Animal Pictures - Raccoons
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
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 RiverClick thumbnail to view full-size
Raccoons Using Bird Feeders
How Our Bird Feeders Were Destroyed
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
The Natural History books for children contain great pictures and accurate information.
Kits and Moms
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 KittensClick thumbnail to view full-size
Have you encountered raccoons where you live?See results without voting
Game Cameras Like We Used to Take the Pictures
More About Raccoons and Other Animals
- Creatures of the Night
When the sun goes down, the night creatures come out of their nests, dens and boroughs. This is their time to shine. They have adapted to living by the ligh
- Favorite Animal Fantasy, Amazing Tales and Mystery Books
Fantasy, Science Fiction and Mysteries are my favorite genres and I love animals of all shapes and sizes, so when you put them together, well, I could stay
Newborn Baby Raccoons - Animal Rehabilitator
© 2011 Yvonne L. B.
More by this Author
Photographs taken by the author take you into the life of a pair of northern Cardinal birds as they nest and raise young.
Louisiana abounds with reptiles, including snakes. We have photographed and studied some of the snakes that live in southeastern Louisiana.
Photographs of and information about red-bellied woodpeckers in southeastern Louisiana are featured in this article. They are permanent residents of our habitat and we have photographed them throughout the year.