Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Wildlife Gardeners of North America Unite > North American Wildlife

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-28-2010, 09:22 AM   #1
Great Horned Owl
 
jack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA
Default Quills and Porcupines

Who amongst you have seen porcupines on your property? Have they done any damage? Are they fascinating to have around??

http://ces.uwyo.edu/PUBS/B1073.pdf

"Best known for their pilage of quills, adult porcupines have approximately 30,000 large quills covering the dorsal and tail regions. More slender and elongated quills blanket the shoulders and sides of the body. Quills are hidden under long, white-tipped guard hairs until animals are agitated or in a warning posture. Guard hairs shed rain, sleet, and snow and convey tactile information from the immediate environment. These hairs are black, brown, or chestnut in color, 6 to10 inches long, and give porcupines a fluffy appearance. Albino porcupines have been observed but are exceedingly rare."

"Although porcupines prefer rock crevices for winter dens, if these are not available, caves, live hollow trees, hollow logs, human outbuildings, and thickly branched crowns of evergreens are suitable substitutes. Den use by porcupines is not mandatory, and some animals remain
outside all year. This is especially true in areas where evergreens are abundant and no suitable rock crevices are available. Hemlock, Douglas fir, white spruce, yellow pine, and white fir are favorite trees for winter survival. In addition to providing shelter, these conifer trees also
provide a convenient food source."
__________________
"Know thyself."

Oracle at Delphi
jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

We have quite a few in Michigan.
They are very slow moving... (I think) it's still against the law to kill porcupines and possums stemming from an old, old law protecting them as a food source you could actually catch and survive upon should you become lost in the wilderness.

Well anyway.... Porcupines are known to eat up a good set of antlers or two throughout the year as a good calcium source. Soooo If you cherish your racks any...Put them inside! They will also gnaw on most anythig Humans have touched...They crave the salt we seem to leave behind.

Other than that I find them totally amusing...
Quills and Porcupines-dscf7731.jpg
Their beady blue black eyes,
Quills and Porcupines-dscf7741.jpg
their cute waddle,
Quills and Porcupines-dscf0008.jpg
their silent bodies hanging out in the trees above.
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 10:34 AM   #3
Great Horned Owl
 
jack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA
Default

Great photos! How far away were you from the first one - cute one chewing a stick?
__________________
"Know thyself."

Oracle at Delphi
jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 10:45 AM   #4
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

TWO feet! I walked around a fallen tree and there he was.
I don't know who was more surprised.... I or him.
I froze, He froze.... immediately puffed himself up into a big black pile of bristle...
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
Great Horned Owl
 
jack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
TWO feet! I walked around a fallen tree and there he was.
I don't know who was more surprised.... I or him.
I froze, He froze.... immediately puffed himself up into a big black pile of bristle...
I've never seen one, though at the map site posted below, I fall into the southern end of their Northeast range.

http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redl...004/0/rangemap
__________________
"Know thyself."

Oracle at Delphi
jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 11:05 AM   #6
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

That can't be right.
According to that map I'm no where NEAR their red territory area.
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2010, 07:16 AM   #7
Fox
 
benj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
That can't be right.
According to that map I'm no where NEAR their red territory area.
My Audubon guide shows the range includes the northern half of Michgan and Wisconsin. Also most of Pennsylvania; my daughter reported seeing one here in the eastern Appalachians of southern PA.
benj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
Butterfly Educator Extraordinaire
 
bridget1964's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ventnor City, New Jersey, USA
Default

I've never seen them here in south Jersey, but saw a few in NE PA, mostly in the tops of tall trees or dead on the side of the road.

My doctor has a place in Tunkhannock, PA. He had a problem with porcupines eating the siding off his house! I didn't know they were so destructive!

Havalotta--you always have the best photos! I would so love to go on a walk in the woods with you!
__________________
"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson

http://mslenahan.edublogs.org/
bridget1964 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by benj1 View Post
My Audubon guide shows the range includes the northern half of Michgan and Wisconsin. Also most of Pennsylvania; my daughter reported seeing one here in the eastern Appalachians of southern PA.
That's more like it!

Bridget
Quote:
I would so love to go on a walk in the woods with you!
Anytime....anytime....And thanks for the wonderful comment!
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2010, 06:20 PM   #10
WG Operations, Facilitator
 
BooBooBearBecky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Default

We have porcupines in our area. I usually see them most often in spring. I toss salt on the walkway between the house and the garage during the winter months, and they're attracted to the saltly flavor of our sidewalk after the snow has melted. When this happens I put a salt block out by our woodpile which is located near the edge of our woodline. It sure beats stepping on a porcupine when taking the dog out to go potty in the middle of the night.

The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

Porcupines & Salt Attraction
Quote:
The inner bark (phloem and cambium layers) of spruce, birch and hemlock and spruce needles are the major winter foods for porcupine living in Alaska. In the spring and summer, buds and young green leaves of birch, aspen, cottonwood and willow are eaten until the tannin levels build too high for the porcupine to tolerate. Because they are vegetarians and most vegetable matter is very low in sodium, porcupines need additional sodium in the blood to balance cell potassium levels. As a result, porcupines seek out salt sources such as natural licks, glue which bonds plywood together, human perspiration on tools, road salt, and some paints. Porcupines also feed on shed antlers and the bones of dead animals to obtain sodium and calcium.
Quills and Porcupines-img_0345.jpg Quills and Porcupines-img_0353.jpg Quills and Porcupines-img_0354_b.jpg
__________________
"Getting your hands dirty is the best way to keep your head clean."
BooBooBearBecky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
antlers, calcium source, chew, conifer trees, den, dens, douglas fir, erethizon dorsatum, guard hairs, habitat, hemlock, hollow logs, hollow trees, porcupine, porcupine den, porcupine photos, porcupines, quill, quills, rock crevices, salt, white spruce, wildlife, winter dens, yellow pine

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2