2009
9:35 PM

Post #6679256

Took three pictures and this one is the best. I am not sure you can see the heads of the little chicks in the nest but there are 3 there. It's the first time we have a nest so close to the house, actually on the house :)

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DianeEG
Galva, IL

June 15, 2009
1:19 PM

Post #6689595

This young snake gave me a "photo op" recently. During the last week, the annoying, biting and destructive insects have just gone crazy. We've had lots of rain so expect it's all about that but it may be a long and difficult summer trying to control damage without sprays. I'm hopeful the beneficials will take out a lot of them: snakes, bats, birds, toads and the multitude of good insects.

Now, better get outside before the next few days of predicted rain moves in the area.

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huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 15, 2009
2:36 PM

Post #6689989

diane EG,is that a bull snake,thats a nice one ! except those buggers can be fiesty !! snakes love my field stone,nice and warm .
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 15, 2009
3:18 PM

Post #6690208

I hardly ever see snakes, although I don't mind them at all. If I had more snakes, maybe I'd have less of a chipmunk problem. ;)
enya_34
Madison, WI

June 15, 2009
3:42 PM

Post #6690329

Hate chipmunks, but am terrified of snakes. What kind of snake is it? I looked up bullsnake on the web. Although it sounds harmless to humans, I can't keep shivers way.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 15, 2009
4:21 PM

Post #6690536

if it is a bull snake,Iam pretty sure it is,they are a little un nerving ,they buzz their tail like a rattle snake,and they wont run away,havent seen one in awhile,I havent seen a decent sized garter either,I just like to not be caught off gaurd by them,too much uneven ground ,and rocks ,to fall on if I jump!!! Well just missed a photo op 2 does just came through the woods,down to the wetland,to much under growth see them.darn !!
enya_34
Madison, WI

June 15, 2009
4:33 PM

Post #6690590

How would you tell the difference between a bull snake and a rattle snake? I looked at the pictures and the colors are very similar and the article say there's variation and both are common in our area, it sounds.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 15, 2009
4:42 PM

Post #6690645

I dont think their heads are shaped the same,a bull snake does not have a rattle,they do buzz it, as a defense ,makes them look tuff !!! the first lg one I saw i went in to a panic ,OMG its a rattle snake,went to In. DNR,found out what it was .we do have timber rattle snakes ,a lady here in our county got bit,mowing tall grass.
KaylyRed
Watertown, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 15, 2009
5:54 PM

Post #6690992

I've lived in Wisconsin all my life and I've never seen anything but garter snakes. Here's a listing of Wisconsin reptiles from the DNR:

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/er/biodiversity/index.asp?mode=detail&Grp=49

There's some information on timber rattlers and their habitats. The page probably isn't very comforting to someone who finds snakes scary, though. Sorry, Enya! :(
jdalfred
South Rockwood, MI
(Zone 5b)

June 16, 2009
1:54 AM

Post #6693222

I have my usual toad invasion, they love leaving divets (think I spelled that right) in my mulch. They hye-tail it when I start walking through weeding. And as for snappers, good thing it didn't show up in my grandmas garden it would have been in the following days soup. Hope that dosn't offend anyone, thats just how we were raised:)

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enya_34
Madison, WI

June 16, 2009
5:31 AM

Post #6694057

A toad, that's so cool. I read that if you see amphibians in your garden it is a sign that it's chemical free. Not that you use chems, but they don't get into your yard from around. I don't use pesticides but people next door do. I have not seen any toads in my neighborhood, and there's a ravine behind my house that stays nice and cool and undisturbed all summer :(

This message was edited Jun 16, 2009 9:47 AM
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 16, 2009
12:56 PM

Post #6694703

I should have said bull snakes are not venomous,they are aggressive,and will strike if prevoked,as for a venomous snakes their heads are more triangled shaped,and the type of rattlesnake we have in northern Indiana is an eastern massasauga,I have never seen one here, and we have I guess the perfect habitat !! They say that they are fairly docile,still hope to never see one in my perfect habitat !!!!any other snake is welcome as long as they have no venom !!! Iam not offended about turtle soup,thats what everyone says ,boy that would have been a lot of soup !!!! I have lots of toads yea!!! :)enya_34 took me some time to get over the fear of snakes,had too living out here,in their teritory,and all of my feild stone terracing,they love it here,luckily the only snakes we see on aregular basis are garter,bull,black .yes I will pick up a garter ,a 10-12 inch no bigger though !!!

