Wednesday, February 18, 2015


This American Tree Sparrow looks about as cold as I feel whenever I go outside nowadays. We've had snow, wind, and well-below-freezing temperatures for what seems like forever, and there's no break in the foreseeable future (which is to say, at least the next 10 days or so, as far as the weather report will predict). Temperatures tomorrow night are supposed to hit a low of -14 degrees F. Without windchill! Yikes!

Stay warm, little bird. We'll keep the feeders full for you.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Coyote on Video!

When I checked my trail camera today, I was excited to discover that it actually picked up a brief video of the coyote I saw behind our house this past Monday! This video is from two nights before I saw the coyote for myself; it's definitely the same animal, with the same wound on its front right leg. I'm glad to be able to get another glimpse of this graceful creature, just doing its thing at 4:00 AM in our snowy woods:

Seriously, how cool is that?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pileated Woodpecker

This picture is from the end of January, so I'm a little late with this one, but I can't let this creature go by unrecorded and unshared. I'm still super thrilled that at least two Pileated Woodpeckers (a male and a female) count the woods behind our house as part of their territory. The female was working on a tree level with our windows a few weeks ago:

She's such a big beautiful lady, and I love that she decided to hang out so close to the house for a while! I'll continue to watch out for these awesome creatures as the year goes on.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Remember the mysterious canine that showed up on our trail camera a few weeks ago? At the time, I thought it was probably a fox, or maybe a neighbor's dog. Well, I have a new guess about its identity now, because this morning I saw a Coyote in the woods behind our house! It was quite close to the house when I first saw it (and I got some amazingly close glimpses through my binoculars), but by the time I ran to get my camera and got back to the window, it was quickly ambling away. So here's a somewhat blurry and distant picture of the Coyote through the trees:

Really though, this was a gorgeous creature. Up close, its thick fur and its white chin and chest were particularly striking. I love those red accents around its ears and on its pointy snout. I don't think I've ever seen a Coyote in the wild before, so the whole situation was pretty exciting. And I don't know why I hadn't seriously considered that we might have Coyotes around here; I know their numbers are increasing, and they are apparently adaptable enough to do well even in urban areas. In retrospect, the mixture of forest, fields, and few houses around here makes this seem like a pretty good place for Coyotes to hang out. It's just so strange (and cool) to think that such a large predator's habitat overlaps with mine.

The Coyote veered off into small stream bed between two other houses and continued on its way and out of sight. (This creature actually seems to have a pretty bad wound on its front right leg.... I didn't notice any limping, though, and I hope it heals OK.)

I actually spotted the Coyote while I was looking out the window after seeing an adult Bald Eagle glide low over our house. Soooooo yeah, this place has some pretty amazing wildlife. I'm certainly happy to be spending my time here, and I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I can!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Boy Deer in the Snow

We got a whole bunch of snow over the past week, something like a foot spread across a couple of big storms, which is the most snow we've had here in northeastern Ohio so far this winter. With the help of my snowshoes, I tromped out to the woods at the edge of our yard today to see what creatures the trail camera had picked up since the snow started last Sunday. I've had the camera on video mode recently, which is super exciting. As it turns out, we had a bunch of deer visitors in the snow, including the first adult male deer I've seen in our yard.

This hefty fellow with lovely antlers came by around 2:00 AM on Monday, in the middle of the first storm:

A few minutes later, another deer passed by the camera. Could this be a male who just recently shed his antlers? Those circular patches on his forehead are suspicious, and the dark shiny stuff nearby looks like it could be blood:


Yet another male deer came by early in the morning on Thursday to root through the snow. So many of these deer have found this spot on the ground interesting (although there are other parts of the yard that are much more dug up), and I wonder what they're finding under there. This guy's antlers are more on the scraggly side, but that just makes him distinctive (for now anyway):


I'm sure we have a fairly large deer population out there, and it's interesting to see how many different individuals wander by (usually under the cover of darkness). Here's my favorite deer video so far, from yesterday around 1:00 AM; if only the camera recorded sound, too! :D