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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Raccoon Family

It's been nice and warm out the last few days, so we've had the windows open into the early evening. The other night, we started hearing these bizarre chittering noises - not the strange prehistoric sounds of a great blue heron, and not quite like the rambunctious mating noises of the river otters. We stepped outside, not really expecting to be able to see anything, but we soon spotted a raccoon straight over on the shoreline from our houseboat.

After watching for a few minutes, some little baby raccoons emerged from behind the mother - first one, then two, then three! It was dark out, so no real chance for photos, but I snapped a few flash shots just to capture proof:


There were some amazing interactions between mother and offspring. At one point the mom climbed up onto a high, flat rock and the little ones weren't able to follow. Two of them went around to meet up with her but the third was "stuck" and kept cooing for her. The mother came back, and reached down towards the young one, who was reaching up. They actually clasped "hands" for a moment, then the mom reached further down and grabbed the baby in her mouth by the scruff of its neck and hauled it up.

The family stayed in the area for about half an hour, vocalizing almost constantly. I decided to try and record the sounds over my laptop, with fairly decent results. You can hear a clip of them chittering here, and I was able to get it to work via my iWeb podcast this time so no downloading is required.

6 comments:

Warren Baker said...

cool local wildlife you have Monika!

Michele said...

too cute! i have always wanted to see raccoons in the wild... they used to chase our rabbits when i was growing up.

julie said...

we had some very naughty raccoons in camp at sji this past week. they got into anything that was left out and obviously were not sharing with each other by the raucous noises they were making. the night before i left, i had one little guy come up quite close to me, stand up on his hind legs, and hold out his "hands" as though asking for some treat. cute as can be, but, no, i didn't give him any!

T and S said...

It should have been an amazing sighting. Its always a pleasure to watch wildlife especially the behavior of the mother and juvenile combination.

Warren Baker said...

OK Monika,
Show us some pics of you new pet chinchilla!!

Monika said...

I definitely enjoyed watching the raccoon family, but I guess some of my neighbors didn't....I found out they nested in the storage area under their houseboat!

Julie - they are definitely mischievous and will get into everything. I once found one IN our dumpster up at street level. I'm glad you didn't feed that one though!

Warren - that's my plan for my next post!