This message was edited Jun 16, 2009 9:27 AM

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 16, 2009
3:50 PM

Post #6695625

No snakes for me...they can come in my yard as long as they don't show their slithery little bodies to me. I know some are harmless but they give me the creepies.
scubadoobie
Chicago, IL

June 16, 2009
10:00 PM

Post #6697288

Robin's nest up in the eaves...discovered it too late to take photos while they were growing...

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DianeEG
Galva, IL

June 17, 2009
2:18 AM

Post #6698557

Yes, the snake is a bull snake and it's a young one so not like the pictures (espeically the head) you usually see. They do shake the end of the tail that makes a noise but it is thin and doesn't have the bumps with rattles in it. The head of an adult is different than the rattlesnake. The bull snake gets really big both in length and around. They also coil and do that striking motion that looks fearful but it's mostly bluff. I make a lot of noise when I'm weeding to "hopefully" let them run away. Here's a close up of the head.
We have lots of toads and frogs this year - I'm just hoping they eat the bugs. This is certainly a year of plenty.

Thumbnail by DianeEG
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cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 17, 2009
2:44 AM

Post #6698717







Enlarged the picture now I'll have nightmares. I can be such a whimp










textilis
Saint Paul, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 17, 2009
4:22 AM

Post #6699140

Toads and/or frogs are great for eating slugs. I put little "ponds" (a shallow dish, bowl with some stones in it) in my shade gardens . Next to it I take a clay pot and break out a "doorway". Turn the pot over for a little toad house. If you are lucky enough to attract the little critters, they will do a better job of keeping the slugs away from your hosta that "Sluggo" or other slug deterents.

I've seen a few hopping about so my frog spa's must be working.
enya_34
Madison, WI

June 17, 2009
12:15 PM

Post #6699820

Thank you Diane for the picture and the info. Great to know how to tell the difference.

Cool nest, must have been noisy at one point :)

I tried the toad house, but that did not work :( You are so lucky textilis, I do need those toad eating elves'
help so badly.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 17, 2009
12:20 PM

Post #6699842

textilis,Thats a great Idea,I mean really great,I like the idea of putting a saucer on the ground ,to attract the non winged critters,I wonder if I have toads under my sink ??

Thumbnail by huggergirl
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enya_34
Madison, WI

June 17, 2009
2:09 PM

Post #6700239

lovely area and very inviting. If I were a toad, I'd definitely pick the spot :)
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 17, 2009
5:28 PM

Post #6701126

baby robins are so cute,our robin is on nest 2,her first has already fledged,cant get pix of her in either nest too high up,so we just watch,I will get a pix of them eating grape jelly.Robins are going to be to fat to fly !! and worms are a plenty this yr.

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 17, 2009
5:40 PM

Post #6701179

We had a robins nest built on one of our rain gutters. About 2 weeks ago we were having some high winds and we dh and I got home the nest was laying on the ground. there was only one baby and the poor thing didn't make it. :(

I have a question for all. We were sitting here visiting with my /ds that stopped over and he said look at that mom that robin is eating from the suet! They don't eat suet. He couldn't hang on to the basket and was flapping is wings like a hummingbird but he was indeed getting something for his efforts and kept going back. DS says that just not right robins don't do that but i saw it he says I saw it with my own eyes. Is he right? Robins don't eat from suet feeders? and if not did someone forget to tell this robin he wasn't supposed to? To be perfectly honest I never paid any attention.
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 17, 2009
5:45 PM

Post #6701198

I have read that robins are changing their eating habits,to seed, not totally, and at my house they eat grape jelly thats for the orioles. so I do see some change .

cececoogan

cececoogan
Waukesha, WI
(Zone 5a)

June 17, 2009
6:35 PM

Post #6701406

come to think of it I have noticed one on my grape jelly a time or two, thought they just stopped by to check it out. ummmmmm
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 17, 2009
8:13 PM

Post #6701900

Another critter enjoying the grape jelly,chipmunks like it too.!!!picture not the best, new camera, I dont know how to use it yet.

Thumbnail by huggergirl
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enya_34
Madison, WI

June 17, 2009
9:06 PM

Post #6702136

hugger,
So what that bottle top over the post do?

This message was edited Jun 17, 2009 4:07 PM
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 17, 2009
11:09 PM

Post #6702614

enya ,its an ant mote,kind of ugly,DH made it ,it works ,I dont complain that its ugly,but I think I will paint it,DH is setting up a small water fountain ,next to the feeders so Id better make it a little prettier.
enya_34
Madison, WI

June 18, 2009
5:41 AM

Post #6704072

Now it makes sense: jelly, ants :) I don't think it's ugly, was curious what could that small thing stop.

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