DH and I hear a lot of wildlife on our lot. We’ve been very lucky with our livestock and chickens that we’ve never lost any animals to wildlife (only to a neighbor’s dogs). We’ve got a great spot here, within a mile of a major river “as the crow flies”, which is in a wildlife corridor for black bear, wolves, coyotes and though the DNR doesn’t say they are in the state, wolverines. The DNR has only recently admitted that Cougars or Mountain Lions are in the state (thanks in part due to landowners with trail or trap-cameras).
The first winter that DH and I were in our house, we had a pair of Great Horned Owls nesting in a tree right behind our bedroom. Every night as soon as the sun went down, the pair would begin their hooting and another pair nearer the river would answer. We have wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and sandhill cranes in the field behind us. Sharp-shinned Hawks nest in the back tree-line and Red Tailed Hawks fly overhead along with Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures. We have a variety of song birds who frequent not just our trees, but the dozen feeders we have on our porch. We’ve also been lucky that in the last two years we’ve begun to hear Barred Owls, and have even had a Red Phase Eastern Screech Owl have a visit.
We know that Spring has arrived when we hear the American Woodcocks “peenting” out in the trees and the various frogs starting to chirp. We didn’t hear the Woodcocks or frogs a few days ago, but they are all out in force now. Once the weather warms up, we’ll hopefully start to see snakes, though they won’t stand much of a chance with the chickens. We’ve found DeKay’s Snake’s before, and I’ve been hoping that Bullsnakes make our land a refuge. We’re also in the range for the two rattlesnakes native to Wisconsin, the Timber Rattler and the Eastern Massasaugua Rattlesnake (and yes, I DO hope that I see some soon!!).
I know that badgers, skunks and fishers have tread upon our land. Garter Snakes have slithered their way through and Bald Eagles have flown overhead. We’ve spotted minks in the ditch down the road and we know that weasels/ermine are frequent visitors.
DH and I have made stacks of rocks for the snakes, have birdhouses inhabited by House Wrens and will hopefully have some bluebird houses this year, not to mention a house for Barn Owls and one for Kestrels. We’ve been trying to entertain as much of the wildlife as possible, and so far it seems to be working! Here’s hoping for a wildlife-filled summer!!