Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Wildlife in my “Backyard”

White -tail deer in my front yard.
Photo source: sgbrown aka Rockcreek Photography

Sometimes I have to remember that not everyone that reads my posts are familiar with southern Oklahoma and some may not even be familiar with the animals of the United States. Photography is my hobby and I love taking pictures of the wildlife that is found on our 40 acres here in the country side of southern Oklahoma.
I have decided to write a post telling everyone about what type of wildlife is found here in my little part of the world. I have included some pictures that I have taken while living here over the last 14 years. I have not included birds, as the different birds from my area will be another post.

Fox-tail squirrel watching me, watch him.
Photo source:  sgbrown

Fox-tail squirrel – They get their name from the large fluffy tail that looks similar to that of a fox. Most other squirrel’s tails are not as large and fluffy. They are the largest member of the North American squirrel family. They are found in most eastern states of the US and west to Texas and Oklahoma. They are very common here in southern Oklahoma and love to hang around my bird feeder munching on the sunflower seeds that fall to the ground.

White-tail fawn raising his tail and running back to mama.
Photo source: sgbrown

White-tail deer – They get their name because of the underneath of their tail being white and they will raise their tails when they feel threatened. They are the smallest of the North American deer and can be found from southern Canada to northern parts of South America. They are also very common here in southern Oklahoma and we are fortunate enough to have them come through our place daily. They are one of my favorite subjects to photography.
Coyote in my backyard.
Photo source: sgbrown

Coyote – Some species of coyote can be found in every state of the US, including parts of Alaska, not including Hawaii, and as far south as the Panama Canal. Though not often seen during the day, they can be heard nearly every night here as they gather in packs to hunt. They communicate with each other with different “yapping”, barking and howling sounds. They are not aggressive like their larger cousins, the wolf and are actually quite afraid of man. However, I would not want to run into a pack of them while I was walking in the woods!

Bobcat - Wikimedia Commons

Bobcat – This picture is not my own. It is rather rare to see a bobcat as they mainly hunt during the night and sleep during the daylight hours. They get their name from the short tail they have which appears to have been “bobbed” off. They have black tufts on their ears similar to their larger northern cousins, the lynx. I have only seen 2 or 3 here over the years and have yet to get a good picture of one. They are about twice the size of a large house cat and can weigh up to 40 pounds. Some species of bobcat can be found in nearly every state in the US and southern parts of Canada and as far south as Mexico.

Virginia Possum just raided my cat's food dish!
Photo source:  Rockcreek Photography

Virginia Opossum – They get their name from the first opossum found in the Virginia region back in the early settler days. They are commonly referred to as just “possum”. They can be found in the central and eastern US and were introduced on the west coast during the great depression. They are nocturnal and can be seen often during the evening hours. They are the only marsupials in the US and Canada. They spend much of their time in trees and have a prehensile tail which helps them in climbing. They are known for “playing dead” when threatened.
Nine-banded armadillo - Wikimedia Commons

Nine Banded Armadillo – This picture is not my own. We have many armadillos in my area, but I have yet to get a good picture of one. There are approximately 20 varieties of armadillo and all but one live in Latin America, the only one that calls the US home is the nine-banded armadillo. They are found in the southeastern part of the US with a few being spotted as far north as Illinois and Nebraska. They are mainly active during the night and evening hours and are famous for digging around in my flower beds looking for beetles ants and other insects to eat. Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning, “little armored one”, referring to the bony plates that cover their head, back, legs and tail. They are closely related to anteaters and sloths. 

Cotton-tail rabbit in my front yard

Cotton-tail rabbits – They get their name from their little white fluffy cotton ball tail. There are several species of cottontail rabbits but he Eastern cottontail is the most common. They can be found from Canada to South America and from the East Coast of the US to the Great Plains. They are very common here in my backyard as they love to visit my vegetable garden in the spring and summer months.

Striped skunk looking for bread crumbs I had thrown out to the birds.
Photo source:  sgbrown

Striped Skunk – The striped skunk is the most common species in the US and can be found from coast to coast. They are also found in the very northern parts of Mexico and central and southern Canada. The striped skunk is no different than other skunks who give off that horrible odor when threatened. They are really cute little animals, but not very well like because of their odor. When I see them here, they are usually trying to raid my trash can!
These are the most common animals I find here on our place in the country. I have not included all the turtles, tortoise, lizards and snakes we come across here as the list would be way too long! I hope you have enjoyed my pictures and a bit of information on the common wildlife I have here in my “backyard”. 

 You may also enjoy reading:

White-Tailed Deer - Facts and Information

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