Well the dog trap actually , I have been on my several times a year thinning out the stray dogs forays when "Pesky" showed up . Other times I have suspected his presence when he successfully raids the trap stealing the bait without triggering the trap . But occasionally he slips up and I get to view his presence.
"Pesky" if you do not know is my resident kit fox , cute is'nt he ?
I usually manage to trap him once or twice a year . What I found surprising some years ago Susie was that he co-habitates with other burrowing owls not on my property but at one of the natural mega-plexes about 100 yards east of my place . When I release him I managed to keep up with him on several occassions tracking him . He went to a mega-burrowing owl complex that I knew of . A burrowing owl sitting outside one of the entrances did'nt flinch at all at the foxes approach or when he went into one of the close adjacent burrows. It was more like "where have you been all night, gettin' back kind of late are'nt ya' " kind of thing . If I had not seen it , not sure I would have believed it as natural behavior .
Well , my dogs were barking here just before 10:00 p.m. so I thought maybe I'd go out to check the traps . Found a few DEA agents and the like tramping around close by . Up the road a short distance was a rolled over vehicle (drug runner) that they had been chasing . Driver bailed out and started taking off in the general direction of my place . Mind you I designed this place to be a wildlife garden . It provides LOTS of good cover for ALL kinds of wildlife . I gave them permission to come on the property with thier thermal imager etc.. Thier out there tramping around now .
Yeppers , life is sur borin' out here in the boondocks . Wunner how I'll be bored tommorry by cracky .
"The little kit fox inhabits the dry, open flats and is more nocturnal, so it is not often seen by people. The kit fox is also more carnivorous than the coyote or gray fox, depending on kangaroo rats for most of its diet. This fox is a great digger, and any area occupied by kit foxes will be pocked with dozens of den holes."
That seems to be true in my area.
"Kit Foxes can survive without free water, gaining what they need from the blood and moisture in their prey, and so can live in the most arid areas. They are the only canines to use dens year-round. Kit foxes are nocturnal—retreating to the relative coolness and humidity underground during the day probably helps them to survive in these hot, arid environments. Kit foxes change dens frequently, and there will be many mounds and holes in kit fox territory. Some dens may have as many as 7 to 10 entrance holes, making it appear that there are more kit foxes than there really are. These foxes are solitary during July through September, but females move into family dens in October to prepare for the new pups. The males join them later. The pups are born in February and March. Both parents feed them, bringing a steady diet of kangaroo rats for 5 or 6 months—then the young foxes are on their own. Signs of a den with pups include food remains, feathers, fur, and scat.
Kit fox numbers are declining due to loss of habitat and poisoning. "
Glad that I have gotten to see and know them in thier natural environs a bit .
By law I cannot do anything with him specifically , to do so would be contrary to what a wildlife garden could/should be. What I have done is to provide a habitat rich garden which he and other creatures are attracted to . To interact with the creatures/fauna too much would be detrimental to them as they would lose some of thier natural instincts/fear of man. So I simply try to provide a nice place for them to be/come to. Try to keep things harmful to them (stray/feral dogs come to mind for some reason) So I trap ,try to keep things hamful away and then allow nature to take it's course.
Burrowing owl habitat
Mounds/small mountain under construction, some creatures prefer sloping ground to live in, tortises, native bees and so on.
lots of dead wood hauled in and "planted"/placed throughout the property that attracts natural native insects, rodents, etc. .
Over 150 trees planted throughout the property (lost count of shrubs, cacti/succulents but very high numbers) Hopefully in the not too distant future we will have the place cataloged/plant list.
A web site that the wife put together goes into some of the details of the place.
Lonediver- do the laws say anything about airsoft or paintball guns used on them? I think they're awesome, but I live in town and haven't so far ever seen one this side of Reddington Pass. A nonlethal deterrent? It seems a shame not to be able to protect what you've built out there.
Are you interpeting that it is the fox that is the problem ? The fox is a welcome guest , stray , feral cats and dogs are the problem .
The director of the Pinal county animal control is visiting me this coming saturday , she wanted to see what I am doing . She says she has an interest in wildlife and we will talk some about what can be done to possibly be done to get more control in my area. I have to guess that it is not just my immediate area, likely county/state wide. This is what happens when so called domestic pets are not neutered and allowed to free roam . Cats are quite capable of breeding 4 or more times a year . Dogs 2-3 times a year . The burrowing owls breed/have young once a year . Two years ago I had a colony of 6 owls here , currently down to two .
