Friday, December 23, 2016

The Three Opies

We have Virginia Opossums, 'Opies', who visit every night, but we don't really know how many may be out there. Last night we had three at the same time. So we know there are at least three!

This is Opie # 1, high up in the tree.

This is a small-ish creature, apparently from the second brood of the year.

Luanne and Dan Weekes, who live just down and around the bend from us, are the proprietors of Pollination Station. And among other things they rehabilitate Virginia Opossums. Through them we recently learned that Virginia Opossums have two litters a year. It appears that both Opie #1 and Opie #2 are second brooders.

This is Opie #2, on the makeshift flying squirrel feeder platforms.

We put peanut butter on these feeders, and on the tree, each evening. And watch the wildlife that comes to call.

Here is #3. It is a bit bigger than the first two.

Other than size and overall grayness of their fur, we've not learned to tell them apart.

It is a small gray one that likes to go high in the tree, seemingly to get away from the others, but as you can see these two are both small and gray.

Is it always the same one that is up high? Or does it depend on the order that they arrive?

Perhaps there are several small grey opossums that are visiting, and a few like the view from on high. We just don't know.

We've had up to three visit on several occasions. But they are solitary creatures, arriving and departing alone. With few direct interactions. And those I've witnessed seem to be aimed at determining "who are you" and telling each other to "leave me alone". So it is difficult to develop a 'personality profile' that might help identify individual opossums.

But we'll continue to watch and learn what we can about these and all the creatures that visit our yard. And maybe we'll yet figure out how to tell them apart.

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