Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Hunt and Peck Report

Watchable wildlife is not limited to the suburbs or the countryside. There is plenty of opportunity to find critters in the big city. I have seen reports come through of mountain lions in L.A., coyotes in the Bronx, cougars that stalk pets and people in large cities and black bears in Denver and New Jersey. Black bears have killed garbage cans in numerous cities.

Chicago deer are as thick as the geese. In Baltimore a buck charged into a playground filled with children and demanded equal time on the monkey bars. One winter a moose killed a man on the campus of the University of Alaska after students harassed the animal for hours.

Beaver have been busted in such cities as Houston and Dallas harvesting park benches. They have been known to fell expensive trees to dam up swimming pools. Coyotes are represented from sea to shining sea, the Bronx to L.A., from Dallas to Chicago. They eat trash and pets, which are both easily found in all those locations.

Vultures are found in many large cities also. They clean up a lot of messy situations but they also create some with their droppings.

Poisonous snakes show up in many cities. In the spring many new homes seem inviting to rattlers. Cottonmouths and copperheads are also a problem in the South.

Non-migrating geese I don’t even have to tell you about. They are overpopulated everywhere.

A raccoon was recently captured by police after a low-speed chase in a Bronx subway station.

Besides all the wildlife usually not assumed to be city dwellers, we have all the birds that are. With millions of people feeding birds all over North America, many yards become an oasis for birds. Many large living complexes have rules about feeding birds in larger cities and often in those cases tenants practice underground, clandestine birdfeeding, which they feel is their constitutional right.