Trillium Ridge Flora and Fauna
Mammals - 13 species
Class: Mammalia (Mammals)
Phylum/Division: Chordata (Spinal chorded)
Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
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Grey squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis
Nesting in oaks, roam the yard. Frequent the feedlot in winter, playing in the white pine and blue spruce
Although the gray squirrel is found in parks and yards, woodlands are its preferred habitat. It builds its den in tree branches, inside a hollow trunk, or in an empty birds nest. It usually lines the nest with moss, thistledown, dried grass, and feathers and builds a cover. A gray squirrel will build several nests or dens and use them all. When a female has young, the nest is theirs alone, but winter nests are often shared to generate warmth.
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Genus: Sciurus (squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks)
Family: Sciuridae (squirrels)
Order: Rodentia (rodents)
Fox squirrel
Sciurus niger
Nesting in oaks, roam the yard. Frequent the feedlot in winter, playing in the white pine and blue spruce
The Fox Squirrel's natural range extends throughout the eastern United States, north into the southern prairie provinces of Canada, and west to the Dakotas, Colorado, and Texas. Fox squirrels are most often found in forest patches of 400,000 square metres or less with an open understory, or in urban neighborhoods with trees. They thrive best among trees such as oak, hickory, walnut and pine that produce winter-storable foods like nuts.
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Genus: Sciurus (squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks)
Family: Sciuridae (squirrels)
Order: Rodentia (rodents)
Black squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis
Occasional visitor to winter "feedlot" (north side of property around white oak and yews)
As a melanistic variety of the eastern grey squirrel, individual black squirrels can exist wherever grey squirrels live. Grey mating pairs may produce black offspring, and in areas with high concentrations of black squirrels, mixed litters are common.[1] The black subgroup seems to have been dominant throughout North America prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, since their dark colour helped them hide in virgin forests which tended to be very dense and shaded. As time passed, hunting and deforestation led to biological advantages for grey coloured individuals.[2] Today, the black subgroup is particularly abundant in the northern part of the Eastern Grey Squirrel's range.
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Genus: Sciurus (squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks)
Family: Sciuridae (squirrels)
Order: Rodentia (rodents)
Tamias minimus
Eastern chipmunks mate in early spring and again in early summer, producing litters of four or five young twice each year.The young emerge from the burrow after about six weeks and strike out on their own within the next two weeks. Chipmunks have an omnivorous diet consisting of grain, nuts, birds' eggs, small frogs, fungi, worms, and insects
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Genus: Tamias (chipmunks)
Family: Sciuridae (squirrels)
Order: Rodentia (rodents)
Prairie vole
Microtus ochrogaster
burrows in several meadow areas
They part the grass at the ground level to make 2-inch wide runways between the entrances to their burrows, or from the burrows to their food source. There is an example leading from the pachysandra by the big white pine to the meadow surrounding the bird feeder. Another leads from the rock wall at north edge of front prairie to the streambed. We find myriad trails when snow melts showing their complex network under the snow of passages to/from nests and feeding sites.
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Genus: Microtus (voles)
Family: Muridae (mice and rats, gerbils, and relatives)
Order: Rodentia (rodents)
Striped skunk
Mephitis mephitis
Prowl yard at night - raid squirrel feeder
The Striped Skunk has a black body with a white stripe along each side of its body; the two stripes join into a broader white area at the nape. Its forehead has a narrow white stripe. About the size of a house cat, it weighs 2.5 to 14 pounds (1.2–6.3 kg) with a body length (excluding the tail) of 13 to 18 inches (33–46 cm). The bushy tail is 7 to 10 inches long (18–25 cm), and sometimes has a white tip.
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Genus: Mephitis (skunks)
Family: Mephitidae (skunks)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Procyon lotor
Nest in hollow oaks in woods; prowl yard at night
Studies have shown that raccoons are able to remember the solution to tasks up to three years later. Raccoons are omnivorous and usually nocturnal, and their diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods and 27% vertebrates.
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Genus: Procyon (raccoon)
Family: Procyonidae (raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, ringtails…)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
canis latrans
Technically not IN the yard, but seen repeatedly on the street in front and in neighbor's (unfenced) yard.
Throughout North America
Despite being extensively hunted, the coyote is one of the few medium-to-large-sized animals that has enlarged its range since human encroachment began. It originally ranged primarily in the western half of North America, but it has adapted readily to the changes caused by human presence and, since the early 19th century, has been steadily and dramatically extending its range.[55] Sightings now commonly occur in a majority of the United States and Canada. Researchers studied coyote populations in Chicago over a seven-year period (2000–2007), proposing that coyotes have adapted well to living in densely populated urban environments while avoiding contact with humans. They found that urban coyotes tend to live longer than their rural counterparts, kill rodents and small pets, and live anywhere from parks to industrial areas. The researchers estimate that there are up to 2,000 coyotes living in "the greater Chicago area" and that this circumstance may well apply to many other urban landscapes in North America.[
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Genus: Canis (Wolves, dogs, dingos, coyotes, jackals)
Family: Canidae (wolves, foxes, jackals, coyotes, and the domestic dog)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Red Fox
Vulpes vulpes
Back yard; lying curled in a spot of sun by the serviceberry, visits regularly, climbing fences easily
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes and the most geographically spread member of the Carnivora, being distributed across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America and Asia.
Red foxes are social animals, whose groups are led by a mated pair which monopolises breeding[clarification needed]. Subordinates within a group are typically the young of the mated pair, which remain with their parents to assist in caring for new kits.[10] The species primarily feeds on small rodents, though it may also target leporids, game birds, reptiles, invertebrates[11] and young ungulates.[12] Fruit and vegetable matter is also eaten on occasion.
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Genus: Vulpes (True foxes)
Family: Canidae (wolves, foxes, jackals, coyotes, and the domestic dog)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Virginia opossum
Didelphis virginiana
prowl yard at night

