We all see wildlife around our houses and especially in winter the critters, large and small, leave their tracks in the snow. Personally I have seen rabbit, of course, and the ubiquitous squirrels, but also a weasel and two great horned owls, plus an assortment of birds on the feeders. However our neighbor Jackie Duffin not only saw some special guests but also managed to take photos. Other neighbours keep contributing their pictures, Hope you enjoy them.


The Bowies contributed this wise owl in the tree. Photo taken from the kitchen window. March 2017.

owl bowie march 2017

owl jackie

A great Barred Owl staring back at the photographer, Jacie Duffin, 2016.

coyote duffin march 2015 col corr

A coyote visiting the back yard of the Duffin’s house, in the background behind the trees is the Quintin farmhouse.

Below a prickly guest, the slow moving porcupine. “Don’t come near me…”

porcupine jackie march 2015 a


tracks wild turkey april 2015

These tracks in the fresh snow on April 4, 2015, are quite large, about ten centimeters long from heel to toe; a pair of wild turkeys left them, they went from our deck to the lawn and disappeared into the woods. Photo credit: Henk Wevers

tracks palleated wood pecker 2015 a

And here are tracks of a different kind; the Pileated Woodpecker, I didn’t see him, but most of us have heard their loud “tock tock tock” ; a high-speed drum roll caused by their bill hitting the tree. If you wish to learn more about how their brains are protected while they use their head as a chisel or ax, have a look at: 

wood pecker brain shock abs


tracks palleated wood pecker 2015

The wood chips are of a significant size, almost the same as what a beaver leaves behind, big chunks of wood that has softened over time after the tree has died.

And here is the bird.

tracks palleated wood pecker 2015 b

Photo from the Internet.


The presence of wild life is a good sign of a healthy neighborhood habitat, not only for us humans but also for our partners in the Animal Kingdom. We don’t come face to face with a coyote, because these top predators are smart and know when to disappear in the background bushes. We need wildlife around us for the control of vermin and we might not like them all, but coyotes, foxes, weasels, fishers, and in the summer snakes and snapping turtles as well as the soaring turkey vultures keep the environment in good shape. Next time you hear the coyotes howling, enjoy!


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