Tuesday May 07th 2019, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

I have now seen it for myself.

I once read an article that said that New York really has few rats for a city its size and the reason why is the rats it has. Norway rats do not climb, they like to go down to the lowest levels of any building or subway station and they are murderous to any rat not like them. Any new type getting off a ship will not live long enough to create a new infestation and that has been the status quo for hundreds of years.

Well they didn’t do their job here. We have roof rats too, which are also an introduced species and like to go up like the Norway likes to go down and the two types rarely cross paths. But when they do the roof rat generally dies in the encounter. Not to mention they’re easier for the hawks to get.

But anyway, it was one of those random sets of facts that sticks with you and I’m glad it did because it means I don’t have to worry if that crazy thing was rabid.

There’s the bird feeder. There’s the usual squirrel hanging out underneath, not liking the safflower enough to try to jump at the thing but willing to shuffle around for the kick-out from the finches above.

A Norway rat–I had to look it up to be sure, but yeah, classic look ya got there, buddy–showed up. And jumped the squirrel from behind!

The squirrel shook it off and looked at it like what the hey? as the much smaller animal ran off.

Next evening. This time the rat was determined and it really attacked that squirrel. It probably thought it could jump it from behind and bite its neck if it could just stretch far enough but there was no way. And this time the squirrel was truly having none of it and fought back, leaving the rat again running away.

That was a few days ago. The squirrels and that unwanted rat have not crossed paths since, deliberately, I imagine. I was hoping a predator had gotten it, but no, it showed up again tonight, about 90 minutes before sundown like the other times. Rats. (Epithetically speaking.)

After chasing it away I pulled the frost covers out and blocked its path so that it would have to go well into the danger of the open yard to get back to the feeder. I know those Cooper’s hawks have been keeping an eye on things.

The best way to get rid of it is to take down the feeders. I’m not thrilled with that idea, either.

2 Comments so far
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Gross! Yuck! EHHHCH! DC has a rat problem. Or at least, it definitely did 20 some years ago, when they were teeming right near the Old Post Office building (now leased by he who must not be named) near the Smithsonian. I was meeting a friend there at a metro station, serious mistake in meet up location. I think I am still scarred by that encounter. 🙂

Comment by Joanne 05.08.19 @ 4:17 pm

Given that the Cooper’s likes your ‘hood, I wonder if an owl box would attract a resident? There’s pretty specific instructions available on what they prefer and how to keep them clean – would you have anyone available that could mount it? I’d love to gift you one in return for all you do in the fiber community!

Comment by DebB 05.08.19 @ 4:32 pm

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