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) 


  • cmh78

    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.

  • vdinets

    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.

  • Jon Hall

    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


  • focusedonnature

    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…

  • Stefanie

    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.

  • tomeslice

    Nice! Those are some awesome sightings. When I lived in West County of St. Louis we would frequently see white-tailed deer, gray squirrels, occasionally coyotes, raccoons or red foxes. I once came back home late at night, only to witness the annual deer council on my front yard, with a count of 8. I’m still waiting for a beech marten or a caracal to casually frolic by my apartment in Haifa but I’m not holding my breath..

    Vladimir, of course you would see caracals right here in Israel, who **frequently** visit you right at your front door..
    As soon as things quiet down here permanently, I will take my mom’s car and drive down to the Arava. I’ve been wanting to do some exploring there for a while, and now that my semester is over, it’s a perfect time to go caracaling down there..

    I think that one time while driving to Mitzpe Ramon with some friends, I may have seen a pair of wolves, which would have been a lifer for me, but I couldn’t ask them to stop in the middle of the highway, nor did I have binoculars or a good camera to confirm the sighting, so they could have been jackals as well (though they were pretty big)

    • vdinets

      Well, I’m probably going to forever lose my credibility here, but anyway: in 1993 I came to Israel for the first time, just for a month, and almost the first mammal I saw was a leopard in Ein Gedi, slowly crossing the stream on top of a small waterfall, twenty meters from me. It was so light-colored that it seemed almost white between the rosettes. It happened in the evening, just after the guards cleared the canyon of visitors (I waited it out behind a boulder and kept exploring the place).

      Wolves are much more likely than jackals in Mitzpe Ramon area.

      There are a few springs around Eilat where you can sometimes see cool stuff like wolves, Rueppel’s foxes and even spotted hyenas; I have a friend there I can ask for updates before your trip.

  • tomeslice

    You mean Striped Hyena.. 😉
    Yes, I will contact you before I go down there. There is also a company called Negev Jeep which runs night tours in the Negev, and they sometimes see cool stuff like wild cats, caracals, wolves etc. But I have yet to find the time to go there..

    Anyway, I’m totally veering from the original subject. I will contact you soon via Facebook 🙂

  • vdinets

    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 🙂

  • mattinidaho

    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.

  • Mike Richardson

    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

    Hi all!

    Strange, I can not find a way to post a blog on the site! I can only subscribe to a update mail!

    Please respond!

    Best regards,

    Pieter de Groot Boersma

  • tembo10

    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.


Leave a Reply