Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More spring babies (of the Woodchuck variety)

This week-end I checked out a Woodchuck den that was active last year and was delighted to see a new family with three little ones. I can't be sure but I believe the mother is the same one as from last year. You can see my gallery of that family here.

This den is on a wooded slope in a cemetery which is a very busy place on week-ends and holidays. Car loads of people kept arriving and, in order to be discreet for the sake of these animals, I patiently waited for about two hours hoping that as the day waned, the crowds would thin out. Sure enough, around five pm I could hear car doors slamming and engines starting. At last I would have some "alone" time with the mum and her babies.

Well, one's patience is sorely tested when photographing wildlife! Just after the last car left and I positioned myself near the den, a raccoon wandered by on the upper edge of the slope (where one of the babies was exploring). By its manner I don't think it was stalking the young one but at the very least, it startled it and there was a big commotion resulting in one terrified little Woodchuck hurtling down the embankment (gravity was helping propel it and amazingly it never lost its footing) and all three dove deep into the den. As well, a stone was dislodged in the process and it made quite a racket as it tumbled down into the dried leaves. All this caused the mother to leap into action and climb up to confront the intruder - however it was long gone at that point.

Needless to say, my photo op was quickly over! Instead, I decided to come back the next day at an early morning hour which paid off with many of the following pictures. I am also happy to report that all three babies seemed no worse off for the skirmish of the previous day!

Mother resting.
Two of the babies.

All three babies!

Watching the watcher.

A tender moment between litter-mates.

A young one with the mother.

Mother bonding with baby.

Mother and all three babies!

The little ones love to chew on branches and twigs.


Relaxing in the dappled sunlight.

I was amazed to see lots of tree climbing!!

A sweet and alert little face :-)


  1. They're very cute critters. We see them around here sometime. Thanks for continuing to favour us with your photography.

  2. Thanks AC. I love to share these special moments. Did you notice that I successfully embedded a link (using the word "here") as you had helped me to do? Thanks again.

  3. You continue to amaze me with these wonderful photographs, I am so glad you take the time to do this blog which gives us the opportunity to view these wonderful creatures.

  4. What a terrific post, and wonderful photos, especially the last one! I love all the different expressions that they have.
    I'll come back later and click on the link to have a look at your woodchuck family gallery.
    Flighty xx

  5. Doris you catch the most heart warming moments! Thank goodness you went back! I loved all of these.

  6. Thanks everyone! I'm glad you like these little guys as much as I do!