It becomes a numbers game and wildlife ain't winnin' .
The reason why Pesky is called "Pesky ' is that he has thus far refused to be trained at not entering the traps that I set for dogs, etc.. I am not Dr. Doolittle and have not learned how to speak fox. So the game with Pesky goes on . I sometimes trap him but he always gets released.
When I was in college a million years ago I was walking through the park and saw a gentleman with a very odd looking dog. I struck up a conversation with him about what type of dog he had and he told me it was a fox that he had found in the flood plain of one of the rivers. He made a wonderful pet.
It is so wonderful what you are doing. With our business I try so very hard to educate people why they should not use any poisons to get rid of their rodents and the ramifications of using poisons.
I think your fox sounds like he wasn't raised to maturity by its mom.
Okay , if there is any nature lovers here , here are some pictures that ought to make one sick . Just over 2 weeks ago my burrowing owl was attacked by some local dogs who were allowed to "free roam " , unrestrained by thier owner/caretakers . Prior to this attack I had some three burrowing owls in residence , since I have only reliably accounted for one .
Now does anyone wonder why I trap for so called domestic animals ?
To say that I was a little irritated could be a weeeeeee bit of an understatement . I just watched over the last year seen my population of 6 owls drop to one . Some 7 years of developing this colony down the drain .
Since this occured (sometimes there are silver linings in clouds) I may be getting more co-oping with animal control. Means more work on my part , I have been driving around my area taking pictures of homes that are not in compliance keeping dogs restrained . But this has been a building problem out here for a long time . Various other peoples raising goats , chickens etc. have had a lot of thier stock killed. Some people say that they donot enjoy walking around because of fear of being harassed by dogs . Animal control simply does not have enough manpower to cover all the area that they have so I am volunteering to gather the evidence necessaary for prosecution.
I think that it is possible that I may become unpopular with some people . Ask me if I care .
Another positive note , the first steps are in motion to have the area near where I reside considered for IBA (important bird area designation ) by Tucson Audubon. I am told that this often takes 1 to 2 years but the process is beginning
I was also asked if I might consider taking part in a turkey buzzard study .
Same-o , same-o boring crud goin' on roun' here.
Now who is interested in a nature lesson with pics of where "Pesky" lives ?
Lonediver, wonderful pics of Pesky. He is beautiful. So sorry to hear about the owls. Bum. Hopefully you'll get some help with the feral cats and dogs running loose. I have had issues with dogs in years past. They will kill for sport. I have had all my chickens killed, twice, by dogs. Coyotes will grab one and go but dogs will kill them all. If I want to have chickens I have to build a pen like Fort Knox. Dogs, bobcats, coyotes, skunks, racoons all love chicken... Cats don't bother the bigger chickens but they are murder on the birds and lizards... Don't get me wrong. I have had dogs here 'in town'. But they were either in the house or tied up. (before we fenced the place) I really don't like to tie a dog up but it is a bit better than letting them loose in the neighborhood. And I have 5 cats, all spayed and the youngest is being neutered this Friday. They are mostly indoor cats but they still manage to kill some birds and lots of lizards, much to my dismay...
Unfortunately, it's a real problem that will not go away anytime soon. I mean feral cats and dogs and dogs that people just let roam loose. There is a small group here in Oracle that are trying to catch and neuter/spay all the feral cats they can catch. And rescue others. That's how I got my newest, 'Ralph'. I needed another cat like a hole in the head. but there he was... I wanted to help out but didn't want to have contact with the animals because I would want to keep them all, so I made a quilt for them to raffle. And when I went to deliver the quilt to them there was 'Ralph'. Next time I'll have them come and get the quilt...
Since then unfortunately I believe the problem has gotten worse not better. The economic meltdown has led to hoards of displaced animals . People loosing houses suddenly find that they cannot either afford to keep animals or they cannot take the animals with them to new location . They then may try to take the animals to a shelter only to find the overcrowded shelters are now having to charge to take animals in . Sometimes a mildly substantial sum , especially to people who longer have jobs or homes .
