JCC [Animals] What wildlife visited my yard today

Discussion in 'Community' started by jp-30, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    Living on the edge of a large section of native forest reserve means I get some pretty cool bugs & birds visiting the yard. So, in the mould of those "What I had for lunch" threads, I'd like to present a "Look what I found in my yard today" thread where hopefully you might learn a little about NZ fauna as you check out what I have photographed.

    Anyone else is welcome to contribute with photos of wild animals from their own yards, but I do ask that you provide actual photos you have taken, not just links to other's photos of the same animal found on the internet.

    Without further ado, here's the first creature, photographed yesterday;

    Cave Weta

    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v194/jaepee/cw3.jpg]
    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v194/jaepee/cw2.jpg]
    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v194/jaepee/cw1.jpg]

    Wetas are a primitive cricket. There are several disctinct species (yes, that's what Peter Jackson named his FX company after - an in-joke can be seen in the King Kong trailer when a swarm of giant Weta attack Jack Black's character). The Cave Weta has huge spindly legs and long antenna and can jump a couple of metres at a time. This one would be about 20-25cm long if its legs were fully stretched out including antennae). They are harmless, though because of their size and ability to jump so high, they do frighten people.

    One of the cats brought this guy in yesterday, but I rescued it before any damage was done. And even though they're more common in caves, they live in all sorts of dark secluded areas.
  2. solo77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2002
    star 5
    WETA's rule, so does NZ, w00t w00t [face_dancing]




    ~ :rolleyes: ~
  3. The_Scarlet_Woman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2005
    star 5
    :)

    I look forward to seeing more posts. :)
  4. Loopster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2000
    star 4
    NZ wildlife.

    Having no native terrestrial mammals in NZ, this should be a short thread.....

    ;)

  5. Debo Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2001
    star 5
    Finally, an actual topic -- and then it only gets three replies. Mystifying.

    But interesting, JP. They look like a cross between shrimps and grasshoppers. I'll dust off my own camera and look around a bit.
  6. RidingMyCarousel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2002
    star 6
    jp - have you seen what we call "cave crickets" here in the US? Those wetas resemble them quite a bit.

    They're in the same family, rhaphidophoridae and hurt like a bugger if they bite you.
  7. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    Today's animal is a litle less exotic.

    Mallard and Grey Ducks on the front lawn.

    [image=http://photobucket.com/albums/v194/jaepee/wildlife/duck1.jpg]
    [image=http://photobucket.com/albums/v194/jaepee/wildlife/duck2.jpg]

    Grey's are native to NZ (unlike Mallards) and have more defined head stripes, and the males don't have an irridescent head. They do cross-breed though.

    RMCOY, I was aware that there are similar species to the Cave Weta around the world. The other Wetas are in a different family, and look a lot more fearsome. Hopefully I'll find one soon.

    Debo, I'd love to see some dutch wildlife. I recall when we were travelling in the USA, no-one could understand our fascination with squirrels. They're vermin to most, but as Loopster pointed out NZ has no native land mammals (NZ broke away from the supercontinent before mammals had evolved) so we were most taken by them.
  8. Kerr_Plunk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 6

    ooooh that weta is fantastic looking.. creepy, but marvelous! :D
    the ducks are cute.. and seem incredibly friendly.. those are wild, no?

  9. Dagobah1234 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2002
    star 5
    My mom caught a stick bug in her garden yesterday!
  10. Jedi Speewwy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 1999
    star 5
    Awwww, I like ducks! Our theme this week at work has been duckies so I've been singing lots of duck songs.
  11. -RebelScum- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2004
    star 6
    There was a rabbit burrow in my sandbox. My dog dug it up and killed the bunnies, never found the adult's bodies though. :(

    -The Scummy-
  12. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    > the ducks are cute.. and seem incredibly friendly.. those are wild, no?

    Yep. They're friendly because my kids feed them regularly.

    > My mom caught a stick bug in her garden yesterday!

