Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire's Coyote
You may wake up to the sound of coyotes howling in the weeks to come, because February is the peak of the coyote-mating season. Come April, 4 to 8 pups will be born in a den concealed in a brushy slope or under a log pile.
A glimpse of a cherry-red fox against the backdrop of snow-covered fields is a sight to behold. Both red and gray foxes live in the Granite State, but the red fox is far more abundant and has a widespread range. Gray foxes are more common in southern New Hampshire, and are rarely recorded in Coos County. Unlike red foxes, gray foxes (which can climb trees) are able to co-exist with coyotes
Will Wolves Return to New Hampshire?
The last member of the canid family with ties to New Hampshire is the gray wolf, which now has federally protected status. Two to three times the size of the eastern coyote, the gray wolf weighs up to 150 pounds, though it's about the same length as the coyote. The wolf ranges in color from sandy to grizzled, and has a black phase.
THE FISHER: NEW HAMPSHIRE'S RODNEY DANGERFIELD
Historically speaking, New Hampshire's fisher, like Rodney Dangerfield, got no respect. Although fishers are now widespread, many of the state's citizens would prefer to have the fisher exterminated, or nearly so. Fishers are blamed for all manner of problems. The fisher has seemingly always been a creature of mystique, mystery and fear. Commonly -- and mistakenly -- called a "fisher cat," the fisher has endured the scorn of generations. Rabbits, patridge, pheasants, turkeys, horses and children are supposedly all vacuumed up by the fishers' relentless marauding. This is NOT the fisher I know!
NH Wood Duck
Welcome to the Wood Duck's World. Wheeee, wheeee, a hen wood duck sounds the alarm to her counterparts totally concealed in the marsh grass surrounding a secluded beaver pond as you approach. Barely perceptible waves too, give you a clue that the wood duck, or ducks, are secreted along the shore toward the beaver lodge as you try to stealthily approach the pond. Despite the grandeur of the male wood duck, whose regal looks top all other North American waterfowl, they are seldom seen by most.
New Hampshire’s Hibernators
Yawnnnnnnnnnnnn. Down, down into my winter burrow you will find me soundly asleep in my winter woodchuck world. Wouldn't you like to sleep in on these snowy winter mornings, like I do? In fact, I'll sleep five months if I must, to avoid this wicked winter. I've chosen a nice grove of oaks to build my winter burrow in, not far from the cool summer burrow where I raised my three little ones (lest a hungry coyote nab me in my fat waddly search for my new home). No trips to the gym for me, but still I'll wake up next March or April about half the weight I was when I waddled into my winter sleep chamber. Oh, it's so cozy down here. I'll let my body temperature cool from 104 degrees F to maybe 38 degrees. I'm so relaxed, that my heartbeat slows down 95 percent (!), from 105 beats per minute to just 4. Four sloooooooow beats. Very,very relaxed. So, so sleepy. Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
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