Urban Wildlife

Go away, lady, I’m hungry!

I didn’t get any shots of hummingbirds at the Hummingbird Sanctuary in my last post~I didn’t even see any. But I see plenty in our yard and got these photos today. Not my best hummer shots (these and these are) but they do mean I won’t be blog post-less today.

I saw some gorgeous orange butterflies in the yard, too, but they moved way too fast and never seemed to light. They seemed too orange to be monarchs but I definitely have never photographed these kind before so I hope they stick around and slow down.

We promise we won’t go after the pretty butterflies, Mom!

Bonus Urban Wildlife Pictures!!!!

If you read my blog much, you know we live in central Phoenix, in a very urban area, surrounded by busy streets so earlier this year, after 18 years in this house, we were surprised to hear there were coyotes on our street and hawks in a tree down the alley! We were not at all happy about the coyotes because we have many outdoor cats and I definitely didn’t want them to be snacks. However (knock on wood), they disappeared from our area after a few days and no pets in the neighborhood were harmed. One of our neighbors saw a coyote in our carport~where the cats sleep and congregate~one night about 11pm but I guess they weren’t hungry. I know that coyotes have large territories so they could be back someday but I hope not. The hawks hung around longer but have now also left. I wasn’t quite as worried about them in relation to the cats as hawks seldom go for grown cats.

But I was really surprised the other night, at about midnight, when I looked out the back window and saw what I thought was a new cat eating out of the food bowl in a little covered alcove we have (the “catcove”). The striped bushy tail looked a lot like Google’s but as he turned his head, I saw a black mask. Raccoons in central Phoenix?!?!? One of the cats was sitting next to him watching him eat.

I went out to see him better and he ran off. I was shocked and read about them the next day. Others in Phoenix have had them. Once again, I was worried about the cats, although everything I read said they will only attack if they feel threatened and they often co-exist with cats. But I know they can be destructive and try to break into attics to live.

I’m not sure Tony entirely believed me about Rocky Raccoon but the next night around 11pm, he heard a thud on the roof, a bigger thud than the cats make. Once again, I looked out the same window a little later and there he was again! I got Tony up and we watched Rocky wash the cat food in the water bowl before eating it. Two of the little cats came and chased him so we went out back and Tony spotted him on the roof and we got these shots.

He has not been back for the last 3 nights~I can tell because the water in the water bowl would be all dirty from him washing his food and there would be kibble laying around as there was the 2 nights he was here. He either didn’t like being chased by cats, camera flashes, or decided the food wasn’t that great.

He’s cute but we don’t really want him around. I hope he’s safe and that no one harms him but we prefer that he has moved on to a better place so we don’t have to worry about his safety, the cats’ safety, the attic’s safety, etc. I think it’s very sad that so many of these animals have been displaced by humans from their natural environments. However, in all the reading I’ve done the past few months, I know raccoons and coyotes have adapted to urban life. In Phoenix, the urban coyotes are in their 10th generation and urban raccoons often do not survive if relocated to the wild. As it is, neither AZ Game and Fish, nor Maricopa County Animal Control, nor the AZ Humane Society will help with relocating these animals. Citizens are on their own to trap, relocate, or dissuade these animals from their neighborhoods.

We really hope Rocky will be okay but that he won’t be living around us.


7 thoughts on “Urban Wildlife

  1. The more we infringe on their living areas, the more they infringe on ours. We have Coyotes, wild turkeys and once a moose ran down the T tracks…………..( We live in Brookline MA right next to the city of Boston)


  2. I really hate to see wild critters like that in a city. They usually end up getting into big trouble and getting killed. In a very small town about 70 miles from here Fish & Wildlife had to kill 5 bears because they became acclimated to human food: turned out someone was feeding them. A few nights ago we were visited by a large bear who was after sunflower seeds. The next day I cleaned up everything around that he might find attractive and will start the bird/chipmunk feeding up again after the bears have denned up.


  3. Oh my goodness, a raccoon?! That is crazy. My grandparents live in north Scottsdale and have seen a lot of critters…once, a bobcat was just hanging out on their neighbor’s roof! We went hiking this weekend and stumbled on a coyote on South Mountain. It seems the animals are getting more and more bold around here. I hope they stay safe!


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