Soooooo... the alternatives .
Animals left abandoned at abandoned houses . Animals turned loose into the streets or countryside . Much of this has happened, I talk with animal control officers frequently . I have gone months waiting for loaner traps , now if I am going to salvage/rebuild what I started am likely going to have to buy/build my own traps . A cheap mediocre dog trap $150, a good sturdy one $300 .
Then there is trapping laws , both Arizona Game and Fish and local ordinances , sometimes conflicting regulations .
AGF allows the use of box type/havahart style traps and certain types of leg hold traps . Padded and off-set leg traps that are designed not to pinch/cut into flesh . Some localities ban leg hold traps , AGF has a TOTAL BAN on any type of snare type trap . Pinal county for awhile used a type of snare trap which would be legal for trapping dogs BUT if you trap a wildlife critter even by accident (for some reason "Pesky" comes to mind) Then you are breaking state law . Leg hold traps where/when (yes, there is a trapping season and one has to be a license holder to run a trap line) allowed by the state. Then you could find that you are in violation of local ordinances by using leg hold traps on so called domestic animals .
Sounds like a catch-22 situation to me .
Now everybody is likely going to say what's the matter with the hav-a - hart traps .
Nothing , ... for a while. Any one who calls animals dumb is stupid themselves in my estimation. Dogs are for the most part social animals that often congregate in packs , I have spent/wasted many hours tracking dogs from my property . A pack of 5 dogs will likely split while I track/chase/pursue them . Three will go in one direction , two in a different direction going to different houses/properties. I can only chase one group so I will have to chase the other sub-group a different day . More fun/time wasted. Hav-a-hart traps stop working on packs once a portion of the packs are caught, thet see thier buddies caught and correctly decide that these things are not things that they want to go into.
I moved out to the country to create a peaceful wildlife garden in solitude .
HAAAAA ! ! ! (Does anyone detect a note of sarcasm ?)
Wildlife is under presure even in the country . Feral/stray cats/dogs , people with thier da_ _ motorcycles/quads freewhelling across open land . I have had one or two of these on my place.
I am getting MAD and MADDER
We humans are responsible for this destruction , nothing seems to get done until after we have lost it .
Well I have been ranting long enough , who's listening anyway .
I here you. lonediver. I recently turned some of my "neighbors" in to Operation Game Thief, as the 19 year old shmucks are shooting doves with a BB gun and if they're not dead, putting them in the freezer to die slowly, then eating them. I found out from my other neighbor's son that they "accidently" shot one of the lovebirds that visit my feeders and that was the last straw for her, so she asked me what we could do, hence the report to OGT. By shooting doves, they are guilty of poaching, and if any of them are Mourning Doves, they are also in violation of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. May they find themselves in a whole shit storm of trouble.
BTW, off the present subject , back in Nov. - Dec. I gave you an invite to come down and see what I'm doin' down here in the backwood sticks. You accepted the invite but said it would be after the holidays . Weeeeell the (that) set of holidays are over . I'm here , where are you ?
Problem with todays law enforcement is thier budgets - manpower are waaaaaaaa... yyy over strecthed ! ! ! Sooooooo , since the last dog attack on my burrowing owl habitat I've been putting in 1 1/2 to 3 hours daily doing "dog patrol" gathering photographic evidence of blatant repeat violators of dogs at large ordinances.
I have resolved that there is little use in rebuilding the owl habitat until the dog situation in my area is under control . So I am becoming a rat-fink on anybody within a mile radius or so of my house. This involves a bunch of driving , hiking, binoculars , notebook and most importantly a digital camera . Beauty of digital cameras is that all images taken give a date and time stamp .
I caught an at large dog on the streets monday afternoon, animal control picked the dog up from me yesterday, tuesday afternoon. I knew absolutely where the dogs home was so once the officer picked the dog up from me about 4:30 p.m. tuesday afternoon and either gave them a warning or ticket . I drove by this morning about 8:00 a.m.. The peoples dog was at large again some 14 - 15 hours after being cited the first time .
Encouragin' ain't it ?