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Genus: Didelphis (large American opossums)
Family: Didelphidae (opossums)
Order: Didelphimorphia (mammals - subclass marsupials)
Eastern Mole
Scalopus aquaticus
around the patio, in bluestem meadow
Moles are insectivores and eat mainly insects, larvae such as white grubs and earthworms. They are opportunistic feeders and will eat slugs, snails, millipedes and centipedes, and spiders. Moles will also eat plants such as the seeds of corn, grasses, oats and wheat. Moles pose no public health concerns. While molehills and tunnels may be an inconvenience, they are evidence of a healthy ecosystem. Where possible, mole activity should be allowed. They eat large numbers of grubs and other insects, and they help aerate the soil. In Illinois, moles are protected by the Wildlife Code.
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Genus: Scalopus (Mole)
Family: Talpidae (moles)
Order: Soricomorpha (moles and shrews)
Northern Short-tailed Shrew
Blarina brevicauda
burrow in northwest meadow; seen in flowerbeds in back
northeastern region of North America
Shrews have sharp, spike-like teeth, not the familiar gnawing front incisor teeth of rodents. Shrews are distributed almost worldwide. In general, shrews are terrestrial creatures that forage for seeds, insects, nuts, worms and a variety of other foods in leaf litter and dense vegetation, but some specialise in climbing trees, living underground, living under snow or even hunting in water. Shrews must eat 80-90 % of their own body weight in food daily.
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Genus: Blarina (Northern Short-tailed Shrew)
Family: Soricidae/Soricinae (Red-toothed Shrews)
Order: Soricomorpha (moles and shrews)
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
Sylvilagus floridanus
In front meadow, under pines, in grasses

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Genus: Sylvilagus (Cottontail rabbit)
Family: Leporidae (rabbits and hares)
Order: Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas)

Black squirrel Chipmunk Coyote Eastern Cottontail Rabbit Eastern Mole Fox squirrel Grey squirrel Northern Short-tailed Shrew Prairie vole
Raccoon Red Fox Striped skunk Virginia opossum