iNatters have probably had a lot of weird experiences with wild animals. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen a wild animal do?
I wouldn’t call this crazy, but it was super cool. So I was hiking and I hear this super loud clicking noise, me being curious I go towards it to find a frantically panicking cidada being attacked by a wasp while in a pine tree (poderosa pine I think). After watching for a bit the cidada flew down from the tree onto the ground and briefly shook the wasp off, only for it to be so tired that the wasp could basically walk right up and go back to eating/killing it.
Here are the two observations I made out of it, unfortunately the photos weren’t super good, but I think the story was.
I once watched a Bobcat sit down and wait for me to move out of his way!
Talking about cicacas. Years ago I was walking home from high school when I heard a cicada nearby. I looked around and saw it zoom through the air making the buzzing noise the whole way. I thought it was a bit odd because where I come from, at least, it’s fairly rare to see them out in the open air like that. I realised the reason for its odd behaviour moments later when an Australian magpie burst past me at high speed, making a bee-line for the noisy insect. It was pretty comical to see.
Last Spring the woods road was finally dry enough to tow our camper into the woods. I was following in a separate vehicle. I watched as a Common Snapping Turtle came plodding out of the woods at the right-hand side of the road, nearly walking straight into the path of the camper wheels. I was ready to honk and scream, and then it…backed up. Waited for the wheels to clear. Saw that I was stopped (I was getting out to iNat it, obvs, at that point.) It then finished crossing the road, although with a bit more oomph in its stride than before. Observation is here. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/13548914
I am used to seeing animals rapidly disappear over the horizon when I try to photograph them, but one of the strangest was when I saw a live stoat (weasel) for the first time. It disappeared off down the track, and I may have gotten one poor shot of it, but I found my camera’s memory card was full. So I stopped and deleted a bunch of photos in the hope that I might catch up with it. When I looked up, to my amazement, it had turned and come back towards me, ignoring me completely it came past within a metre of me and headed back the way I had come.
Not weird per se, but very cool. My wife (then fiancée) and I were in Uganda, and we heard this buzzing noise all of a sudden, seemingly coming from nowhere in particular but really really loud. We stopped and tried to find out where it was coming from, peering into the bushes, when all of a sudden in a gap inside some foliage we come across these two Doubleband Carpenter Bees fighting!
They were hitting into each other, flying back, and hitting into each other, again and again, like some sort of crazy dance. They were completely oblivious to us, and so we were able to watch them for quite a while. Super cool, and still stands out as one of my favourite animal sightings. I think I’ve got a video somewhere, so maybe I’ll try and upload it sometime…
These weirdo chipmunks rolling down a hill: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/10205035
Amazing!! Also (as an aside), using a .gif as the main image on an observation is genius. I’d never thought of that… Very cool!
It was pretty amazing to watch the baby Blackbirds growing up in our courtyard last year!
The live oaks had a bad case of “acorn ooze” last year, a bacterial infection that makes the acorns drip sticky stuff. I saw a whole horde of Anna’s Hummingbirds flying through and licking the syrup off the acorns… so of course I had to try it myself. Super sweet-tasting!
I had my own close encounter of the Mustelid kind. It was hanging out very close to me (reading) until I noticed it under my chair. Started filming shortly thereafter. Was having a ball. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5mzX9RLW5U
I had a couple mockingbirds growing up in my yard last year. Around the same time, my cactus started becoming very floppy and I was worried I was killing it. I later caught the juvenile mockingbirds taking turns using the cactus as a trampoline. The cactus is permanently arched now.
This observation ranks as one of the oddest ones I’ve posted on here
The video is even better
I didn’t get it on camera, but I once saw an Eastern Grey Kangaroo bounding full speed through the forest run straight into a tree with a huge thump and knock themselves out. I thought they might have killed themselves! After a couple of minutes it got up, shook it’s head a few times, and bounded off again after the rest of the group that had left them behind.
(It wasn’t from me startling them - they were a decent distance away and going perpendicular to my direction.)
Speaking of clumsy animals, I once saw a grey heron standing alongside a ditch. As I approached it wanted to take off, but instead of flying away it stumbled and face-planted the water. One of the silliest nature sights I’ve seen. It had to swim back to the bank. It didn’t seem to be injured as it took off fine after emerging from the water.
Just now, after sitting down at my desk, an osprey flew past my window carrying a dead muskrat. There’s a big reservoir just west of the office where ospreys hunt but I’ve never seen an osprey fly past my window and I’ve never seen an osprey catch a muskrat!
Last year, I saw a pearl crescent butterfly outmaneuver a dragonfly and escape–I didn’t think that was possible, given the speed and aerial capability of a dragonfly. (I was rooting for the butterfly.)
I watched a squirrel one morning chase a leaf, pounce on it, release it, let the wind swirl it away, chase it again, pounce on it, and repeat. It was charming and funny.
Another squirrel was frightened as it tried to cross in front of my car. I slowed, but it decided to run down the road rather than across it. I proceeded to creep after the squirrel; when I looked over, I saw a woman slow in the opposite lane, laughing at the squirrel and me. Eventually the squirrel regained its senses and darted off the road.
While conducting bird surveys in Maine, I was driving down a backroad and came across this little Ruffed Grouse standing right in the middle of the road. I stopped the car and snapped some photos, then guided it back to the roadside where its mother and siblings were waiting. The fearless little thing even charged me and pecked at my phone!