A coyote visits a property in the subdivision.
Photo copyright 2008 Marjorie King, all rights reserved.

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Prepare to share you space with wild animals.

Coyotes are part of the charm of living here: many residents enjoy hearing their nocturnal conversations with one another. They eat hundreds of rodents every day. Without the coyotes our properties would soon be over-run with the several species of mice and rats that live here. An over-population of rodents will in turn create a poisonous snake-friendly environment. It is best to learn to protect ourselves and our pets from the wildlife, rather than to create try to change the natural environment, not knowing what the long-term effects might be. While coyotes have their charm and benefits, they are wild animals and can be dangerous to humans. To protect yourself and your family, do not feed wild animals or leave food or water outdoors at night. Feeding seemingly harmless creatures such as deer and rabbits can be dangerous too as these animals can attract predatory animals such as coyotes, bob cats and mountain lions. Keep a close watch over small children and all pets. 

Did you know? Bats eat thousands of mosquitoes every day. 
Coyotes, hawks, eagles and owls eat many rodents every day. Several species of bat make their homes in the subdivision, including the rare Thompson's Big Ear bat.

Mt. Shasta Vista Subdivision is home to an amazing variety of wildlife. Here are some links to help us appreciate the life around us while keeping ourselves, our children and critters safe.

Local residents report seeing mountain lions, bob cats, foxes and rarely, black bears. There are at least three kinds of rattlesnakes here as well as gopher snakes, bull snakes, garter snakes, shovel nose snakes and more. There are at least three kinds of owls, numerous hawks and bald eagles and golden eagles.

Those huge piles of branches and other debris at the base of many trees and snags are made by packrats, which can also cause problems to seldom-used vehicles and travel trailers left parked for long periods of time. Coyotes, hawks, owls, bob cats and other predators eat the pack rats.

There are at least three species of rattlesnakes here. Mojave green rattlesnakes have a venom which attacks the nervous system, unlike other rattlesnakes whose venom contains a hemotoxin - it attacks the circulatory system. Most people who are bitten by rattlesnakes are either trying to kill them or trying to move them. It is generally advised to leave them alone unless they pose an immediate threat to your family or pets. If you are bitten, it is important to note the color of the snake as the medical treatment is not the same for Mojave greens as it is for other rattlesnakes found in the area. If you plan to visit the area it is a good idea to visit some  reptile information web sites - I prefer to find a university or reputable scientific organization site. Gopher snakes and bull snakes are often confused with rattlesnakes. These snakes are not poisonous but they do bite and their bites can be painful and should also be treated as they can lead to infection. All snakes are important parts of the ecosystem.

Most snakes will be out and about when the temperature is somewhere around 80 degrees. If it is too hot or too cold they stay in their hiding places, which may be under rocks or logs, in snags or in burrows that were made by other animals. So in the hot summertime they start coming out when the sun is low in the sky or after sunset. On cool days you will find them basking in the sun on the roadways or soaking up the heat from dark rocks. They are very good at blending into their surroundings, so it is wise to watch your step, do not step over logs or rocks and keep your children and pets close.

Identify tracks

National Audubon Society

Mountain Lion Foundation

Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter

Copyright 2004 Marjorie King. All rights reserved.
The ubiquitous sage brush of Mt. Shasta Vista subdivision feeds jackrabbits and deer and offers a hiding place for quail and many other small species. Native peoples value the sage for its spiritual  and medicinal purposes. Residents are fond of the fresh aroma of sage and juniper that permeates the air after rain.
The tiny purple flower is a wildflower.