#61 Surprise wildlife sightings

I was driving up Neon Light Alley yesterday.

Whipping up suburban roads I was high-tailing my way to a greasy lunch with some pals from the office. Photocopier fumes, blinking red lights, and pressing deadlines were scrambling through my brain when I suddenly saw a giant hawk soar slowly in front of my car.

I hadn’t seen a bird that big in a long time and Real Life completely paused as I watched it quietly flutter down to the top of a road sign. Nothing was stressing it out and it sort of felt like nature was just… happening. I was suddenly just one tiny animal, in one tiny city, in one tiny country, in one tiny moment.

So whether it’s the deer poking out of the forest, the cardinal peeking in your kitchen window, or the dolphin backflipping its way into your heart, one thing’s for sure: Surprise wildlife sightings sure add a dose of peace and perspective in the middle of our jam packed days.


Photos from: here and here

51 thoughts on “#61 Surprise wildlife sightings

  1. Good one. I’ve almost hit deer, many times, while driving up the road to my apartment. I also get pretty gleeful when I see dolphins or sea lions swimming in the water when I’m at the beach.

  2. We live in the mountains, in the country. Sighting’s of our Canadian wild-life are daily occurence, yet, ALWAYS AMAZING!
    Every fall my eldest daughter, (who is TFN and commercial fishes), brings *fresh* Salmon, from the mouth of the Fraser river, just before their trek to spawn at Adam’s River. During our last fall gathering feast, a falcon swooped down on a robin, feathers flying FAST and off it flew with its supper! We were astonished! Memories of second grade food chain lessons conversation was fuelled, including and while eating the Salmon who had died for us. It was rather surreal; odd and awesome!

  3. Growing up in the country, seeing wild animals was no biggie. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, bear, wolves, hawks… they were all there. Now that I live in the ‘burbs I really miss all those animals and get excited when I see some. The other night there was 2 deer in my yard and I stopped my car before going into the driveway just to watch them. And, something I think is odd, for the past few weeks there has been a bunch of hawks circling close to my house. There has to be about 30 at times. I’ve been taking my kids to the windows so we can watch them.

  4. YES! This can be from the sublime (coming face to face with Rocky Mountain sheep while hiking in Wyoming – they are bigger in person than they look on TV!) to the slightly creepy (seeing seven turkey vultures sitting on the roof of an abandoned house in Kansas). It reminds you that nature is real and animals are living all around us, not just on a show on Animal Planet.

    1. We have turkey vultires too! Funny how they look like an eagle at a distance but up close and personal a vulture alright!

      1. Yes, I’ve had an up close and personal encounter with a turkey vulture, too! It was enjoying some road-side dining on a country road. I drove up to the scene very slowly, and it didn’t fly away until we were very close. The wing span on those things is amazing!

  5. I’m not sure my old neighbour found it quite so awesome when he got a surprise deer through his living room window. It jumped through the window then ran around smashing up the inside of the house. My mom actually got called on as a witness because the insurance company (understandably) had a hard time believing that a deer just happened to be wandering through a suburban neighbourhood and decided to go crashing into that particular house. The funny thing is, a few days previously he had accidentally hit a deer while driving at night.

    So I guess the moral of the story is don’t mess with deer because the Deer Mafia will find you.

    1. LOL!
      Reminds me we had a wood pecker fall into our wood stove; there was only one out- through the house! It was the one with the suspension bridge and really high ceilings. I called the wlf and they told us to chase it down with a blanket and fishing net. While my husband ran all over the house I watched from a tiny office space with a glass door…Laughing till I cried! It took about an hour to catch and release!
      Funny thing, soot everywhere but no poop…at least from the wood-pecker;)
      and btw, bears love bacon and salmon!

    1. Our dog was wild barking. I looked out the window to discover what appeared to be a wounded badger. Since I was home alone and none of the neighbors I called wanted to deal with it, I called the authorties. While they were on route I took a few pictures. I felt so sorry for the little guy. I wondered if he could be adopted and healed; taken into the wild life park. It did seem to still be breathing… but could it be the wind blowing its fur! I no sooner figured it was too half dead to do much harm, so opened the door to approach, just as the officer arrived. SURPRISE! Somebody had cued a white tail buck deer and the dog brought its pretty little head home!

      1. Misunderstanding!!! My husband, (x-hunter), said “cue the deer” meant “sites on it… aim, fire-shoot to kill!”
        Sorry about that! Funny Farm scene was hilarious! Must remember that when selling our house! HA!

  6. At 8,000 ft. in Golden, while snow-mobiling, my friend and I saw a really big white mountain billy goat, all by himself! He was walking above where we were sledding and we were above tree line!

  7. Just last summer, we were on the ferry, sailing in for docking at the Tsawwassen port, when several dolphins drove most passengers to deck and windows to watch a spectacular show! Leaping into many hearts! Some said they brought good fortune to all! Everyone applauded! Peace and perspective for sure!