I got pics of the violation this morning , they should definitely get a ticket this time . ($250 first time offence , $500 for second time , shame I don"t/won't get any of that)
Animal control costs a BUNCH , great waste of tax dollars so far as I can tell . By the time they pay for officers, house, feed the animals , euthanisia when necessary if animals are'nt adopted, disposal . You don't want to know what it costs per animal .
Shame , just because of irresponsible pet owners .
Frogymon, I hope that you got irrefutable proof of thoose creeps actions , otherwise those persons will likely walk away from what they did .
Laughing , as they get off .
BTW, I captured another dog at large this morning , waiting for animal control to pick this one up . No idea who's it's owners are , nice german shepard. He did NOT like my wife when I brought him home to my place . He growled and lunged a bit at her . I was going to have have her help me kennel the dog (sometimes difficult) Scratch that idea. Had to do it myself , The dog did NOT want to enter the/a kennel. Wrestling match time .
One more down maybe some 50 + to go . Great life if one does not weaken .
It never occured to me when I started wildlife gardening that I was going to have to learn to become a dog catcher as a gardening skill .
Lonediver, waiting to have knee surgery so that walking your property will be easier, as I'm using a cane right now. I tore my medial meniscus while on vacation in Amsterdam back in May and since it hasn't healed surgery is the only recourse left.
Something I found hard to believe a few years ago was several different times after releasing Pesky was that he went to areas that I had always assumed to be natural burrowing owl dens/nests . Somewhat large complexes with several deep multiple holes that in other previous wanderings I had seen burrowing owls residing there.
Hmmmmmm ! ? ! ?
Can, do burrowing owls reside in the same complex ?
I have called Bob Fox from Wild At Heart , he said that while he has/had not oserved such , but it would not surprise him .
I wrote to Stacy Burleigh who does studies at the Audubon Zanjero burrowing owl park in Mesa/Chandler, her reply;
I have recently read that there are several animals that will share the same burrow/den complex with a burrowing owl but can't remember if kit foxes were among those mentioned. I've got quite a bit going on right now but when I've got some time I'll try to research it a bit and see if I can find anything.
I wrote/called/conversed with a Brittany Olsen, ding her Masters at U Of A primarily on Burrowing Owls, she did not quite believe it possible . Birds are normally prey to foxes .
Just what I love , definitive answers .
My 2 cents for what is worth , it is possible and it is happening not far from my house . However I will have to provide better photographic proof than what I have at present .
Here is a few pics , I want to see what you all decide , this will require audience particapation.
Pics 1 & 2 ; this is a burrowing owl den . This features "whitewash" see those things that look like white paint droplets . Another name fo it would be bird poop .
[quote="CountryGardens"]OK, two questions.
Did they capture the drug runner?[/quote]
Drug runner got away is my understanding , overturned his truck on it's side but got out and ran away on foot . Lots of places to hide in the dark here. An unintended consequence of my creating a dense wildlife garden is that it can hide lots of "different" wildlife.
[/quote]What happens to the dogs if not owned by someone ? [/quote]
They are turned into the Pinal county animal control , who I understand have lowered thier euthanasia rate working with a lot more rescue agencies . A number of years ago they would hold animals for 10 days , now lowered to three days . If an animal is not reclaimed, adopted, placed with a rescue agency than ...
[/quote]Minnesota loves deer, so any dog chasing deer can be shot on site.
Wish I could do that here with dogs I see harassing wildlife. YES, I said that . Hey if you put in the work that I have on this place , you would to. So called domesticated animals have more "rights" than wildlife.
Cats are a foriegn introduced animal not native to the American continents. I will admit that they are so wide spread now that elimination is not possible , I do feel that there needs to be responsible control of them AWAY from wildlife . License domestic cats as dogs are supposed to be , then cats should be restricted to thier owner/caretakers property not impinging on others .
When I get 3 plus people who swear that they have read/ viewed all ( I do mean ALL the way through , not just cursory glances) the above links relative to kit foxes . Then I will get/gather some more pics for you , This means I have to go out and hike around a bit so if I am going to do that , then the least you all can do is to do the assigned reading/viewing .
Extra credit for you if you go out and find a few more good links that might divulge some more insights to kit fox behavior or Burrowing owl sites that might explore relationships between the two . Thus far I have looked at many sites that talk of either independantly but nothing I have found that puts them together other than they can share similar range. Example ; they have been independantly verified to exist in the Sonoran desert around me . Burrowing owls have a MUCH bigger range than just the Sonoran desert . They range from Canada to South America .
