Late last night, as i sat computing, i suddenly heard spine tingling noises just outside of my window for a several seconds and then a terrible silence. I immediately thought it had been the death cries of a bird, caught by a cat, raccoon or maybe a coyote.
As i pondered the likelihood of it being a bird out in the night, much to my horror the urgent cries started again, closer this time.
I went to the kitchen and turned on the outside light and peered out into the darkness and the sounds again stopped. There was nothing on the deck, but suddenly what was that movement in the bush by the wall? I went into the sunroom to get a better view.
A flash of white trying to climb the wall....the size of a small cat; but not able to leap so is it a cat? It turned slightly to change direction and ran up the stairs in the center of the garden and i think this is who i saw; minus the black face with tiny white stripe
Now, i've seen skunks before but never with this much white fur. As it disappeared into the night i disappeared into the land of Google.
I wonder if there's such a thing as albino skunks but Google just said it comes in many colours.
Its scientific name is Mephitis mephitis taken from the Roman Goddess of poisonous gasses.
Also known as striped skunks they live in the U.S. and the southern tier of the Canadian Provinces.
Their lifespan is 2 -3 years and they can reach a weight of 14 lbs. Mephitis breed once a year and have litters of 4-8 kits. Diet changes with the seasons and right now they'd be eating mice, shrews and chipmunks so that's probably who was making all the noise. Since i only got a good look from behind i couldn't see if it was carrying something in his mouth.
Well, i knew we had been home to skunks before, but the usual black with white stripes variety and i thought they had long moved on. Who knows; maybe a kit stays back in the old home or it's a random spot that this fellow found or maybe he was enroute to somewhere else.
We'll be leaving him alone because he probably does us a favour by eating all the bad little bugs and critters in the garden although i don't consider chipmunks bad at all; they're very entertaining.
Anyway, the skunks i've seen arn't fast enough to catch a chipmunk or squirrel; those things can fly!
So he's welcome to live here as long as he dos'nt spray....one report said they can accurately spray up to 10' but another said they have terrible eyesight and i can believe that as the one i saw was attempting to climb a tall wall instead of the shorter steps. Either way their odour can carry a mile and a half !