Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Asking for information about your local wildlife

I'd like to hear about your pets or any of your encounters w/ the wild ones (wild animals) in your area.

You are from all over the world -Where do you live and what kinds of wild animals do you encounter and what are the encounters like? What is your attitude toward your local wildlife and what do you think your community's attitude is? I've very curious about this. I think a lot of communities make wild animals into the enemy whenever there is an altercation w/ one of them, demonizing them as these terribly destructive and scary creatures.Yet, we get into our cars every day and drive around, knowing full well that a huge number of poeple die in cars every year. Yet there is no great uprising to go out and destroy all the remaining cars, if one car gets into an accident.

So why do we react this way w/ wild animals?

Stacey O'Brien

7 comments:

arlene kutz said...

here's my comment

Ter-o-fla said...

I live in Germany. Germany is very densely populated. We live in a smaller city, but because there are so many humans and so many streets and not so much wilderness, there are not many wild animals which one would notice. There are crows and some falcons. There have been foxes - dead on the side of the road. There are sometimes hedgehogs. Other than that.. nothing wild big enough to notice.

Fran said...

Hey Stacey, Here in my neighborhood we have almost no more wildlife. The wildlife (deer) I see here, sits behind a fence, and their number diminishes in Autumn. It's then the “wild season” and then you can eat this “wild” in restaurants.
Twice I have seen here two real wild deer, they had a beautiful red brown color.
We still have several birds of prey: as Falcons, Kestrels, Buzzards, and Hawks.
We have also several kind of Owls. The “Church Owl” in English: Barn Owl, in particular is a beautiful species.
Here in Belgium they may hunt on all kind of ducks, pheasants and wood pigeons. A few times I encountered hunters in the fields while I was running. They were shooting pheasants. The animals were trapped against a fence, so they had to fly up if they wanted to escape. They were an easy target for the hunters. While they were shooting they took no attention at me, they even shot just above my head. I shouted at them and said: “what a great performance. Shooting animals who are trapped, you can better go to the fair to a shooting gallery, there they appear on your demand”. From then on: if I see hunters while I run, then I shout to frighten away the animals. Of course, then the hunters are angry at me, but – if they have the right to shoot – then I have the right to shout.
I still can't understand that there are people who kill animals for fun.
In the South of my country we have the beautiful Ardennes ( mountain area ) That's where there is still the most “wildlife”: Wild boars, foxes, deer, vipers, and all the birds that I've already enumerated.
I hope this will give you a good view on the wildlife that's left in my country.

PS: as Ter-o-fla says: also I find often dead hedgehogs and quarrels on the road.
I think our countries have almost the same kind of wildlife.

kt said...

Hi Stacey,

First of all, thanks so much for sharing Wesley. I just finished the book this afternoon and really enjoyed it. Your writing was conversational and intelligent, and it was a delight.

I'm in the Pacific NW and am really enjoying the wildlife all around us. We have raccoons and bunnies trundling through our neighborhood, and my husband and daughter saw a coyote loping by recently. We're in a very populated suburb east of Seattle, but there are enough pieces of wild area around that there seems to be plenty of critter traffic. I'm especially thrilled with the birds--we moved here from the desert (another wonderful wild place)a few years ago, and seeing pileated woodpeckers and flickers almost daily makes me giddy. Lots of new birds on my list since we came up, nuthatches, chickadees, varied thrushes and more robins than you can shake a stick at!

Last winter, I was sitting up reading one night and heard an odd noise outside. I wrapped a blanket around me and stepped out onto our back deck. A few minutes later, I was rewarded by hearing a wonderful, "hoo-HOO-hoo-hoo" from one of the tall trees in our neighbor's yard. I heard it again a few nights later and stepped out in time to see a huge shape launch from the trees and glide soundlessly overhead. I was able to identify the call and realized they were barred owls! Can't tell you how exciting that was for me.

mithu said...

didn't know where to write this, but: Happy and Healthy New Year!!

'Becca said...

First I just want to say how amazing your book Wesley the Owl is. I got it for Christmas and just spent two days reading it. I canceled my social life for those two days because I couldn't put it down! :) A wonderfully written and inspirational story.

As for wildlife around me...I am in Central/Northern NJ...there are a lot of deer and black bears. The deer are constantly being hit and killed by cars on the main thoroughfares. :( A lot of people don't slow down, even with the signs posted that warn of deer crossings (whenever I slow down to a manageable speed in those areas, I get tailgated and harassed something fierce by the other drivers). The urban sprawl that is marching southward from NYC is just proliferating and created a real shortage of wooded habitats for these animals. Same with the black bears up in Northern NJ, in the mountainous areas, but I spend less time up there so I don't run into them much. I think people hunt them more out of fear and machismo than anything else - fear that the bear will make its way into their safe neighborhoods and maul someone, and the same stubborn machismo that makes men with guns think they're intrinsically tougher than wild animals.

The area I live in has a lot of stores and built-up areas, but after reading about the nest of owls above the coffee shop in your book, I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for more urban and suburban wildlife. :)

Cathy said...

Hi Stacey,
I am currently reading Wesley and am getting sad that I'm almost done! Thank you so much!!
I live in Portland,OR, about 15 minutes from downtown. We have lots of frisky squirrels and crows, woodpeckers, finches, and many other birds I don't know the name of. I also see many red tailed hawks on the light posts along the highways. We have coyotes in our neighborhood and our neighbor's pit bull has been seen hanging around with one at night. I once saw a fox in the open field across from our house as well. Lately I have been enjoying seeing the canadian geese flying in large flocks overhead.
The most special experience for me was about 3 years ago during the summer. I was sitting in my living room in the early evening and was drawn outside by a trilling call I'd never heard before. I was stunned to step out on my front porch and see what I believe was a Pygmy Owl sitting on the power line. He was so close, it was awesome. I said hello to him and he just sat there staring at me. It was so incredible. I haven't seen him again but did hear what I think was 2 of them this past summer.
I would love to see him again but I'm not sure where to look...