Bandidos

A couple of nights ago, the perimeter light came on outside our bedroom at 5 a.m. I leaped out of bed and peeked out the window. A raccoon was hurrying across the lawn to the safety of the hedge and climbed the fence. No time for me to get the camera. In about three seconds, the show was over.

But it seems that the masked bandit and his wife have moved into the area and, although they’re mostly nocturnal, they were caught out in broad daylight by the backyard supervisors, Ruby and Emma, who promptly chased the intruders up the nearest tree.002a

“Just come up here and say that,” he taunts Emma. But then things get a little too busy when Anneli comes out with the camera and it’s time to put some distance between himself and the people and their dogs.015a

“What?! You’re still there? Can’t a raccoon have a little privacy?” He looks down to a lower branch. ” Are you okay down there, dear?” he calls to his wife.

017a

“I’m just lying low, pretending I’m not here,” she says.

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I have mixed feelings about the raccoons. They look really cute and they eat those beetle larvae that I hate so much, and I don’t care if they dig up the lawn to get at them.

Beetle larvae

 

Ten-lined-June-Beetle

But they are also nest robbers, and that breaks my heart.

??????????

Sadder still, is the cruelty of nature. The raccoons are often heard screeching and fighting ferociously with each other at this time of year (probably over a girl), and it looks like these two have both had bad luck. If you go back and look more closely you’ll see that they each have injuries. The first one (top of the page) has a gash on the left side of his jaw and a piece of his ear missing, and his wife (I think that’s a female) is blind in the one eye that is visible. I’m hoping the other eye is okay.

I wish I could help them feel better, but it’s not easy for people to interfere in a good way.

41 thoughts on “Bandidos

  1. I am saddened since I loved the book, “Rascal.” I was hoping that raccoons weren’t so mean to each other! I also am sad they get into nests. They don’t eat the baby birds, do them. 😦
    Anneli, before you pointed out their wounds I was going to say they sure looked fit and nice, thick coats. Sorry about the blind eye and the scratched stuff, Raccoons. You need to get along!
    I hope they won’t keep you up too late but do want to say, cats can do the same racket and spring fever had the ducks up at 3:30 and 4:00 am around here on the little stream by my apt. They have been quacking and making quite a lot of noise for over a month!! Hugs, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jill. Yes, they love birdfeeders. I can tell where the raccoons have been by where my dogs’ noses take them in the morning, and it’s often right to the birdfeeders (which I haven’t refilled lately because of two merlins [hawks] that are hanging around, probably nesting in the nearby stands of trees.)

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  2. Great raccoon photographs! I watched a show on TV about the urban raccoons of Toronto, which was very interesting.

    When we lived in Quebec, we didn’t have any neighbours nearby. I had never seen a raccoon in my life before, so I quite enjoyed watching them through the patio door. We had this little family coming by every night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know they can be very ferocious and my chickens were always terrified of them. I raised pheasants a long time ago and one morning I came to the pheasant pen and found that raccoons had reached through the 1-inch mesh chicken wire fencing (which is smaller than the usual 2-inch mesh) to grab the pheasants (who stupidly roost on the ground) and they had eaten them right through the wire fence. The bottom 10 inches of the wire was all shiny and all that was left of two of the pheasants were the wide bones at the small of the back because they were too wide to go through the mesh. The wing and leg bones were pulled right through and cleaned off, and then discarded on the outside of the pen.

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  3. I woke up one Sunday to screaming in my back yard and a small raccoon was caught in my fence with an illegal trap on it’s paw. I called a rescue place and a guy came with a cap that said “Wild Bob”. He looked wild too, with shaggy hair and scratches all over his face! But he was the sweetest man. With much excitement, and my grandsons watching, he caught the raccoon with a net after it broke free from my fence. Then, not knowing I was a nurse, had me draw up a syringe of anesthetic so he could calm it down and take the trap off. He figured it would lose the foot. A few years later a raccoon with one front foot missing came back to my yard – and ate the goldfish in my pond!

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  4. Ooh, I can understand the mixed feelings. We had one in Florida that showed up in the afternoons in our back yard! It was usually the heat of the day! Very strange. I was mostly worried that they had rabies and would hurt my Max. There was no place for them to run away in our back yard there. We had no trees and the place was boxed in with a 6 foot wood fence. They could climb the fence, but Max was quick. If he would’ve seen one, he would’ve gotten to it before it got away. He did see it from the window teetering on our fence once in a while, and he went wild. Maybe now that those raccoons see you have a couple of dogs, they’ll stay away? Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I worry about the same thing. As for staying away, I don’t think that’s going to happen. They were back the next day. They’re getting so habituated to living among humans that nothing seems to scare them anymore. I think they are going to be the next wave of displaced wildlife that becomes citified. We have the deer wandering around town as calmly as the pigeons that flutter around the buildings, and next it will be the raccoons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow. Didn’t know about the deer and such. Supposedly we have displaced coyotes here, but I haven’t seen any yet. I bought some stuff at a home good store to sprinkle in the yard to keep away pesky animals like raccoons. It did help for a little while, but it needs to be re-sprinkled often. I also heard that mixing peppermint oil with water and liquid soap and spraying it keeps them away. I’ve been using that for insects here. But again, it needs to be done often. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely pictures of not so lovely animals (especially if you have a farm with small animals). They look so innocent but aren´t at all. Still its awful to set traps for them, no animal deserves all that pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I managed golf courses for nearly 20 years and we had to deal with these guys a lot. Under the right circumstances (cornered or fearful) these cute little guys turn into some kind of vicious alien predator sent to dominate the globe! lol
    Danny

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As always, you show us both sides of nature: the beautiful and the ugly. Your photos are fabulous. Raccoons are so pretty to look at, but they are smart sometimes vicious animals. I’m with you – hate for them to destroy a bird’s nest and it’s precious occupants.

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  8. My friend was riding her bike over last weekend and saw tiny baby raccoons. When she comes back to work, they went to Atlantic City, NJ, I hope to see pics of the raccoon kits. 🙂 Thanks for your thoughtful replies, Anneli.

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