    If you're able, post a photo next time!
  13. deltron_zero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6

    there was a family of ducks living in the little creek by my work that i was keeping tabs on early in the summer. the babies were just about the cutest things ever.

    looking forward to more, jp!
  14. JediFarfy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 4
    [image=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b254/jedifarfy/peacock05.jpg]

    Down the street from me, my neighbors have a male peacock. They're really noisy during mating season. He's lost all his tail feathers now, but he's still beautiful! I live in an urban/suburban area. This is him yesterday walking through my front yard eating the wild bird food. :)

    JediFarfy
  15. JediCallista_1_6_e54 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2005
    star 4
    Farfy, we have one here too. A peacock and some Guinea hens. Cuties!
  16. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    Hey, cool. Thanks for contributing to the thread! The thing about Peacocks is that their call often sounds like a distressed person yelling for help. Can be quite a shock until you figure out it's just a bird.
  17. JediFarfy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 4
    Oh I know! We didn't see it for several days and thought that some kids were screaming at some of the houses around us, or some kittens had been born and were crying. It was really odd since it was usually between 5:30 and 6am. :p

    JediFarfy
  18. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    There was a turtle on my front porch a few days ago. I picked it up, and he just sort of swam around in the air, bobbing his head. I set him down in the yard. And once, a manta ray swam down our canal.

    The really cool fauna in my area aren't very nice, though.


    [image=http://www.pbs.org/kratts/world/na/alligator/images/alligator.jpg]
  19. Loopster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2000
    star 4
    jp-30 those ducks look like what we call Pacific Black Ducks here in Australia. I'm guessing they are the same species because the Pacific Black Duck has a range throughout the South Pacific. They are pretty cute. Why anyone would call them black ducks or grey ducks when they are predominantly brown is beyond me.

    I can't post the actual picture, but I've linked to a photo of a goanna that I took when I was on holidays up the coast. I get them at my place too, but this is a big one.

    Lace Monitor

  20. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    JediofJade. If you have the means post a photo of the next turtle that happens by your house. The alligator image (being a generic, internet sourced one) kinda breaks the rules of the thread.

    Loopster, that's one impressive lizard even if that particular specimen wasn't in your garden. We only have small (10-15cm) geckos & skinks here, plus the prehistoric tuatara which I believe is limited to offshore islands only due to its slow breeding cycle and the introduction of stoats, ferrets, weasels, rats and other predatory mammals to the mainland.

    One disconscerting thing I found when travelling around Aussie was the number of the same species native to NZ (with different names, of course) around. eg pukeko, morepork, fantail.
  21. AmazingB Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2001
    star 7
    We don't get any cool animals in our backyard. Once we had dogs, neither of which was my dog. That's not very exciting. But we do have a squabbit. It's a half dog-half rabbit hybrid.

    Amazing.
  22. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I get possums, foxes, mice and moles, owls, geese, ducks, cats feral and domesticated, raccoons, snakes, cicada killers, bats -- but I've got no handy camera. :(
  23. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 9
    > We don't get any cool animals in our backyard. Once we had dogs, neither of which was my dog. That's not very exciting.

    It doesn't have to be an exciting animal though. Besides, what you think is uncool may be cool to many others around the globe and vice-versa - and I'm not just talking about your clothes.

    > I get possums, foxes, mice and moles, owls, geese, ducks, cats feral and domesticated, raccoons, snakes, cicada killers, bats -- but I've got no handy camera.

    No handy-camera? Just a regular camera will do. :p Can you borrow one, maybe? Anyway, let us know what you see, even if you can't provide photos.
  24. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Here's what's in my yard a lot, isn't he cute?

    [image=http://virtual.yosemite.cc.ca.us/ghayes/images/DSC03660%20Wallaby%20b.JPG]

    But I see a lot of these, and they attack if you come too close.

    [image=http://www.rosssilcock.com/SJDSpur-winged%20Plover.JPG]
  25. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I once had a dropbear in my yard, too. I wrestled with it and haven't seen it since.