Tahoe Truckee Critters   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi

 

As I went for a walk along Donner Lake’s east shore through the Donner Memorial Park recently, I heard a strange bird call. Soaring overhead was a majestic Bald Eagle. It wasn’t the screeching yell a la the opening of The Colbert Report, but more of a sing song cooing, which is why the bird’s unusual sound caught my attention.

I’ve seen these beautiful birds fairly frequently along Donner Lake’s shores, either soaring over the lake looking for food – or once, just sitting in a pine tree in my yard.

As it turns out, Bald Eagles are making a slow but steady comeback on our Sierra Shores and every year volunteers gather in the area to try and get a head count of the local population. In addition, organizations like Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care rehabs injured animals and returns them to the wild.

 

As we here in snow country anticipate our winter recreation opportunities, it often surprises us when we discover that critters apparently just wanna have fun too!

Last year, I was one of the lucky folks to have seen a red fox just outside my back door. I had never spotted one in the area previously (although I had seen their tracks) and the sighting was a real treat. So when this photo showed up via Outside Magazine, it made my day.

 

Funtastic Mr Fox Young cub has the time of its life sliding down quarry conveyor belt

Wheeeeeeeeee! A young fox rides a quarry conveyor belt

 

Apparently the fox took a couple runs down the chutes. You can read more about the story behind this photo here: The Animal Zone

 

This recent video of a crow having a fine old time using a plastic lid to sled down someone’s roof went viral last week. I have to admit, it gave me quite a chuckle. (turn the sound off, the background noise is distracting)

 

While having so much wildlife around us can be compelling, there is a downside too. Anyone who has ever had a bear break in can attest to that.  In addition, being distracted while driving can have some tragic consequences as well. Coming home from Reno the other day on I-80, a whole pack of coyotes decided to try to make a mad dash across the freeway right in front of me. Mercifully everyone on the road could stop in time, and the animals soon discovered the folly of their choice of road crossing, but it could have been an ugly scene.  Most of us are often witness to the aftermath of what happens when an animal has a close encounter with a vehicle. The car no doubt had plenty of damage as well, but it had already been towed away.
Local organizations like The Bear League take in injured animals, and as I write this, they are currently trying to save a bear cub that got hit by a car.  Sadly, the car just kept on truckin’, leaving the poor creature still alive but severely injured and suffering. If you run across such an incident, contact The Bear League at 530-525- paws (7297). They’ll make every effort to retrieve the injured animal and get them to medical care and appropriate rehab centers.

With California’s drought still in evidence, wildlife is drawn closer to the lake and the Truckee River looking for food and water.  In addition, with the days getting shorter, it’s important to slow it down on the roads at night and to be especially alert.  It will be better for the health and well being of both humans and animals alike.

 

THINK OF ME, LYNN RICHARDSON, FOR ALL OF YOUR LAKE TAHOE AND TRUCKEE REAL ESTATE NEEDS!

lynnrichardson.net

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