Sunday, November 5, 2006

Striped Skunk

As you can tell from his position, he's a bit disturbed. I had already taken 7 shots with the bright flash from only 10 feet away on the porch, and then I moved down to the sidewalk which was only about 5 feet so he got a bit nervous. You would think I'd have enough sense to be nervous too.

When threatened, the Striped Skunk will face the intruder, arch and elevate its tail, erect the tail hairs, chatter its teeth, and stomp the ground with the front feet.

This guy wasn't chattering or stomping but he was telling me I was a bit too close. This usually causes the intruder to retreat, but if it remains, the skunk will twist its back around, raise its tail straight up, evert its anal nipples, and spray scent 10 to 15 feet. The mist may reach three times as far, and the smell may carry a mile.

I backed up and left him alone to finish his meal. He was at the wildlife feeding area right off our walkway where I toss veggie and fruit scraps for the critters. I had the windows open on a beautiful night here last week and heard something approaching on the dry leaves. I had just been discussing skunks with my Auntie. She lives in the woods like we do and sees them often.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Striped Skunk at Birdfeeder in Backyard
Update: 8/11/09 - I was blessed one morning to wake up with a visitor out back at our feeder. I arise early, but this guy was lingering longer than usual with it being daylight. I was so thrilled and ran to get the camera to get pictures from the deck which was only about 10 feet away from him. He didn't seem to care about me since he was happy about the millet I had put out for the doves the day before.

The squirrels were busy eating also and the young ones kept an eye on him. I suppose they weren't too sure about what he was, but being bigger they kept their distance.

Get more information on skunks and see much better photos of adults and young.

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