Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fisher Populations Rebound

To the consternation of some suburbanites. I must admit I have never seen one. Spooky picture, huh?


Matt Mullenix said...

Time for all those gray squirrels to start watching their backs...

dr. hypercube said...

Here's that critters sister. Taken in my back yard (one town over from where the NYT's picture was taken), 6 years ago. That's a substantially-emptier-than-it-was-a-week-ago quail flight pen in the background.

I'm told that fisher cats aren't the slayer of Puff and Mittens (Felis domestica) they're reputed to be - you wouldn't know it by me. The summer I first saw a fisher in Durham, the neighborhood was plastered with "Have you seen our cat?" posters.

Steve Bodio said...

When I lived by Quabbin reservoir (western Mass) in the seventies I had them go through the back yard. They really do kill and hollow out porcupines-- they left one there.

Scary? One friend in Maine startled one from his deer blind. It came TOWARD him and snarled before it took off. They may weigh only 20 lbs but I wouldn't mess with them. I'm just glad they aren't as big as cougars.

Which somehow reminds me of this wonderful cryptozoological novel by the late Geoffrey Household.

prairie mary said...

We once had a friend named Timberjack Joe who fancied himself a mountain man and went around in buckskins with a black powder gun. He made his real living by timber cruising, but picked up a little extra by being in parades and so on. He liked to tame animals and took the direct but crude means of chaining them to his wrist until they got tired of fighting and biting, subsiding into submission. He had two fishers with him when he came to visit us. One was tame and one was not. We were taking photos and in order to free up one hand, he gave me a fisher to hold.

It wasn't the tame one. I probably lost a cup of blood while everyone shouted for me not to let go of the chain and didn't rush fast enough to help. But it wasn't rabid.

And it wasn't mangy. Normally, they had lovely fur, like a mink. The Blackfeet liked to make them into hats and some people were named for the fisher.

Prairie Mary

Mark McBride said...

They look a bit like our Pine Martin but at 20lb they are fair bit bigger!!

Off to google them now.



Mike Spies said...

Do they eat persimmons? Or he just posing there?

Reid Farmer said...

I think he's really after the suet in the feeder

EmilyS said...

spooky? gosh, not hardly!
nor "vicious" in the words of the ACO quoted.
A gorgeous creature like the other weasels.

People: keep your [blank] pets inside where they belong! As far as I'm concerned, if any "outdoor" cats meet their demise by way of a fisher (or coyote...), it's simply just desserts for the enormous numbers of birds and small mammals they kill.

Steve Bodio said...

"A gorgeous creature like the other weasels."

Yes-- Alpha predators like Goshawks, falcons, big cats.

Which doesn't preclude "spooky"-- I find lions, old predators of humans, exceedingly so, without being any the less beautiful. See them around the gates of an African compound at night sometime.

People who leave cats outside at night deserve to have them eaten, as Emily says. A lot worse for what is out there than fishers.

Reid Farmer said...

spooky? gosh, not hardly!

I was thinking the glowing eyes and teeth looked sort of demonic