Who’s Visiting Your Garden While You’re Not Watching?

My beautiful picture

I did a little experiment earlier this month and left our new CritterCam on for a period of five days, pointed at our backyard shed, to see what animals are visiting. The motion sensitive camera picked up seven visits from a possum, six birds, four skunk visitations, two rats, one raccoon and two house cats. I need to let the camera run for a longer period to get a better sense of what times of the day or night are the most active, but so far the hour of 2 am picked up the most activity (after the bars have closed on Sunset Blvd. perhaps?).

My beautiful picture

The pictures are showing what I think are mini wildlife corridors. Note the similar direction the possum and skunk seem to be heading.

The cat (which belongs to a neighbor):

My beautiful picture

And the raccoon (below) are also headed in the same direction.

My beautiful picture

That raccoon pic is another reminder for me to recheck my chicken coop’s fortifications.

My beautiful picture

And the rat is telling me to lock up the chicken food at night.

Reviewing these images has given me a less adversarial feeling about our mammalian visitors. They are just so damn cute, especially the skunk.

Next up in my CritterCam experiments will be to see who is visiting the bird bath. I’ll need some help from readers for that, since I don’t know my birds.

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16 Comments

  1. At our house, we use this book a lot:

    “Birds of the Los Angeles Region” by Kimball L Garrett, Jon L Dunn and Bob Morse.

    Book is small/portable, pics are great, separated into sections by general bird type (eg predators, water birds, owls), and even gives id tips like their voice/calls, behavior, similar species, and where/when you’re most likely to find them.

    :-) P

  2. Unfortunately, those rocks will not keep a raccoon out. Raccoons can move heavy objects and scale tall fences and trees to gain access. So, basically, the top and sides need fortification. Neither will chicken wire.

    I wish I had one of those cameras to see what moves through my yard. That way, I could know where to put the trap for the raccoon.

  3. Seeing the opossum and raccoon makes me very nervous for your chickens. But seeing as how they have been just fine so far, I will assume you guys have for fort knox down pat. Also, you never know how the wildlife will behave when food gets scarce (if that ever happens in L.A.). Maybe they are seeking out water?

    • Our chicken coop is very secure. We knew, before we built it, that our neighborhood is full of chicken predators.

  4. Also, what cam are you using? The oregon homesteader groups seem to have regular issues with trespassers, might be useful to auggest something like this for them.

  5. Raccoons DO love to use the same spot regularly, as we have found in our barn loft (yuck). we had an interesting visitor last nite, that our hound dog alerted us to – an armadillo! we are in Illinois just across the river from St. Louis, and we are just starting to see these creatures in the area – I have only ever seen dead ones. This guy buried itself up to his armor under a bush to protect itself from the hound dog. What an interesting looking creature!

  6. Ah, the usual suspects. This would give David Quammen a smile (read: “Planet of Weeds”). Looks like the only thing missing is a coyote. From May through August, we had two skunks, an opossum, and raccoons all vying for territory under our bedroom. The word is riotous comes to mind. Finally had to dig out the whole area, fence it off and hope for the best. Now, I suspect, they’re keeping the neighbors up.

  7. All these animals can cause a lot of damages to you and your house.I have also had skunks,raccoon visitors at night. They had caused severe damages to my lawn and garden and I was very depressed and frustrated. Initially I did try out on a lot of home remedies to get rid of these creatures,but unfortunately they were back in no time.Finally I resorted to get the help of an animal control services Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control in Toronto who did find a complete solution to the problem.

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