More (assigned reading) info on Kit foxes with description of range plus maps.
Have fun 3 + people . Voice up once you have completed the assignments .
Then I will reveal some more from what I see here .
If you could somehow get those coyotes here , I would be glad to see them . For some strange reason Arizona coyotes are scarce in my immediate area. I have seen more coyotes on Sun City golf courses than I see here .
Boy! If I could catch some of these coyotes around here I'd be glad to send them to you... There's a beautiful bobcat, also, that I'd send... He loves to eat cats!! I know that for a fact. I saw him make off with my sweet Joey... I really hoped he'd get indigestion for all that cat hair he ate. Nope, he was back the next evening looking for more. It may have been a female feeding her young but there were plenty of cottontails around.
A strange sight/story I have. I observed a single coyote hanging around my place for 2 days or so about 4 - 5 years ago . I welcomed it because I thought it would aid in cottontail control . Well One afternoon I was outside and heard a bit of a ruckus . Glanced about and saw one of the little burrowing owls flying along about tail high on the coyote chasing the coyote off . Did not see the coyote hanging around any more.
A kodak moment and I did not have a kodak ( a kodak for the youngsters who do not know WAS a famous camera/film maker) (Oh I should have known, next question is , What is film ? ) Gad, sometimes I feel old .
Pesky looks incredible healthy. Can you get the dove shooters to shoot the dogs with dove ammo? It wouldn't kill them, I don't think. Or would coyotes chase off the dogs? Are the owls an endangered/protected species?
Well on the bad news side my burrowing owl colony is no more , last owl I saw here on my property was Tuesday afternoon, January 29 . Persistent harassment by dogs were too much They are dead or gone to safer location. My war on stray-free roaming dogs is stepping up SEVERAL notches .
On good news side my area IS being included in a proposed IBA (Important bird area) by Tucson Audubon .,There was being a proposed IBA area for Table Top mountain area . A distinct leg swinging off thier earlier proposed map will be included that encompasses my area , Sufficent people had visited my place to atest to what I knew . This area is special to burrowing owls , soil conditions are right, etc. for them to inhabit the area in a high density .
Arizona Game and Fish maybe might have someone come down and see what I am observing about Pesky and a burrowing owl living so close together .
Guess what , I went to visit a friend who lives some 4 miles west of my place and he said that he had come across a MEGA burrowing owl complex some 1/2 mile from his house .
Weeeeeelllll , from his description I wondered if the same thing was occuring and I found the same thing . What is likely yet another kit fox den with a burrowing owl nest not quite as close together as described above but only about 10-12 feet apart .
What do you all make of that ?
Present count in the war on stray dogs 8 dogs turned into animal control in about 2 weeks . Many more to go .
Weeeellll , yesterday afternoon I was starting to prepare to go to a cactus club meeting in Tucson when my dog bells went off . For those who do not know , out in the country we do not have door bells , the dogs bark informing one of various events , hence my term "dog bells" .
As I said I was preparing to get ready to go to this meeting , having just gotten out of the shower I was dressed apropriately in my birthday suit . Looking out my back upstairs window I saw a vehicle over at my neighbors that I did not recognize loading up some materials. I observed this joker start to drive out and as he turned around , he "lost " his trailer and proceeded to continue to drive off leaving his trailer behind .
Well I rushed to change out of my birthday suit and into something more approved of to go out into public. I knew neighbor was not home and went over to his brothers house not too far away. Got him and by the time we got back to his brothers place the joker who had lost his trailer had gotten back and was driving out . Chasing him , we got him to pull over where he proceeded to claim he had permission which we knew not to be true . Then he said he made a mistake and would go back and return the materials .
He got in his vehicle and started to speed away , Chase is ON. Wife in the back seat called 911 . (During part of the "discussion with this joker he made a display of a firearm he was carrying) Speeds of 50 to 80 miles an hour (wife was'nt sure where we were so she passed the cell phone to me , mind you I was driving 50 - 80 MPH over dirt country roads while trying to tell the 911 operator where we were which was changing rather quickly .
