A coworker of mine recently noticed an unusual hole dug under the foundation of his home. Obviously an animal burrow, Hal couldn’t help but wonder exactly what kind of critter had excavated this burrow. He decided to set up a motion activated camera to monitor the situation in order to find out.
It didn’t take long for the big reveal. Meet Mr. Striped Skunk…
This intrepid little skunk was making himself right at home under Hal’s house. Watch as he drags Cyprus needles into his burrow to use as bedding. It’s good policy to make your den as warm and comfy as possible!
Be sure and watch the video all the way through. The bird that emerges from the den in the last segment is an Eastern Phoebe. As to what he is doing there underground… Your guess is as good as mine.
Striped Skunks live among us in suburbia quite readily. They don’t hesitate leverage human constructed structures in order to create ready and reliable dens of their own.
My first encounter with urban skunks dates back to my college days. At the time, I was working as a night watchman in a Plano office building. This upscale facility included a park-like courtyard stationed midway between the main office building and the parking garage.
On my first day at the job I noticed what looked like a little animal burrow dug under the side walk leading past the courtyard and into the elevator lobby of the adjacent parking garage. I made a mental note to keep an eye on this hole in the ground, just to see if anything would come of it.
It was just a few weeks later when a frantic tenant stopped by my desk with an emergency situation to report. Evidently, there was a gaggle of hamster-sized baby skunks milling about right in front of the parking garage elevators. This nice lady had ridden the elevator down from one of the upper levels, and when the doors opened in the lobby, she got the surprise of her life!
I went out to investigate, and sure enough there was a half-dozen of the cute little skunks investigating the elevator lobby with their tiny black-and-white tails held high. The baby skunks had reached an age that allowed them the ability to venture outside their birth-den, and they had decided to celebrate by causing a little commotion. It was quite the security incident!
Fortunately, it was getting late in the day. Most folks had already gone home for the day. I posted a few notices to alert any midnight-oil-burners to possibility that they might encounter a rogue baby skunk or two. but other than that I decided to take a wait and see approach.
As it turned out, that one evening was the only occurrence of this kind of mischief. There was no repeat performance. Within the week, the baby skunks had taken to following their mother around the complex, and they were never seen near their home-burrow again.
Years later I had another similar experience. This time it occurred on the front porch of my own home!
It all started after a long day at work. My next door neighbor stopped me while I was down by the sidewalk checking the mail . This good Samaritan wanted to let me know that they had seen baby Raccoons wandering all over my front porch the night before. They thought I might be interested.
RACCOONS? Of course I was interested! I setup a few trail cameras that evening in hopes of getting a better look a the little masked marauders.
Imagine my surprise the next morning when I discovered picture after picture of baby skunks as they investigated every nook and cranny of my front porch!
The den was easy to find after I knew to search it out. The momma skunk had dug her burrow under my porch, and it had been there for no telling how long. I counted my blessings… the dogs and I regularly burst through the front door and onto the porch without reservation. We were very lucky not to have had an unfortunate skunk encounter.
Once suitably forewarned, I began to take extra precautions on the way out the door each evening. Within a week or so, the skunks were no longer an issue. The babies had grown old enough to move on.
Even though the skunks had moved on, I still thought it might be wise to take some action to discourage this situation from happening again. Once I was sure the burrow was vacated, I back filled the hole with rocks and dirt. This fix was just the ticket… No more skunks on the front porch!