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Update: 20160125.

Sadly, two raykens were hit by cars on roads near our home. Into the fall of 2015 we had not seen any raykens in our yard. I think the rayken I had been feeding sardines too may have been one of those killed trying to cross roads. Well, on 20151220, I was walking between the house and garage-mahal and noticed in the darkness down by the woods a small set of eyes peering at me. I approached. What I found was a small rayken eating seeds from the bird feeder. It was about the size of a small cat. I went and retrieved some sardines. The next day the tin was licked clean. Hopefully, the youngster will stick around.

Update: 20150117.

We've been leaving sardines and some dinner scraps down at the edge of the woods for about a year now. Although I've not seen the raccoon eating any of it, I am impressed with how thoroughly it cleans the sardine cans and any traces of the scraps we leave there.

From 20140719.

So... as you can see, we have a new yard critter this year. This is the Common Eastern Canadian Rayken. Or at least that is what Ricky from the Trailer Park Boys calls them. This, of course, is a raccoon. I can't say she is a new visitor to the yard, but I can tell you that we have not seen her before - but there was evidence it was around. I decided this was a female raccoon because it is quite small. Various online sites explain that male raccoons are larger than their female counterparts - the males being 20% larger. This critter seemed small to me, and thus its current status is female. But I digress...

Two summers ago, we had a garden. As my vegetables were getting ready to pick we found that something was eating them. Whether the vegetable was corn, squash, or cantaloupe it was getting eaten by something. We had 72 corn plants and I didn't get a single cob off of them that year. I think it was this, or some other raccoon all along.

We saw the raccoon at our bird feeder in the late winter of this year. Each time I tried to get a close-up picture of it, it would scurry away. Once it was in the woods I couldn't find it. Yesterday, I was watering the grass with a rainbird type of sprinkler. Apparently, the sprinkler's sound was masking my noises and I was able to walk down the eastern edge of the property and sneak around the back of the shed there to the south and approach to within 20 feet of this critter. Each time it looked down to dig at more bird seed I would take a single step forward. When I got about 20 feet away I made a single click sound and it looked right at me and that's when I snapped this picture.

Well, the raccoon didn't hang around for long. But it just stopped and looked at me for a few seconds; like "Oh crap, where did that threat come from?" Then it turned tail and ran into the woods. I chased it in and found that it was climbing up a large oak tree about 50 feet in. I didn't know they could climb trees. It wasn't going up it with the speed of a cat, but it didn't seem to be having trouble either. It then stopped about 20 feet up and looked down at me. I then let it be.

Apparently, the bird seed was simply too tasty. The Rayken was back within 30 minutes.
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