Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hyde Park Critters

Even in winter, in the city, with a tiny garden and a chain-link fence, there's a lot to see out there. When we get a thin layer of snow like we had a few days ago, I always go out to look for tracks...

We have some bunnies in our alley...and so do you. They're everywhere. They never steal from my garden, but they always check it out anyway.

These tracks on my frozen bird bath are the ones I dread seeing:

Though they're muddled, they look like cat tracks. But baby opossum tracks have fooled me before. Plus, a neighbor let's her cat out, so maybe it's not a stray anyway. Before Hyde Park Cats became active, I used to see these quite often. Once, on a 15˚F winter night, I followed some tracks out of my garden and down the alley, and then they disappeared in a parking lot. It was so sad. But that story had a happy ending. With HPCats' help, I trapped little Daisy and now she's a professor's cat. I rarely see cat tracks these days.

Since I have a bird feeder, I see a lot of hawks, especially in summer. They're fascinating, but they always kind of kill the party. All the other birds leave.

One time a young hawk was spotted in our courtyard. It looked stunned and someone called Animal Control. I made sure to notify Flint Creek Rehabilitation Center right away (here's an article about the center). The bird was transferred to them promptly. Apparently this is common with young hawks, and they usually pull out of it.

Of course there are always squirrels...

If I can, I'll get shots of some of the other critters in Hyde Park. The 'holy grail' would be a shot of the great 'Coonzilla'. I saw her/him in my alley once. She's HUGE.

As always, if you already have some shots to share, send them in!

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