Saturday, April 5, 2008

Who’s that visiting the bird feeder?

Now that it’s warming up all kinds of critters are stirring. I recently looked out and saw this strange site at the foot of the goldfinch feeders.


It looked so bizarre that I had to get out the zoom lens.



As I watched I noticed that the poor little bugger had a severe case of the itchy-gitchies, so I suppose the fleas have been well fed this winter. But it wasn’t his adorable little two-step scratch-scratch dance that had me mesmerized…there was something about him - he just looked so…odd…



My eyes were telling me it was a skunk, but my brain was telling me it was the wrong colour. All of the skunks I’ve seen have always been black with one or two white stripes down the middle of their back.




This was weird - it was like I was looking at a negative of a skunk. Or maybe this was a new breed of skunk I had never seen before.

Curious, I started surfing the net to find out if there is such a thing as a white skunk with a black stripe. My searches quickly showed me that I’m not the first person to see a skunk like this. I learned from the experts that there is a great deal of variability in the amount of white on striped skunks. Some are almost completely black and occasionally you come across an individual with very wide white stripes - like this little guy.

Pretty cool eh?

Sadly I won’t become famous for discovering a new breed of skunk. But on the bright side I did learn something new.

So who was that hanging around the bird feeders? Oh it was just a skunk…a really weird-looking skunk with a nasty case of fleas. But it sure kept this crazy nature nut entertained for hours!

Smile – life’s too short :o)
Kathleen (aka TheNatureNut)

11 comments:

ABreathOfFrenchAir said...

I'm glad he didn't come close to your house! Yikes! :)

Fabianna said...

Now I have learned something new too! Did your research say whether or not "backwards skunks" send out the opposite odorwise too? Does their spray perhaps shoot designer perfume scents?

Rosebud Collection said...

We have quite a few skunks here and I have to tell you. One of the most beautiful things we saw, the mama skunk was moving her babies during the day..Guess they were feeling threatened..The babies had their heads into her fur and she led them to the woods. It was a very touching sight.

woolies said...

I love your skunk! Out here in the wild west, I encountered a different looking skunk while horseback riding in the mountains. Luckily, he was scared of us and ran the other direction! Wish I'd had my camera!

littlebird said...

Aaah he looks totally adorable but between the fleas and the odour problem i think i'll keep my distance!

Dulce said...

Cute story on the skunk.
and I have to tell you a story, My husband and I were just talking about bird feeders, and I went to check my blog and there you were.
I have to say I love your shop on etsy. great idea on helping the birds. We live in a huge farm house in the country and we have a lot of beautiful birds that come around. Thank you for your comment on my blog.

ArtsyChaos said...

Ahhh! What a (ahem) cute skunk. Very interesting about the stripes. The only time I have encountered a skunk was when our cat had an unfortunate run-in with one... the poor thing smelled awful for months.

Kinichi River Designs said...

Neat! I never heard of that before. I gotta admit, I have a little soft spot in my heart for skunks... they really are quite cute. I saw momma skunk with babies at the zoo once and fell so in love with the babies. I could have watched them all day!

The Nature Nut said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and for your great skunk stories. I've enjoyed them all :o)

Jenn said...

We have skunks! Unfortunately, the dog irritates them and they often spray close to our house. The smell is so intense we can smell it *inside* our house!! :( The first time I ever smelled it, I was sound asleep and it woke me up, it was that strong!

omnomct said...

We have one guy outside our bird feeder now, too! This guy, though, is almost entirely white, with a black stripe down his back with black feet. Weird.