Southborough wildlife: What is this creature?

by susan on October 15, 2010

A My Southborough reader sent in these photos taken earlier this week at the corner of Sears Road and Route 30. For the life of me I have no idea what kind of creature this is, but I find it equal parts creepy and adorable. I’m sure one of you out there knows what it is. Please share in the comments.

Click photos to enlarge.

1 Pat Q October 15, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Wow, those are great pictures! I believe it is a fisher cat.

2 Joan October 15, 2010 at 4:49 PM

It’s a fisher cat, I think! I saw one in my backyard over the summer – it was too fast for us to get any pictures of it, but we’re pretty sure that’s what it was

3 John Kendall October 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Yep, it’s a fisher

4 Judy Christensen October 15, 2010 at 7:33 PM

I saw it about a week ago on Lynbrook. I didn’t know what it was, thanks for the info.

5 Gab October 15, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Agreed, it’s a fisher cat, and definitely not as cute and cuddly as he looks.

6 Jean Tower October 15, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Interesting – I looked it up. Check this out:
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/living/living_with_fisher.htm

7 Loki October 15, 2010 at 8:24 PM

I’ve never seen one, nor do I expect to. These are great pictures – as good as those on Google images – and the article on Wikipedia is interesting. I suppose this one could attack cats and small dogs.

8 Southie Guy October 16, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Yes – that is a Fisher Cat. I saw one in my backyard last Spring. Keep your cats and small dogs inside! They may look cute, but Fisher Cats are extremely agressive and vicious.

9 Rebecca October 16, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Definitely a fisher. Despite the name, they neither fish nor are they cats. They’re a weasel and like most weasels they are likely to be curious, and unlikely to back down if confronted. Fishers are (I think) the only animal to prey on porcupines, which gives some idea of what they’re capable of. Do keep your pets out of reach.

I work with wolverines in the Rockies, and we consistently get reports from people in New England who say they’ve sighted wolverines there. Pretty sure they’re seeing fishers, so it’s great if fishers get a little more publicity. Most people have no idea they’re in New England, or what they are.

10 Matt H October 16, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Fisher Cat! I’ve seen him in my back yard (mount vickery) so this guy works a good sized area (assuming their aren’t two). Probably following around the turkeys…

11 DS October 16, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Saw one in my yard last summer, too… on the south side of town. It attacked some ducks that were passing through the woods behind my house.

12 dean dairy October 16, 2010 at 10:50 PM

As I commented here last spring, you can hear fisher cats “scream” at night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLU_a-gDF9M

13 Carol W October 17, 2010 at 1:23 PM

dean dairy – As I responded to your comment last year. That is not the “scream”, as you said, of a Fisher. It’s the bark of a fox. The Fisher will hiss (like a cat) if you corner it. That’s where they get the name Fisher Cat. Being a wildlife photographer, actually next to a fox as it barks, there is no mistake that that’s what your link is.

Fishers are becoming more prevalent in the burbs. If’ there’s water and woods, you’ll find fishers and there are plenty of them in Southborough. Their diet consists of Porcupine (as Rebecca stated) and rodents, such as rabbit – if you notice that they have depleted significantly in Southborough – squirrel, chipmunk, etc. They also raid bird nests. If your cat is missing, most likely it was not a coyote, but a fisher. If a coyote trees a cat, it will not wait around for the cat to come down, moving on for an easier kill. Fishers climb trees and are ruthless hunters. They will not give up until they have gotten the cat.

14 Nancy V October 18, 2010 at 10:06 AM

I wish one would come to our woods and help themselves to our rodents. This year seemed to produce a bumber crop. Not that chipmunks aren’t cute as little buttons, but they can do quite a bit of damage to a garden. And don’t get me started on the voles!

15 Carol W October 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

LOL Nancy! Oh, they will. Once the area is depleted of prey, they will spread out seeking more. I’ll send ’em your way~

16 Chris Robbins October 17, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Yes, I believe it is a fisher cat and like the one I saw in my back yard during the early morning in my back yard a couple of years ago. Great photos! Thank you.

17 Elizabeth Baldelli October 18, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I know all about the attack of a fisher. My cat survived an attack two summers ago and now he no longer gets to prowl around at night. He is worth too much money after extensive vet bills to keep him alive. I would not mistake this animal for friendly.

18 David Scattergood October 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM

The number of replies (16) about the Fisher cat shows that “My Southborough” is much appreciated. As a former long-time Southborough resident (now residing in Florida) I enjoy being able to keep up with what is going on.

19 susan October 18, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Thanks, David! Glad to have you reading from sunny Florida.

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