Some 15 miles of this , operator assuring me that officers were coming with flashers on. well the joker got to some paved road where I lost him , Officers were still some 1 - 2 minutes behind (?) me . First two flew by me trying to pick up the chase where I lost the joker and was told by the operator to go home where I would be met by another officer to make a report .
Told him what happened and so on , he said he would come back tomorrow (now today) for more info .
Then finished getting ready and still made in time to get to the club meeting in Tucson .
Yeppers , life is shur borin' out here in the backsticks .
Wife who was sitting in the back seat through this is now claiming that I lowered her life expectancy by some 1 -2 years , yeah , yeah . My ears tuned out .
So have you gotten the hubby to move the house 6 inches to the north(or was it east that you wanted) yet Sharon ?
Same-o , same-o here . Building mountains , moving dead trees , making snake pits, trapping dogs , (still have a backlog of about 400 + plants to get planted yet) the usual stuff . What you been up to ?
Animal control was just here a little bit ago picking up the two dogs that I had for them today . It could be one of several diferent officers. Today it was "J.J." . He and I have become well acquainted over the years . Well while he was here today his cell phone went off and I cracked up at what his ring tone was , very apropriate I thought for an animal control officer as I split a gut .
Well young man, I turned 70 last August. And my DH just turned 80. He has Parkinson so he will not be moving the house East any more but I will probably still try. I can walk 18 miles on a well paved road or golf path but put me on uneven soil or trails and down I go.
Have a great day and keep up the good work.
Sorry for hubby's problems , bring him down and he can tell me of his expierences. I too have been diagnosed with Parkinsons , ocassionally I get some wierd dizzy spells that cause me to fall . Enough of physical ills/problems for now .
No dogs as of yet this morning but the day is young , animal control has promised me that soon a raid/sweep will be done that will likely result in 15 to 20 citations of repeat offenders of leash laws based on reports/pictures I have gathered over the last 3 - 4 weeks .
Last sunday a little boy was bitten badly enough to require hospitilzation . A few months ago a flock of goats were killed by at large dogs , those dogs were not identifed/captured . Some people who raise chickens frequentlly have chickens killed , again by at large dogs . It has gotten bad around here and needs to stop . People were/are reluctant to simply walk down the street . So I am undertaking to stop this nonsense , not just for my owls though that is MY ax to grind .
It will likely take me a year to get my owl colony rebuilt . It took me some 6 plus years to build the first time . I started with a single owl that was residing on my property , got him relocated via passive relocation by building the artifical habitat , they like the artifical habitat better . Some 3 years later The colony numbers went up to 6 . More recently numbers were 3 due to cats I believe . Now after the dog attacks I am down to zero .
I am just a little P.O.'d at other peoples lack of control of THIER animals . I WILL get active in promoting cat registration/licensing/control. I will promote that wildlife is given more rights , the things that I have learned I find appalling .
Back east there are some critically endangered plovers (a shore nesting birds) , apparently some dogs had been found destroyong nests, killing birds etc. . In the rare occassions when the dogs were identified , the feds attempted to prosicute but lost . Dog owners not being punished for damages to wildlife .
Dog owners can/are liable for dog bites, property damage but not damages to wildlife/ecology ? I fail to understand ! ? Just yesterday I was on the phone with a U.S. fish and wildlife investigator/enforcement agent .
Bottom line is so called domestic animals have/are accorded more "rights" than wildlife .
Enjoy the wildlife while you can people thier numbers are diminishing ...
ps.--- Burrowing owls (not all, but quite a few) do migrate in the winter months- especially if they feel harrassed and the weather has been very cold. Look for them to return around mid-March. All may not be lost to dogs!!!
