Animal Pictures - Raccoons

Raccoons

A Pair of Raccoons in south Louisiana.
A Pair of Raccoons in south Louisiana. | Source

Raccoons Along the Tchefuncte River

Since I was a child, I have been fascinated with raccoons. But because they are nocturnal and I was not allowed to wander around the place at night, most of my exposure to them occurred from television shows and books.

Now that I am all grown up and live on a 9 acre backyard habitat along the Tchefuncte River in southeastern Louisiana, I see them all the time. I have also been able to photograph them in their natural habitat. Raccoons are beautiful animals and their young are so endearing.

Raccoons look like little bandits with their black mask. They possess a clever mind and agile hand-like paws. Coons (as they are sometimes called in the south) have been know to easily get into man-made structures. Anyone who has read Sterling North's classic book, Rascal, should be aware of that.

We have had many interactions with raccoons and I'd like to share a few raccoon tales, some facts and photographs with you. We hope you enjoy this little glimpse into the life of the raccoons here along the Tchefuncte River in St. Tammany Parish.

Feeding by the River

Deer and raccoons visit the feeding spot where the camera is set up.
Deer and raccoons visit the feeding spot where the camera is set up. | Source

Feeding Raccoons

Raccoons are omnivorous. Once you start feeding a raccoon, you soon find out that they spread the word throughout the forest.

When we first got our place in the country, we used to feed the cats outside on the front porch. Each night, a raccoon would come finish what was left. Soon, there were 2 of them, then 5 and then ..... We quickly learned that this was not a good thing to do when they started tearing up the bird feeders and bird nest boxes in search of food.

That's when we started feeding the cats inside and decided to establish a feeding spot down, for the raccoons, deer and wood ducks, down by the river. This helped to lure the hoard of raccoons back into the woods.

Down in the woods, we sprinkle Golden Deer Nuggets and cracked corn in a spot along a trail where we have a Moultrie GameSpy camera set up to take pictures of the animals that come along the trail or that visit the food.

In the wild, raccoons eat such things as fruits, nuts, berries, insects, rodents, frogs, eggs and crayfish. So we planted many food trees and shrubs that they enjoy throughout or forest.

Most of us have heard that raccoons wash their food, but actually, what they are doing is just softening it up and searching for hard parts that might be difficult to chew.

Raccons and Other Animals at the River

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pregnant raccoon and opossum rest.Predators roam by the river, so raccoons must be ready to flee to safety.Some disputes break out between rival males and sometimes females.It is not uncommon for a dozen or more raccoons to eat together.The beavers and raccoons eat along side each other. This female raccoon is edgy because of the kits.Raccoons stand on their hind likes to get a better look when they sense danger.They then run to the nearest tree.Occasionally deer will come to eat, but we don't have as many as we used to.
Pregnant raccoon and opossum rest.
Pregnant raccoon and opossum rest. | Source
Predators roam by the river, so raccoons must be ready to flee to safety.
Predators roam by the river, so raccoons must be ready to flee to safety. | Source
Some disputes break out between rival males and sometimes females.
Some disputes break out between rival males and sometimes females. | Source
It is not uncommon for a dozen or more raccoons to eat together.
It is not uncommon for a dozen or more raccoons to eat together. | Source
The beavers and raccoons eat along side each other. This female raccoon is edgy because of the kits.
The beavers and raccoons eat alongside each other. This female raccoon is edgy because of the kits. | Source
Raccoons stand on their hind likes to get a better look when they sense danger.
Raccoons stand on their hind likes to get a better look when they sense danger. | Source
They then run to the nearest tree.
They then run to the nearest tree. | Source
Occasionally deer will come to eat, but we don't have as many as we used to.
Occasionally deer will come to eat, but we don't have as many as we used to. | Source

