Woodchucks - UPDATE April 18, 2020

The woodchucks are getting intriguing with their interactions. 20200418 Gathering leavesGathering leavesAnd there are more that seem to know us than I thought. The one we see most that I hoped was a female I think IS a female—and suddenly popular.

On April 16, she had a suitor-a light colored woodchuck with a piece out of his right ear. I don’t remember seeing him before, but he is very familiar with where the food is here and not that worried about people. On April 17, again, he was attentive to her. Her reactions were to sit demurely as he investigated.20200418 Light colored suitor at burrowLight colored suitor at burrow

Then today, a 8:58 AM, a new woodchuck came running down the driveway and went into several burrows as if he was familiar. I didn’t recognize him as one I’d seen before, but I might not have been looking closely enough last year. He came up to the second floor deck and went right up the log to where I have sunflower seeds waiting. He didn’t mind that I was clicking a camera in full view close to the window he was nearly touching with his nose. He was a handsome dude without scars. He went near the female, but I couldn’t see much. I don’t know where the other one was.20200418 Handsome new maleHandsome new male feeding

Then the female was alone working on her nest, gathering leaves and carrying mouthfuls into her burrow. I remember 30 years ago seeing a woodchuck doing that and shortly after she had babies at the entrance of her burrow. I suspect we’ll be seeing a woodchuck family in a month or two.

Meanwhile, waiting for the first bear visit. When I got here at 5:30 AM today, I was surprised to see all but a few of the sunflower seed hearts I had put out at dark last night gone. Trying to get the security cameras to work right and not doing very well at it. I don’t know what I missed overnight. No tracks in the little bit of very hard snow that a bear would not have had to step in. Trying again tonight.

Lighter male with damaged earLighter male with damaged ear Handsome new male portraitHandsome new male

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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