What the heck??

catherinet(5 IN)April 5, 2007


I let my dog out into the fenced in back yard, and took a peak at my water garden. I began to hear a cry up in the trees. Can't figure out what it is, since I couldn't see it......maybe a larger bird? maybe a small animal??

Anyhow......I found a large twig nest on a limb of a white pine about 15' up. Then my eyes focused on a squirrel nest up in a spindly tree trunk.....up about 30'. Then I realized there was a furry big animal laying in that nest! Would a coon climb that high to lay in a small squirrel nest on a very thin tree trunk? (about 5" diameter)

I'm wondering if it was the squirrel crying........although it did sound more like a bird's cry.

Strange. Any ideas?

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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Squirrels are making a lot of noise right now. They can sound like babies crying to Hawks and everything in between.
Not sure about the coon, but could have been a Mom squirrle defending babies? I sure hope this was not the case. I know coons will eat baby birds, will they eat new baby squirrels?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 1:01AM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Maybe a Horned owl? They nest that high.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 4:20AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks lisa and elly,
It looked more like fur than feathers. I'll go out again with my binocs and see if I see anything different today. Coons can be so........well..........coons! They seem to be capable of getting into anything and everything. It seemed like alot of work though for a coon to climb so high and be in such a small nest, on a very windy day. The fur almost looked like an oppossum's.
I was thinking it was a squirrel screaming at the coon too, but I've just never heard a sound like that coming from a squirrel. It would be great if it was an owl.....but I think its too close to our back yard and our barking dog to be happy there.
Anyhow.....I'll keep watching it and see if I can solve the mystery. Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 9:18AM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Raccoons nest inside the hollows of trees, not where you would see them.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:45PM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Raccoons bark like a dog. I've never heard one make a noise like a screech or a like a high pitched baby cry. They are quite scary when they are angry or protecting young but it doesn't sound like a raccoon that you heard.

Our squirrels are pregnant and some our nursing babies right now so it wouldn't surprise me if a mama squirrel was trying to protect her babies by screeching at something that came too near.

southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:34AM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Twig nest... missed that part...I wonder if you have a hawk nesting? They can make a loud scream when they feel their territory has been invaded. Not too many other things make a twig nest...squirrels use very few twigs and mostly leaves and coons like to just plant their butt's in the crotch of a tree. I'd keep an eye on that twig nest the next couple of days and see if there is a hawk up there.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:47AM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

Is it possible that when Suzy went out into the yard she surprised a possum (or coon) , which in turn scuttled into the nearest tree...which in your case was also occupied by a squirrel's nest? You have probably heard squirrels bickering and squealing on a cold winter afternoon when one gets into the nest and everybody has to scoot over to make room. I can only imagine the chaos that would ensue if a large animal like a coon or a possum suddenly came aboard.
But this is only speculation on my part and what you have going on might be nothing like this.

And for the record, coons can make several noises...I once heard what sounded like an animal being killed in the back yard, rushed out and looked up in the direction of the sound to see a very large coon pursuing a much smaller individual out onto the very thinnest of branches about 35 feet up in the air. One or both were making screaming, squalling noises like I'd never heard before. Occasionally the bigger animal would actually get a hold of the smaller one and I was sure both would come hurtling down. The noise was unbelievable. I don't know if boars will try to kill young coons or if there was a territory thing going on...the smaller animal looked like a youngster so I don't think it was a mating situation.
Don't know, but they finally went separate ways.

And a squirrel note...just before this cold front came through I watched a squirrel gathering branches for a new nest. I never saw this before. I have seen them bringing up mouthful after mouthful of leaves, but never the sticks like this. Most of them were supple new growth at the very ends of the branches, but she carried on like this for at least an hour, running back and forth dragging small limbs. THere had been a starling checking out the holes in the old snag and I wonder if this was pressuring her to move her pups. Later that afternoon I did see her moving a pup from one of those holes and over to the new nest.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 1:37PM
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