Troy Wildlife Sightings

 Fisher in the Woodshed

 Most wildlife sightings occur outdoors, but this one happened in our woodshed while I was stacking our winters supply. The shed was packed with tiers of stacked firewood and I’d just finished emptying the wheelbarrow and paused a moment to rest when I became aware of a scuffling sound. Peering over the tops of stacked wood in the dim light I saw a large weasel like creature scurrying back and forth along the tiers. It was on a level with my head about 15 ft away. My first thought was, “that’s too big for a weasel”. Then it dawned on me that I was looking at a large fisher cat. The fisher wasn’t in the least interested in me – it was staring intently into the crevice between two rows of wood and as I watched, it slipped effortlessly down into the crevice and that was the last I saw of it. I suppose it was hunting rodents. Every fall the mice and rats migrate inside our old farm house with attached woodshed and barn. Now I know what our Walker coonhound mix dog, Talula has been barking at lately as she races back and forth in front of the woodshed door.

 From Peterson’s Field Guide: This magnificent furbearer is dark brown, to nearly black, with white-tipped hairs over most of its body, giving it a frosted appearance. Long, slim body and bushy tail. Head and body 20-25 in.; tail 13-15 in. Wt; males 6-12 lbs.; females 3-7 lbs. Fishers are larger than a martin; smaller than a wolverine. They are active day and night. At home both on ground and in trees. Feeds primarily on small mammals, birds, carrion, fruits and fern tips. One of the few predators that feed on porcupines. Dens in trees hollows or in ground. Home range about 10 sq. mi.

 Submitted by: Sam Hightower