Mammals


Published:

Gray Squirrel

Weight: approx. 1 lb
Mating Habits: Squirrels are polygynandrous (i.e., both males and females mate with multiple partners). Once mated, the female takes on responsibility for parental care of the offspring. Typical!
Diet: omnivorous (walnuts, acorns, and other kinds of nuts, tree bark, and seeds, plus insects, caterpillars, and young birds)
Litter Size: 2-8 kits
Did You Know: Baby squirrels urinate and defecate in their mother’s mouth so that the mothers can dispose of the waste outside the nest, in order to keep predators from smelling the scent. Suffice it to say, never kiss a squirrel!

 

Most Dangerous County Critters

According to David Dilworth, owner of C.H.A.O.S. Wildlife Control in Peekskill, raccoons, foxes, skunks, and coyotes are the wild animals considered to be primary carriers of rabies and therefore the most threatening to humans.

“Raccoons in fact carry many diseases, the worst of which is a microscopic parasite known as raccoon roundworm, which can cause death and blindness in humans. If you’ve had one of these animals in your attic, you need to get the space disinfected.”  

 

dave/Fotolia

White-Tailed Deer

Weight: 110-300 lbs
Mating Habits: In the height of mating season (November), bucks become obsessed with finding a doe, day or night, and will seldom stop to eat or sleep.
Diet: herbivorous (leaves, twigs, fruits and nuts, grass, corn, alfalfa, and lichens and other fungi)
Litter Size: 1-3 fawns
Did You Know: White-tailed deer are good swimmers and use large streams and lakes to escape predators.*
*Info from Travis Brady, director of strategic initiatives, Greenburgh Nature Center

 

Coyote

Weight: 20-50 lbs
Mating Habits: Coyotes mate for life and are faithful to their partners — just like in Hollywood, right?
Diet: omnivorous (rabbits, rodents, fish, frogs, deer, insects, snakes, fruit, grass, and carrion; on occasion lambs, calves, or other livestock, as well as small pets)
Litter Size: 2-8 pups
Did You Know: Coyotes often cover residual scraps of kills and bury their excrement to hide their scent, so they could be living under your porch, and you might not even know!

 

Former Neighbors

Gray Wolf

“Once one of the top predators in our region, the gray wolf was eliminated from the Northeast due to unfortunate and ill-advised programs for the protection of livestock. Last one [in the wild] was seen around here in 1900, but some are making their way back to the Adirondacks. The void of wolves let the all the coyotes move in.”
— Travis Brady, director of strategic initiatives at Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale

​

Eastern Catamount

“This subspecies of the mountain lion has been deemed extinct in the eastern US. The last confirmed sighting in New York was more than 100 years ago. It was once considered the top predator in the region, but it was overhunted. One was killed in Greenwich in 2011 that originated in South Dakota. There are no known permanent residents [of this subspecies] here.”
— Hillary Seiner, director of environmental stewardship at Teatown in Ossining​

 

Fisher

Rare find!
Weight: 8-12 lbs
Diet: omnivorous (rabbits, rodents, birds, insects, nuts, berries, and one of the few predators of porcupines — rumor has it they also like extra-crunchy peanut butter)
Litter Size: 1-4 kits
Did You Know: Despite the name, this member of the weasel family doesn’t eat fish.

 

Black Bear

Rare find!
Weight: 150-300 lbs (exceptionally large males can reach 500+ lbs)
Diet: omnivorous (plants, fruits, nuts, insects, honey, salmon, small mammals, carrion, and occasionally young deer)
Litter Size: 1-6 cubs (2 is most common)
Did You Know: County black bear sightings have occurred in the past year in Armonk, Pound Ridge, Bedford, and Cortlandt Manor.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module