Mammals are warm blooded animals that have fur, give birth to live young and feed their babies milk. There a few exceptions such as the platypus, which lays eggs, but they are not found in our neck of the woods. This group involves highly visable species such as deer, bears, foxes, squirrels and of course, humans - all of which can be seen from time to time at Up Yonda Farm.
White-tailed Deer - Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed deer are very common in the Adirondacks and are often seen while driving, especially at night. This species got its name because the underside of their tails are white and when they sense danger, the tail goes up and they bound off. Deer are fairly large mammals are mostly brown above and white underneath. Fawns or baby deer like the one in this picture has white spots, which will eventually disappear. Male deer or bucks are hunted vigorously in the Adirondacks in order to keep the population down.
Squirrels & Chipmunks- Sciurus sp. & Tamias sp.
Both red and gray squirrels, as well as chipmunks, are small rodents that can be found throughout the Adirondacks. Known as acrobatic climbers and for collecting and storing nuts or seeds, these animals can be a lot of fun to observe. With squirrels, their color helps to distinguish between the two species, although sometimes people are fooled by a black squirrel - which is another color phase of the gray squirrel. Chipmunks are generally smaller than squirrels and easily identified by the brown and white stripes on its back.
Red Fox - Vulpes vulpes
Red fox are very common in the Adirondacks and can be seen occasionally here at Up Yonda Farm. They got their name because of their fluffy red coat and bushy red tail. Red foxes have an excellent ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, therefore is often found living very close to humans, even in more urban areas. Red foxes are diurnal, meaning that they are active both during the day and at night and they love to eat small rodents.
Woodchuck - Marmota monax
The woodchuck is one of the few true hibernators that live in the Adirondacks. These animals are also called groundhogs and were made famous by Punxsutawney Phil. Woodchucks do not eat wood, but instead, can be a very big nuisance in your garden. These large, furry rodents love to eat fruits, vegetables and even some flowers. If you have woodchucks near your house, you’ve probably noticed that they also love to dig. Woodchucks make their homes underground or sometimes under houses and porches as they have here at Up Yonda Farm!
Raccoon - Procyon lotor
Raccoons are common in the Adirondacks and are often thought of as pests. These pesky animals will eat almost anything, including our garbage! It is easy to spot a raccoon because they are gray with black bands or circles around its tail. You may also know that raccoons are thought of as, “little bandits”, because of the black markings around their eyes, which looks like a bank robber’s mask.
Eastern Coyote-Canis latrans
The Eastern Coyote is currently the largest wild canine in the Adirondacks. They live throughout upstate New York and commonly inhabit many suburban and urban areas. They have long thick fur, bushy tails, and large pointed ears. Their fur coloring can be reddish, blonde, brown or blackish. Coyotes are omnivores but often prey on small mammals such as rabbits, raccoons, and even outdoor cats and small dogs. The majority of their diet consists of white-tailed deer. These mammals are excellent climbers and are more active at night.
Black Bear-Ursus americanus
Black bears are large, curious, intelligent mammals that inhabit the Adirondack region. They have black fur, rounded ears, short curved claws, and long narrow brown muzzles. The average male weighs about 300lbs and the female around 150 lbs. They typically live in forested areas but will venture out into human communities in search for readily available food. Black bears are omnivores that eat basically anything they can find including: grass, berries, fruits, nuts, fish, insects, honey, trash, and house pet food. They hibernate for up to 5 months during the cold weather months. Since they don’t eat during hibernation, they go through a period of overeating during the fall. Once they’re ready, they will use caves or hollows in trees for denning.
The Ermine is the Adirondack’s smallest weasel, weighing only about 2-4 oz. They have a long slender body and neck, small head, black beady eyes, and short legs. Their fur is typically brown on the upper part of their bodies and yellowish white on the bottom. In the winter their fur is completely white but their tails have a black tip which remains all year long. They are carnivores which mainly hunt mice, lemmings, and voles but will also eat carrion or fruit when prey is scarce. Ermine can have several nests which may be underground, inside hollow logs, or in rock piles.