Coolest Mammal seen from your window/balcony?
So for the past several weeks I’ve had no time to go ‘sploring, since I had back-to-back tests in Analytical Functions 2, and other similarly pleasant-sounding courses in engineering…
But I did see my first golden jackal in Israel, during dinner as I was eating on my balcony with some friends from school.
I also saw some mouse/rat species running around the trees and cables near my house, and have seen Egyptian Mongoose and rock hyrax several times on campus, right near my house (but never FROM my house)
So the jackal was definitely the coolest one to see so far.. And I was wondering what is the coolest/rarest mammal people have seen from their actual homes (not from your vacation home somewhere in Costa Rica.. Lol. Unless u actually live there)
In 1994 I worked in Hai Bar (a nature reserve combined with a small zoo and a breeding center) in southern Israel and lived in a small cabin in the desert. I frequently saw a pair of caracals that lived nearby, and sometimes common gazelles of Arava ssp., one of the world’s rarest mammals.
In 2001 I lived in Santa Cruz Mountains above Silicon Valley in California, and occasionally saw a puma from my window, but never when I had a camera in hand.
One of the most remarkable moments of my wedding a few years ago was an American black bear crashing the party, but that was in a rented cabin, not at home.
I had Beech Martens in my garden just outside of Paris a few times. And Kangaroos, Black Wallabies and Brushtail and Ringtail Possums in Australia. The coolest though was when I was staying at Coke Smith’s house in the Olympic Peninsula and we caught a Mountain Beaver in front of his kitchen window
I was thinking of the Mountain Beaver too! They were awesome! Miss them dearly. But just the other day at our building site on Koh Lanta (our soon to be new home), I startled a lovely Indomalayan Bamboo Rat that looks very similar to the Boomers back in WA! Jazzed!
We had a gray fox once in our yard which is nice considering we live in suburbia. It rolled around in the bark for a while and then took off. Too much urban sprawl here in the Sacramento area to have foxes anywhere near us these days unfortunately. Hopefully, our next house will be on acreage somewhere and I will be able to top that sighting…
My “garden count” is eight species. I see red squirrels and rabbits almost daily and regularly bank voles, wood mice, pipistrellus sp., shrews and hedgehogs. Once I was chatting with my mum in the kitchen, when suddenly a roe deer sprinted across the lawn. They are around in the neighborhood (parks and fields) but not in the gardens, so that was a surprise. My parents in law also have beech martens and red foxes in their garden but I haven’t seen them.
We play it the opposite way: everybody listing the mammals they see around their house, and others trying to figure out where the house is located.
The mammals I see around my house nowadays are northern raccoon, brush rabbit, roof rat, deer mouse, striped skunk, California ground squirrel, introduced Virginia opossum, Botta’s pocket gopher, introduced fox squirrel, and Yuma myotis. There is a colony of Mexican freetails a few houses away, some dusky-footed woodrats, American minks and northern river otters in a nearby park, and if I walk to the edge of town (a couple blocks north), there are coyotes, western jumping mice, mule deer, desert cottontails, and black-tailed jackrabbits. I think this is enough information to guess the location of my house with about 20 miles accuracy 🙂
My backyard list is 10 species, mostly the usual suspects for this part of the country: mule deer, red fox, raccoon, etc.
Within a mile’s walk from my house I add another ten species, including river otter, mink, beaver, pronghorn, elk, northern pocket gopher and long-tailed weasel.
From my own house I’ve had Western Hedgehog, Common Pipistrelle and Wood Mouse. My parents live in the same town but on the edge of the countryside, I’ve seen Roe Deer, Red Fox, Eurasian Badger, Stoat, Weasel, Western Hedgehog, Wood Mouse, Bank Vole, Brown Rat plus a number of bat sp. all while visiting my parent’s house.
Pieter de Groot Boersma
Strange, I can not find a way to post a blog on the site! I can only subscribe to a update mail!
Pieter de Groot Boersma
A bit unfair this as I’ve lived for many years in a National Park in Tanzania, but one day in camp we had a cheetah run right passed us chasing an impala fawn, which it caught and ate some 50 yards away. We’ve also seen two male baboons hunting and eating a young Kirks Dikdik from camp. We’ve also had lions and leopards drink from the bird bath…. ok I’ll stop there! That said, now that we’re mostly based in Arusha its been slim pickings. A dead giant rat, a Slender mongoose and a mole rat are all that spring to mind.
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I’m not sure if I was actually in the house when I saw it, but a Least weasel is the best thing I’ve ever seen in the yard. I was 12 or so and saw it bouncing along. My brother and I caught it in a 5 gallon bucket, took some pictures, and let it go.
I’ve seen 16 species of mammals in the yard with an additional 1 species dead and another 2 species less than 50 yards from the property line. The dead one was a Star-nosed Mole, which I’ve yet to see alive.