Raccoons Using Bird Feeders

Raccoons love sunflower seeds.
Raccoons love sunflower seeds. | Source

How Our Bird Feeders Were Destroyed

This one brought a friend or a large kit.
This one brought a friend or a large kit. | Source
They took turns assaulting the bird feeder.
They took turns assaulting the bird feeder. | Source
Pulling it closer so he/she can stick its face in.
Pulling it closer so he/she can stick its face in. | Source
"Maybe we can both eat at once if I come from the bottom."
"Maybe we can both eat at once if I come from the bottom." | Source

Raccoons and Bird Feeders

Raccoons can become a problem in cities and suburbs, where natural predators are no longer present, because they will quickly take advantage of a good thing. In the country, we enjoy most of their antics, but we must safeguard the nest boxes on our Bluebird trail by mounting them on 8 foot tall metal poles with stovepipe predator baffles. These baffles also keep the snakes and wood rats from robbing the nest.

We tried everything imaginable to keep the raccoons out of the bird feeders, but because of their intelligence and strength, we were out foxed. My husband finally had to reduce the amount of sunflower seed that he put out. He does not fill a bin type feeder. Early in the morning, he only puts enough to last the day. The raccoons soon realize that the bird feeders have slim pickings, and they move on to greener pastures during their nightly rounds.

Learn More About Raccoons

Raccoons: A Natural History
Raccoons: A Natural History

The Natural History books for children contain great pictures and accurate information.

 

Kits and Moms

This unusual baby raccoon is eating wild plums and dog food.
This unusual baby raccoon is eating wild plums and dog food. | Source

Baby Raccoons - Kits

Baby raccoons have got to be one of the cutest animals on the planet. Their faces are so innocent and bright and they play like kittens. Baby raccoons are called "kits". Each spring and summer we get pictures of them on the Moultrie wildlife camera down at the river. Often, we can monitor the development of a family of raccoons by looking at the pictures each day.

Here in Louisiana, the kits are born in spring, from March through May. Usually from 4-6 young are in a litter. Mother raccoons carry their babies around in their mouth, just like cats. When the kits are about 10 weeks old, they are weaned. They begin to hunt and forage with the mother when they are about 9 weeks old. The young raccoons have darker coats than the adults. Young raccoons often stay with their mothers for as long as a year.

Kits Play Like Kittens

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Mom Raccoon is having a hard time keeping these youngster on task.
Mom Raccoon is having a hard time keeping these youngster on task.
Mom Raccoon is having a hard time keeping these youngster on task. | Source
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Raccoon Poll

Have you encountered raccoons where you live?

  • Yes, and I enjoy them.
  • Yes, and they annoy me.
  • No, but I wish I did see some.
  • No and I'm glad I don't encounter any.
See results without voting

Game Cameras Like We Used to Take the Pictures

Newborn Baby Raccoons - Animal Rehabilitator

© 2011 Yvonne L. B.

More by this Author


What do you think about Raccoons? 6 comments

John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 5 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

A delightful and helpful hub, NATUREGIRL7


naturegirl7 profile image

naturegirl7 5 years ago from South Louisiana Author

Thanks, John MacNab,

We try to live in harmony with all wild creatures. After all, they were living on this land long before we were.


GameCameraExpert profile image

GameCameraExpert 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

Great pictures. I used to have a pet raccoon as a child. We recovered it from a tree that was struck by lightning, which killed the mother and other babies. We bottle fed it, and it became very domesticated. It was very mischievous though, so it stayed outdoors.


JimmieWriter profile image

JimmieWriter 5 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

They are so cute despite their naughty behaviors! :-)


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

Oh, these photos are priceless! How I would love to see these scenes in real life! I do see raccoons skittering around neighborhoods every once in a while, but not as much as when I lived in the country. I think they're beautiful even though they steal our cat food sometimes :) Thanks for the Hub! I love the photo with the deer and raccoon eating side by side.


Lawessay profile image

Lawessay 3 years ago from UK

These photos are absolutely lovely. When I visited Florida I was fascinated one evening to see one in the trash bin holding the lid up while his mate climbed in and out. Talk about ingenious.

This made our last trip to Florida memorable although I hope to have many more with or without raccoons!

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