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Mammals on an Afternnon Drive…Birds Too

We decided to go for a long drive today to enjoy the very warm spring-like day. I was driving and observing as we went along that there were quite a few dead skunks along the road, more than usual. I started counting.

Here is our official count:

  • 7 skunks
  • 3 rabbits
  • 2 squirrels
  • 1 possum
  • 1 raccoon

All dead alongside the road.

Are there usually that many mammals to count? I have never noticed that many before but maybe my mind was just thinking about mammals since it is our focus right now.

We saw lots of cattle and horses on this drive as well….very much alive and enjoying the sunny day. Happy cows come from California…or so they say.

As the afternoon sun was fading, the deer started to be seen alongside the road. I was busy driving but my husband and son counted seven deer….one really big buck. In the past, both my husband and I have hit deer with our cars….actually, he has done it twice.

My husband told me today that his friend’s daughter not so long ago hit a bear on the road that we were driving on. I slowed down after that.

Just as a note to myself about the birds we identified today as we drove along and then hiked a little along the river:

  • Six red tail hawks and one other hawk that I couldn’t identify.
  • Two turkey vultures.
  • Vast amounts of snow geese…too many to number.
  • Canadian geese as well.
  • We also saw one gorgeous great blue heron in a dead tree alongside the Feather River.
  • Several gulls….white and gray.
  • Red winged blackbirds by the dozens.
  • Two flocks of crows in the trees.
  • White egrets in the trees.

Great day for nature study.

3 thoughts on “Mammals on an Afternnon Drive…Birds Too

  1. Hi Barb,
    I am new to your blog but really love it. Your day today is very similar to ours: my family walked along a river delta, blanketed in sagebrush and overgrown with trees, signs of beavers, raccoons, coyotes, squirrels. We didn’t see the river otters this time but hope to someday. Our nature hikes are not as structured as yours; I am, however, greatly influenced by Comstock’s book so I have been enjoying how you structure your hikes and the materials that you use to supplement it. Thanks for all your advice and beautiful pictures!
    Arienne in Washington State

  2. I think my local Aussie roadkill count would go something like this:

    Grey Kangaroos: 5
    Koala: 1
    Echidna: 2

    I hate seeing our native animals lying dead…


  3. I was thinking “Wow! 7 skunks!”, then I saw “dead beside the road”. : (

    We saw a hawk *in* the road today, but it was too squished to tell what sort it was. Very disappointing. I would have MUCH rather seen it in a tree.

    It’s my first time to visit your blog, and I am enjoying it! : )

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