Where the wild things are…

Hare in a tree along the Trans Canada Trail. Photo via Kathleen Edwards.

(Photo via of Kathleen Edwards.)

StittsvilleCentral.ca reader Kathleen Edwards Tweeted us this photo from a recent walk along the Trans Canada Trail, west of West Ridge Drive:

What kind of animal would leave a rabbit hanging in a tree?  (That’s a big rabbit!) Several folks who chimed in on Twitter think it might have been a fisher.

“The Eurasian Lynx has been reported to cache kills like that, but I would suspect a fisher did it, as they eat hares and are common here,” tweeted Doug Hoy.

“I’m also betting on a fisher, because it’s our most common mid-sized predator after coyote and red fox, neither of which climb (at least not much). However, we do get lynx in the city,” wrote biologist/ecologist Nick Stow.

“A climbing mustelid (weasel) such as a Fisher would cache food in a tree. Snowshoe Hares are a preferred prey of Fishers,” tweets naturalist Justin Peter.  “It would be a fairly rare find. Lucky @kittythefool! As a nature nerd, I’m a bit jealous.”

From Canadian Geographic:

The fisher is a member of the weasel family and a close relative of the marten, but is nearly twice as large and four times as heavy as the marten. The coat on the fisher’s slender body is dark brown with blackish brown fur on its rump and bushy tail. It also has a lighter, cream coloured bib on its chest. The name ‘fisher’ has no relation to fish, but is derived from ‘fiche’ an old English word for the European polecat and its pelt.

Fishers have short legs and strong, large feet with hairy soles. It has sharp, partially retractable claws on each of its five toes.

The fisher is a carnivore and an exceptional predator. It is one of the few animals that eats porcupine. When hunting other prey, such as mice, chipmunks, squirrels, snowshoe hares, and fawns, the fisher attacks its prey from behind.  The fisher has very few predators other than humans since few animals can take on the large weasel.

The fisher finds shelter in holes in the ground, hollow trees, logs and stumps. They only maintain a permanent den when raising their young. Female fishers produce an average of three offspring per litter after enduring a pregnancy that lasts approximately 51 weeks, or 350 days.

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1 thought on “Where the wild things are…”

  1. Interesting. I first ran across a rabbit hanging in a tree 25 years ago in the woods west of Stittsville and east of Jenkinson Side Rd. when I was snowmobiling. I thought it was disgusting because I thought mankind had something to do with its placement. I have never seen a fischer in a tree, only on the ground.

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