Wildlife At Home


We don’t currently have pets, but we do enjoy the many wild animals that live in or near our suburban home. There are several Western Fence Lizards living in our yard, and I’ve trained most of them to eat from my hand. I feed them mealworms, or sometimes small insects that I’ve found. Occasionally we see alligator lizards too, and a few of them have been bold enough to eat from my hand.

We also love watching the various birds that come to our feeders, including sparrows, house finches, lesser goldfinches, and bluejays. Sometimes we see Cooper’s Hawks or Sharp-shinned Hawks that come around to prey on the doves and smaller birds.

There are tiny Worm Salamanders that come out at night sometimes. They look very much like an earthworm but on closer inspection they have a face and tiny, almost vestigial legs.

On rare occasions we’ve found small snakes including Ring-necked Snakes.

     New Video: I’ve been feeding mealworms to a black phoebe since the summer of 2013. Recently he has started to take them right from my hand! Here’s some video:  Feeding A  Phoebe 2014

    Here’s a 5-minute mini-documentary I put together in 2012. It tells the story of an alligator lizard that made its nest in a little rock cave on my outdoor model railroad. You can see her eggs, watch them hatch, and see the babies start to make their way out into the world:  The Alligator Lizard Saga 2012

   See a short video clip of me hand-feeding an alligator lizard:  AlligatorLizardFeed16Aug2010

    See video of me hand-feeding several wild Western Fence lizards:  FeedingFenceLizards16Aug2010

    See video of a Pacific diamondback rattlesnake found in our neighborhood:  PacificRattlesnake1May2011

Updated February 25, 2018.

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Critter Encounters In The Suburbs