It's been quite some time since I have given you a wild critter update of the goings-ons around the Sanctuary. It's been a fun spring.
Two wild geese settled on the pond and are raising five goslings with the help of a vigilant "Aunt," a domestic goose from the next pond. They are getting pretty big and fluttering around trying to fly. Last week an eagle perched on the tall 'woodpecker' condo and was giving them the, well, eagle eye, so to speak, and mom and pop hunkered down and circled the wagons while some raucous jays dive-bombed him until he decided to gig a frog and leave for easier pickings.
Corey (stepson who lives in an Airstream on the mustang property), brought home three ducklings and they have been quite an endeavor. They are now fairly large and have shed their yellow feathers for white ones and are finally ensconced in a duck house he built. There's a reason for being called 'bird brain.' These three stooges are getting used to the pond slowly, though they are still intimidated by it. When they are adult they'll graduate to a floating island in the middle of the pond. We hope the wild geese will kinda show them the ropes since they were bought as young 'uns from Tractor Supply.
We have suspected for some time that there has been a fox lurking about, as they tend to hide their scat and scent by going to the bathroom on top of the horse manure. It's not Francis, since she would have come up to the terrace for food by now. A 'new' fox is shy, and primarily a creature of the night. So when we pulled in the drive one night last week and a fox tore out from under the pampas grass and down the drive we were thrilled, but not surprised. I'm pretty sure it is one of Francis's kits, come to claim her mom's territory as her own, now that Francis is gone.
The bachelor beaver has come and gone after checking his property. He usually stays at his Lodge a few days and trims up the willow and then goes on down the stream where food is easier to find. We'll be so glad to have him stay the summer once the willows are grown back.
Driving up the mountain Thursday afternoon I stopped in the road to watch a doe nudge her newborn fawn across the road. The fawn was the size of a medium-sized dog and wobbly on his legs. He was scared to cross the road and hunkered down in fear while I sat there for a few minutes until mom finally persuaded him to finish crossing the road and go into the glade. He must have just been born.
A friend is raising a baby raccoon that I want to see, but he came down with distemper. We are hoping he'll pull through. We have pretty much stopped feeding the ones here, but for one female that just insists she's part of the household and won't go away, so we will feed 'Sad Girl,' a can a night. As soon as we open the door she knows to run into the back yard to get her food. She was brought up by her mom a few generations ago and is very tame.
That's all the critter news to report...the mustangs are all doing great. The drought has wreaked havoc on the pasture, though, so we are forced to buy hay and alfalfa cubes, which isn't great for our meager budget. We are hoping for some rain! If y'all have any, send it on down our way.