LOL He is adorable! My sister and I had a young one as a pet for a while and he was so funny. In the Imperial Valley in California there are lots of burrowing owls. Or at least there was then, back in the 50's. This was around Brawley and Holtville. Lots of fields of vegetables and canals for the irrigation. The owls liked to den up on the banks of the ditches and canals. My sister and I used to sneak up and watch them. They are very entertaining. We called them Johnny Owls and, of course, the one our dad brought home, we called Johnny. Johnny liked to have coffee with my dad in the mornings. My dad learned to pour a bit of coffee into a saucer for Johnny after he landed on the cup a few times and spilled coffee allover the table. Also, after Johnny had to be fished out of the bean bowl a couple of times we learned to put a plate on the bowl. We'd have to fix him a plate of veggies so he'd leave our plates alone. My sister had a parakeet named Tweety and of course Johnny freaked her out. She stayed on the bottom of her cage for about a week. She was in a flat topped cage that we hung on a nail against the wall. Johnny liked to take his naps on top of her cage, standing on one foot, the other one tucked up. Tweety got brave enough to quietly sneak up and pinch one of his toes. He would open his eyes a slit and exchange feet. Pretty soon Tweety would sneak up and pinch a toe on the other foot. That would go on for hours until Johnny would finally fly off to the top of the corner cupboard to get some uninterupted shut eye. He'd wake us up in the mornings pulling our hair, plucking at a watch band, or just sitting on a knee staring at us. I don't remember how long we kept him, a month or so maybe, before dad took him back to where he'd found him and let him go. Hopefully, he was accepted back in the fold. It was a great experience for my sister and I so see such an engaging creature up close and personal. Dad was always bringing something home. Once a very young donkey, one time a lamb, another time a goose. When I was very young, 2 or 3, he brought home a couple of baby crows. My mom was a saint...
Some 4 to 5 weeks of homework/tracking/survelence is paying off today. Ever since I started and a little before I started this thread I have been driving/walking the area that surrounds me for about a 3/4 mile radius finding habitual violators of dog at large laws . Photographs/observations etc. . Using the local tax assessors map to identify property owners .
Well this morning about 7:30 A.M. , THREE animal control officers came to my property and took copies of my information and a RAID is now taking place .
Wish the officers luck , this will be good for the preservation of the burrowing owls in my area and Pesky the fox . Numerous others reasons for the raid , people around here were harassed by dogs as people walked the streets, livestock/chickens killed by dogs, as well as lack of rabies vacinations. Two sundays ago on the 10th of Feb. a local boy was very badly mauled by one of the at large dogs .
Let you all know the progress by the end of the day , prior to today between myself and animal control officers some 45 dogs have been trapped/removed/siezed in the last month around me . The numbers of at large dogs IS thinning out !
You are doin good. Texas has different views on animaks and folks causing destruction. Only the cities have animal control. Whrn I was younger I rode the pastures around the stocker cattle and the milk cows that were springing. Wolf hunters and their dogs were not welcomed. They were told so too. Part of my job was searching for cut fences and gates left down, cows not settled due to hunters dogs chasing them too. My dad caught one bunch and told them not to hunt those bottoms, and a coyote was flushed and they said see! We are helping you. My dad said I see that, may I try your gun. THEY let him have the rifle, he sighted in and pulled the trigger. The dog went down and daddy said oopps and handed the gun back. No more dogs or hunters, and we never had issues eith the cows being hunted by the wildlife...
SHOUT from the highest mountain * CELEBRATE WITH ME !!!!!!!! * ( Doin' the HAPPY DANCE ) * JOYOUS MORNING even with the overcast today .
Guess what I saw this morning !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
I went out to check the two dog traps I had set (none trapped today) and I was walking close to the burrowing owl habitat and I saw TWO lumps that resembled rocks . Could it Be ? I walked a little closer and one of the lumps flew away (guess it was'nt a rock after all ) .
Some burrowing owls have RETURNED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First time I have seen any on my property since January 29th . Something that one becomes accustomed too, seeing/observing burrowing owls on my property was a DAILY occurance until Jan. 29th. Today Feb. 20th marks thier return ! There are times that you take something so for granted until it is lost . I have had owls CONTINUOUSLY daily for 7 years. The battle against free roaming dogs was worth its effort . I have spent WELL over a hundred plus hours over the last month plus touring the niehborhood,survelence , tracking the dogs etc. . But maybe a corner has been turned !
Assuming that the owls will continue to stay , from here forward is thier usual mating time mostly in March , Eggs are probably laid late March, early April. We typically see the beginning fledglings emerge for the first time mid May so chances are good that we will have new owlets again this year . The habitat looks like H - E - Double L ( see pics above, different post ) I will attempt repairs (any volunteers willing to help ? ) late summer, early fall once fledging is finished. Now is not the time , they need privacy , quiet, undisturbed time .
