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Raccoons Preparing For Winter

Much like black bears, raccoons develop a voracious appetite in the fall and accumulate a life-sustaining layer of fat as a result (which comprises 50% of their weight).  Although raccoons are opportunists and will eat just about anything (except tomatoes), nuts (acorns, beechnuts, hickory nuts and hazelnuts, especially) and corn are the food of choice at this time of year.

When the temperature consistently drops to 26-28° F. raccoons typically seek shelter in dens (hollow trees, woodchuck and fox burrows). They are not true hibernators, but do enter a state of torpor for weeks and even months at a time when the temperature is low, the snow is deep and the wind is blowing.  It’s not unusual for several raccoons, usually relatives, to den together.

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8 responses

  1. Bill On The Hill

    Gorgeous image of the raccoon Mary… I love this stuff!
    Bill… :~)

    November 29, 2019 at 8:34 am

  2. Alice

    Healthy looking Raccoon! Nice photo. I’m glad they don’t like tomatoes…more for us & I can imagine my plants would get ruined.

    November 29, 2019 at 8:45 am

  3. I am looking forward to my ‘village racoon’ entering a ‘state of torpor’ and I pray that it decides to do so until at least the end of March. I have many feeders for birds, I count birds for Cornell and Bird Studies Canada. I realized that squirrels just need a ground feeder and they will leave the pole feeders alone a long time ago, so they are not an issue. However, the ‘Village Rac’ as call him became an issue last April. Now this fall, Village Rac is back! The first time I looked out an saw him, it was dusk and I wondered why is the larger tray feeder swaying? What is that a bear? No, it was a very large racoon and he is back. I don’t want to put on a baffle, as it cold outside and I would have to take the tray feeder & others out of the ground to put the baffle in place and I will not be able to put them back as the ground is frozen. So this post warms my heart, I am so looking forward to his absence. I hope you have had wonderful Thanksgiving down there and love and food abounds. I thank you for this heartwarming post, I thrilled to think of my raccoon in a ‘state of torpor’.

    November 29, 2019 at 9:00 am

  4. This fellow looks well-prepared for the season ahead, fat and fluffy!

    November 29, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    • Alice

      Nothing like stuffing yourself & putting on weight for a cold winter. Hopefully not too grumpy when it ‘wakes up!’

      November 29, 2019 at 3:29 pm

  5. Diane Alexander

    They sure LOOK huggable. Guess I’ll just look at the pictures. How was  your turkey day? Ours was quiet, but nice. The contradance on Wednesday night was fabulous. The salmon was delish! XOXO Di

    November 29, 2019 at 9:27 pm

  6. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Have A Great Saturday! We have a very large Raccoon that has been around here, (for maybe 1 years perhaps) we see him mostly every year around this time! BIG! Then one year a Mama came around, maybe his mate with her babies, they were highly entertained by my small garden flag, they hey basically abused and tore to shreds! Oh well just a piece of fabric! Very entertaining animals! 🙂 ❤

    November 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm

  7. *21 years!

    November 30, 2019 at 12:41 pm

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