Our yard is full of wildlife - we live in a narrow stretch between highways, with one right in front of us and a bit of undeveloped forest behind us between our neighborhood and the other highway. That little channel of safe woodland brings all kinds of things. Foxes, raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, deer, turkeys, even woke up to find a black bear sitting on the back porch once.
Lately, for the last 3 nights in a row even, I’ve been hearing coyotes. (From https://www.soundboard.com/sb/Wild_Coyote_sounds I’ve heard “Coyotes Moonlight Howl” two nights and “Coyote Group” one night). The sounds have come from out back behind our back yard or neighbors’ yards.
One of our neighbors, who keeps chickens, came over a couple of nights ago with a flashlight to tell us he thought he heard a fisher cat from our direction, and to let us know he was out there armed and with a flashlight looking for it. Tonight, shortly after I heard the coyote yip-howls, we got another message from the neighbor saying they’d heard the fisher again.
My family’s terrified of fisher cats, think they’re super-dangerous animals whose fight-or-flight reflex is limited to fight only. So I did some reading about them, watched some videos.
You know the quiet goth kid in school that everyone was afraid of because they dressed in all black and seemed scary, but really they were nice and would never hurt anybody? The fisher is the goth kid of the forest. Oh to be fair, they’ll hurt their prey (squirrels, mice, bunnies, and such), but they’re not aggressive to humans.
They’re being reintroduced some places because they were an endangered species (used to be trapped for their fur), and the people who work with them all the time say they’re not dangerous to humans at all, they’ll just run away (unless they’re in the late stages of rabies, but that’s true of any animal). Also they’re quiet, they don’t make that scream, their prey does.
And now, having read all that and watched several videos, I realize that yes in fact we do have a fisher. He’s the weasely-looking thing that I’ve seen a couple of nights waddling around our yard, once not 10 feet away from me. I only got a short look at him a couple of times because when he saw me he ran away. But he had that wriggling undulating walk, and he was the right size and coloration.
So now at least there’s one less thing to be afraid of.