Two species of moles inhabit Georgia. The eastern mole ranges across the entire state except northeast Georgia. In this corner of the state, it is replaced by the star-nosed mole.
The eastern mole prefers eating earthworms; however, it will also devour snails, centipedes, and both adult and larval insects including ants. In fact, this rarely seen backyard resident will even burrow into ant mounds in search of tangy ants.
If you hear or see one wild animal in a western movie, chances are it is going to be a coyote. Indeed, the coyote is synonymous with the western United States, which occupies a wide variety of habitats ranging from scrublands to open grazing lands.
For a variety of reasons, during the past century coyotes were released throughout the eastern United States. As a result, nowadays coyotes can be found in Georgia and every other state east of the Mississippi River.
This western import has proven to be extremely adaptable to the habitat conditions in its new home. While most of the coyotes live in forested and farmlands, others have staked out territories in urban and suburban areas.
As a result, it is indeed possible that coyotes will be spotted in your backyard. When I tell people about this possibility, their reaction is typically, “Coyotes in my backyard? How can I reduce the chances that will never occur?”
Recently Maureen Murray, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Georgia, recently published the results of a study regarding the movements of urban coyotes in Edmonton, Alberta in The Journal of Wildlife Management. The researcher’s findings may help us understand why coyotes visit some yards and not others.
The study suggests coyotes seem to prefer yards that offered plenty of cover such as thick shrubbery. They also more often frequent yards that were unfenced than those that are fenced. In addition, the animals seem to be drawn to yards where seed litters the ground beneath bird feeders, berries collect beneath shrubs and trees, garbage cans are knocked over, and where an open compost pile is located.
Another interesting finding was during the study the coyotes that were most likely to be seen in yards during the daytime suffered from sarcoptic mange.
Who would have ever thought coyotes would one day inhabit backyards in the Peach State?
Watching gray squirrels in your backyard can be fascinating, particularly when you understand a little about their behavior. For example, if you watch squirrels for a while, you will notice that they are not social butterflies. By that I mean, that they do not hang out in groups like wild turkeys and chickens. Typically, about the only time they get together is during mating season, or when they are drawn together by an abundance of food such as a pecan tree full of nuts.
This lack of tolerance among gray squirrels can be seen around your bird feeders. If you keep a close eye on squirrels as they conduct a raid on your feeders, you should notice when they converge on such a treasure trove of food, they rarely feed closer than four to four and a half feet from each other.
In addition, you might even be able to recognize that feeding squirrels have a pecking order. Male squirrels typically dominate all other squirrels. Adult males and females both dominate juveniles and squirrels that have moved in from other areas are at the bottom of the pecking order.
Unbelievably, a gray squirrel can consume the equivalent of its own weight in food weekly.
Did you know young bats are called pups?
A rarely seen backyard resident throughout Georgia is the Southern flying squirrel. Although this small mammal cannot actually fly, it can glide 80 yards or more.