LONA is blessed to have a variety of foliage and wild creatures in our neighborhood. There are birds (cardinals, blue jays, owls, etc.), deer, squirrels, and even foxes, to name a few. However, there are also predators around, like buzzards, hawks, and coyotes, which can endanger our pets. Even non-predators can be dangerous if mishandled. Thus, it behooves us to be alert in how we approach all wild animals, predator and non-predator alike.
Avoid Pruning Oak Trees from February through June
Oak wilt is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States, and it is killing oak trees in central Texas at epidemic proportions. Whether you're new to Austin or just getting to know your trees it's important to know the basics, and to know when to call in the professionals to protect your trees. Read more about Oak Wilt and how to prevent it on the City's website here.
Most recently, a neighbor has taken some videos of birds and their babies emerging from her birdhouse. Check these out on YouTube.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvus0e6APPI (31 sec.)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVMLTu1767M&NR=1 (11 sec.)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=j74a1SNDI3c (17 sec.)
We have had various reports of lost pets and dead ones found in gullies, thought to be the victims of coyotes. For your pets' protection, we recommend that you keep them indoors at night. Below is a PDF of a presentation presented by City of Austin Animal Services called Safely Coexisting with Coyotes & Wildlife.
Learn more about Safely Coexisting with Coyotes & Wildlife by Emery Sadkin, Animal Protection Office, City of Austin Animal Services
"Coyote in the Creek" by "THE John Davenport"
LONA (ZIP code 78759) has the second highest population of deer in Austin, after Northwest Hills (ZIP code 78731). A city survey revealed that about 350 dead deer were collected in our ZIP code by Austin Waste Management Services between January, 2008, and November, 2010.
Though lovely to look at, to some of our neighbors, deer have become a nuisance, destroying gardens, saplings in yards, and other portions of expensive landscaping.
Deer, like all wild animals, are best left to their own devices. Deer are not pets, and feeding them in Austin is illegal. See here.
"Grey Fox on Danwood" - Ken Harker
Below is a note from one of our residents:
We had a whole family of them on Deadoak last year. It is unlikely a fox will kill a cat – the foxes are about the same size – but they DO kill/eat rats, birds, and squirrels – I’ve seen one with a rat in its mouth – good fox! Like any mammal, they can carry rabies and I’ve heard they can carry fleas as well (but that was from someone who didn’t want them living under his deck).
I’m sure you can find a whole lot more.
We've been hearing owls in our neighborhood for decades. Owls are not only fun to observe, they are good predators of vermin. (Have you had any mice in your attic lately?) This has lead some neighbors to put up owl houses in their yards. To see some photos, check out the Photos section of our Yahoo! Group. (If you are not yet a member, following the link should present you with an opportunity to join.)
Check out the live web cam for a pair of Eastern Screech Owls near our neighborhood at The Jollyville Screech Owl House on YouTube.