Has anybody experienced problems from an Opossum?

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Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

My lab had been barking unusually consistent and long just now so I went out to find an Opossum on my fence. I smacked him with a stick to agitate him a bit and chased him off.

So now I am wondering if this opossum is the reason why my Trio is not full or even more occupied. I'm not finding feathers or anything like that in the yard so I'm thinking also this just might be a rare occurrence and sighting. I know they are pretty agile and can climb pretty good but not sure they can get up a metal pole.

So I am curious what you guys/gals know about opossum predation.

Thanks,

Coolwhips
Jones4381
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:54 pm
Location: Rocky Mount VA
Martin Colony History: Newbie 51 years old and stumbled onto this by accident. Amazing bird. Just wanna help and give/receive happiness and be one with nature. Don't mind shooting an intruder of any kind though. Have a blessed day.

Whippy wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:06 am
My lab had been barking unusually consistent and long just now so I went out to find an Opossum on my fence. I smacked him with a stick to agitate him a bit and chased him off.

So now I am wondering if this opossum is the reason why my Trio is not full or even more occupied. I'm not finding feathers or anything like that in the yard so I'm thinking also this just might be a rare occurrence and sighting. I know they are pretty agile and can climb pretty good but not sure they can get up a metal pole.

So I am curious what you guys/gals know about opossum predation.

Thanks,

Coolwhips
I don't think there is anything the Virginia Opossum can't climb. They are better than raccoons imo with their reverse thumbs and tails for hanging. Great scavengers and definately eat eggs and babies of any bird they can find. They are everywhere in my parts. A lot of teeth too.
51 year old HY beginner. Year 1 for me!
Kegger
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

lay a trash can on its side, he will crawl in and stand the can uprite and catch himself 8)
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Do you have a predator guard, like a stovepipe piece that wobbles, on your system poles? Those would stop raccoons and any other climbing predators
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

Louise Chambers wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 9:32 am
Do you have a predator guard, like a stovepipe piece that wobbles, on your system poles? Those would stop raccoons and any other climbing predators
In the past 5 years I've never had a predator issue since my colony was only 4 pair max. I have a 10-12 foot cedar fence all around so it does act as somewhat of a barrier. So I do not have a predator guard on the poles. Now that my colony has more than doubled, and is attracting more attention, I will be adding the guards today.

My dogs have pretty much kept the yard free of predators but they aren't outside all the time so it's possible one could sneak in over night.

Thanks for all of the replies.

Coolwhips
Jones4381
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:54 pm
Location: Rocky Mount VA
Martin Colony History: Newbie 51 years old and stumbled onto this by accident. Amazing bird. Just wanna help and give/receive happiness and be one with nature. Don't mind shooting an intruder of any kind though. Have a blessed day.

Good call. I've had multiple opossum on my back porch eating from dog bowl of golden retriever and 2 nuts. They will let you know for sure. Find them curled up in a corner playing possum or just protecting themselves. Have had to remove several and relocate them. Possums could scale the cedar fencing if they desired. Typically they take the easy meals vs the ones they have to work for. Rabies is my biggest concern with their razor sharp teeth. I'm sure the guards would be 99% effective against them.
51 year old HY beginner. Year 1 for me!
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

I didn't think opossums were a danger in regard to rabies, googled and found this:

Answer: Any mammal can get rabies. However, the chance of rabies in an opossum is EXTREMELY RARE. This may have something to do with the opossum's low body temperature (94-97º F) making it difficult for the virus to survive in an opossum's body.

One of the major benefits of having opossums around is tick control - they eat ticks! I wish they ate chiggers, too.
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