Ryles Richards found two pack rat nests under a house in Pine Mountain Lake, Groveland Ca. The nests were on opposite sides of the home’s subarea.
14 February 2020
A rat was actually in the smaller, multicolored nest, and ran away when Ryles found the nest.
One nest is made from a variety of materials, and was constructed on an old green sleeping bag.
The other nest, two pictures at the bottom, was more birdnest-like, in that it was open at the top.
While digging up a mound of dirt left by a pocket gopher, I found a cache of small pieces of bermuda grass roots.
11 February 2020, Sonora California.
Here is a link to a video of a pocket gopher cache of acorns.
23 October 2019. One or more raccoons were gaining entry into a subfloor through a hole cut by a cleaning company to drain moisture from a subfloor. They did not bother to cover the hole or to screen it off. Raccoons appear to have discovered the convenient new living space. They were particularly noisy just before dawn, disturbing the occupants.
We sealed off potential entry areas, and placed a one-way door to let the animals out, and to block their re-entry. We used bird spikes as an additional means to stop them from tearing the one-way door from the entry point. It appears to be working.
Work in progress…
Heather Nordstrom is chronicling the development of a western wood pewee nest on her front porch.
The first photos show the nest on 20 May 2019. They had hatched on, or before, the 15th of June, 2019.
24 June 2019: The nest fell off the ledge. Heather rounded up the chicks, and put up a box to hold the nest. The mother bird continued to care for her babies.
26 June 2019: Heather went to look in their nest and that scared the chicks, and they all fluttered out and landed on her porch. She rounded them up quickly and put them in the compost bucket. They flew out a few more times before they finally settled in and stayed. She had to turn off her porch light so that they would go to sleep.
28 June 2019: Heather reported that three of the babies flew into the woodland adjacent to her house, this day, and right before nightfall she heard a scrub jay eat one, she was pretty sure. she heard the jays squawking around that area and then she heard what sounded like a baby bird squawking. she went over there but couldn’t reach anything or walk into it because the vegetation was too dense. “Hopefully there are still two left out there. The fourth one would not leave the yard and would not get off the ground so I put it back in the nest for the night and I might just let it leave when it’s ready because the mom keeps feeding it.”
29 June 2019: Heather was out for the day, and when she got back, right before dark, “everything was quiet so I’m assuming the last one joined its family in the brush or got eaten.”
So it took about two weeks for the western wood pewees to grow up enough to fly away.
Here are photos from a difficult swallow exclusion job we did on a very tall building at Bear Valley. The swallows were nesting under the eaves at the top of this tall building. The exclusion was necessary, because the birds carried swallow bugs, that were entering the structure. We put up bird netting to block their access. David Katosic, Bill Breidenstein, and Josh Esposito were all involved in the project.
In addition to the exclusion, David Katosic used our power washer to clean the siding way up there.
Trevor Cuthill took these photos of a field mouse that had been caught in a Ketch-All trap, that then got its nose stuck in one of the ventilation holes. This was highly unusual. The mouse apparently poked its nose too hard through a hole, and got it stuck. Trevor pried one of the vent holes open to free the mouse, as its nose was swollen. He then released it, but it was very weak and injured, and he doesn’t think it survived. In any case, here are the images.
27 November 2018.