  8. So true! I just saw a group of like 6 deer yesterday (couldn’t be sure of the number because if I stared any longer I probably would have rear-ended the car in front of me). Brought a big smile to my face. My favorite has to be seeing chipmunks though… they are so stinking cute :)

    1. Wait! While it is very true that REAL, direct, straight forward conversations make all the difference when life gets complicated, but CONSERVATION, and those who protect wildlife is what I was going for here.
      Go Conservation Officers everywhere! I’m on your side.

  9. This happened me to today. I was driving my daughter to school on a road that is no stranger to lots of deer, but quite unfortunately, I usually see the poor things when it’s far too late :0(. There are a few farms along the way too so I see cows and horses as well daily.
    But today I saw this gathering of chubby, medium sized, very downy looking grey birds. Right at the end of someone’s driveway. I am still not sure what they were, but I am thinking they were quail. They had the little mass of feathers popping up from their heads like I’ve seen in photos. or pheasant. It was so odd to see such a large amount of a bird that is not usually just strolling around near the road. They were pretty cute. I hope they faired well.

      1. What I read is what Neil wrote…what I mean to say is, I honestly don’t understand what you are asking me! I’ve aged you know!

  10. We see sightings near the river, lake and mountains but when they walk through town it’s a surprise all right! One time while sitting in a restaurant, we heard police sirens. Most people went for a look and there were police cars trying to corner a frightened baby bear running down the streets. We never did learn what he was wanted for;)
    While walking to school one day, my mom and I saw a whole family of deer leaping across the park and into the school field. It was truly awesome!
    We’re SO blessed to share their land!

    1. Meslissa, I don’t think anyone wants to corner a black bear. There’s one that comes into my yard all the time. Others find her very likeable. If she promised not to dig up the seedlings from my flower garden and to leave my cat alone, I’m very happy to share a yard.

  11. One evening, as I locked the patio doors before bed, I heard a noise. I turned on the patio lights to see a big black bear eating birdseed! I quickly turned off the lights and watched as he kind of hung on our free-standing bird feeder with one arm and used the other paw to scoop out birdseed. That was an awe-inspiring moment! My second big encounter was when in the pool in the back yard and I heard an unmistable “rattle.” I ran to the side to watch a rattlesnake slither its way through our yard and up the mountain. Very cool!

  12. We occasionally get to see rock wallabies bounding across the road – we live near a National Park (I’m in Australia). At the beginning of the year we saw 2 in one morning, it was a real treat. We also get to see possums at night on the side of the road, but they generally scamper up trees when we drive past, but I always like seeing them. Seeing an echidna wandering through the grounds at a craft retreat a couple of years ago probably tops the list of awesome surprise wildlife sightings!

  13. You should try living in Vancouver BC. I’ve watched crows chasing bald eagles from my balcony & been swimming with seals off Wreck Beach.

  14. One weekend in college, I went home with my roommate. Her parents live in a nice house in a nice subdivision in a pretty populated area. They have a walk-out basement, and we were all hanging out down there one night when we heard their dog barking like crazy. We looked over at the door and there were three huge wild turkeys pecking on the door! SO WEIRD! Definitely a surprise.

  15. TOTALLY. Once I was cycling to work and an elk appeared out of nowhere and raced me down a hill. It was awesome AND very strange. Oh, Canada.

  16. You should google Murmuration of Starlings. It should bring up this really cool video of these chicks on a boat watching these birds do their thing. Spectacular!

  17. While in Vancouver, on the side of the TCH, taking a puddle bath was a Heron. I’ve seen many heron’s before but none like this one… a Grey bearded heron!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robyns-victory/6696122201/?q=bearded heron
    I saw many hawks, eagles and osprey this past weekend trip too!
    I was close but I did not get to see the dragon in the parade:(nor did we see Neil anywhere!)
    But I also saw 2 moose this month! I wish I’d had the camera!
    I was petting a mama black bear like a dog, but she did not let me pet her baby that lay next to her!
    Everything here-in is true, except the part about the bears was actually in a dream. Nevertheless, all good omens for 2012:)

    1. *Except the Neil part…not seeing Neil anywhere is NOT a good omen for 2012! But if only for this past weekend, sounds like he just had prior obligations…the theatre with Leslie and Family and a surprise sighting of “a flock of bald eagles”:)

  18. We visited the fishing hole, awesome for plenty of kokanee. To our surprise an Osprey family had put up a big nest over the falls. A battle of BIG bird over my husband’s paddle ensued. When I reminded him how tiny we were; of what Osprey could do in one tiny minute; his goal: a family to feed…while wild wits and powerful talons beared down on him “standing ground” in the canoe, my husband finally withdrew. And with BIG POUT, we sailed away! I felt it was best and besides, “There’s plenty of fish in the big “lake”.

  19. On my way home from work an American Eagle swooped down in front of me and I swear he hesitated and hung there in the air for me to see. It was awesome, My first sighting.

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