[quote="kittriana"]You dont think that folks lose one dog and just go get another?[/quote]
That is anticipated . The director of the local animal control who personally visited here some 2 - 3 weeks ago has promised that my area will in the future be a "ZERO TOLERANCE " area .
The raid/sweep yesterday netted an additional 18 dogs . Between myself and Pinal County Animal Control something over 60 dogs have been removed from my area in the last month . Yesterday some 14 citations were issued, once it becomes known that violators have to PAY for continued violations , infractions should decrease . It will become a maintenence chore for me to maintain a continued vigilence through my community , reporting any violators. I am going to be issued some dog traps by Pinal County Animal Control on semi-permenant loan and allowed to take them from my own property and set them up where landowners allow me to . So I am becoming an unoffical (and unpaid) volunteer animal control officer kind of .
Still doin' the/a HAPPY DANCE, HAPPY DANCE, CELEBRATE , CELEBRATE with me ! The owls are back !
Great big smile here!!! Also a victory dance!! At least the owls are back and the dog population is less there. Beware of irate,stupid, dog owners... Some of them will probably have guns... Note, I said 'stupid' dog owners. Not the ones who are responsible owners. You are very fortunate that the local animal control is working with you on the problem. Some times they are to busy or to strapped for funds to be of much help.
It is snowing here, about 2" so far. Looks so pretty. Glad I don't have to be out in it.
Well found two repeat violators today , even after being warned just yesterday . I was driving , the wife was riding along so she was working the camera. Got some GREAT pics of the dog going down the middle of the street and then diving for a gap/crack where the double gates come together . I have discovered over the last month that good sized dogs are very capable of squeezing through gaps of 6 to 8 inches with little trouble .
Good news there was still one burrowing owl at sunset here , it stood up for me and I saw it full side profile .
Tucson Audubon scientific comitee looked at the application to include my area as an IBA ( Important Bird Area ) and because I am in a semi-developed area with lots of agriculture close by , it is not looking like it will qualify as an IBA BUT it is going to be nominated as an area of special interest .
Not the whole cake but still not bad I think .
Also it looks like Desert Rat Studio (us) is the finalist as the start of that turkey vulture study . We will be co-oping with Sonoran Joint Venture. The trapping/banding of the vultures is going to occur May - June .
You ever do a long haul up into central Arizona there is plenty of room to park a big rig in front of my place , quiet country road with little traffic (except for the drug runners) pull and park a spell and I will give ya a tour .
[quote="morknotmindy"]Great big smile here!!! Also a victory dance!! At least the owls are back and the dog population is less there. Beware of irate,stupid, dog owners... Some of them will probably have guns... Note, I said 'stupid' dog owners. Not the ones who are responsible owners. You are very fortunate that the local animal control is working with you on the problem. Some times they are to busy or to strapped for funds to be of much help. [/quote]
I was fortunate to have gotten the cooperation of Pinal County Animal Control , the director took a personal interest in what I was doing here . But this effort comes at a high price tag . Something I somewhat knew from previous research on the subject of animal control is that every animal turned in costs an agency $175.00 to as high as $300.00 to process . Those trucks (not cheap) equipped with computers built on kennel cabs and associated equipment , officers salaries, the main kennels and staff . Costs add up . FAST !
I verified from the director and the training supervisor that Pinal counties cost for processing is a little over $200.00/per animal . Sixty plus animals , the special enforcement action . The cost of this little war cost the county over $12,000.00 .
I spent a few hundred of my own , fuel, trap bait. My time .
XXXII and counting , I caught one wensday, another on thursday and had three given to me today . I think that animal control themselves has gotten 37 . So just short of 70, another 10 to 12 dogs where people are still not in compliance with leash laws and control will largely be done - for now . Lets hope that it stays that way . I caught another where the animal owner saw me and started getting beligerent so I released it and will let the men (and women) with badges deal with that person .
Anyone who wonders at my war on at large dogs might want to read this story on yahoo news today ;
I have seen some of the natural burrowing owl nests in my area destroyed by dogs , pics of the destuction of my artifical ones are several posts above .
Enough about dogs , has anyone here read the links to/about kit foxes that I posted/suggested above ? If any have I will reveal more that I know about Pesky and things that I have been told by Arizona Game And Fish .