One of the joys of living in Rossmoor is the abundance of wildlife.
Some commonly spotted wildlife in Rossmoor includes California Mule Deer, Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, turkeys, coyotes, Canadian Geese, Red-Tailed Hawks, Horned Owls, Barn Owls, Hummingbirds and a variety of birds, including California’s state bird, the quail.
Feeding Birds and Wildlife
For your safety and theirs, feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited. This is for resident safety because feed attracts rodents, which can then establish a permanent home near your manor. Wild animals such as squirrels, raccoons and deer also carry diseases, as well as ticks and fleas.
This is also for wildlife protection because animals may acclimatize to humans and lose their natural fear, which is essential for survival. If they become aggressive, they may be captured and killed. Additionally, when fed by humans they may lose their innate ability to provide for themselves. Therefore, we ask for your help in keeping wildlife wild.
Liquid hummingbird feeders are the only type of bird feeder permitted and it must be placed within your private-use area. Seed and any other type of food are not allowed.
Birdbaths are prohibited because if water is not changed frequently, mosquitos can breed and expose residents to mosquito-borne illnesses.
Bees and Other Pollinators
Bees are extremely important to humans, as they pollinate the plants that grow our food. They can see only a portion of the light spectrum, so they are particularly attracted to flowers that are purple or blue, but they will visit flowers of any color.
Bees don’t typically sting unless threatened, and Rossmoor does not remove plants on the basis that they attract bees, except in extreme circumstances.
Other pollinators that frequent Rossmoor are hummingbirds, butterflies, and beetles.
Coyotes are ever present in the east bay hills and have inhabited this area for thousands of years. They are an important part of our ecosystem, and according to Project Coyote, “provide a number of benefits including regulating the number of mesocarnivores (such as skunks and raccoons) which in turn, helps to boost biodiversity”. In addition, “as scavengers, coyotes provide an ecological service by keeping our communities clean of carrion (dead things)” all of which help control disease transmission.
Here in Rossmoor coyotes are essential for tempering our deer, turkey and rodent populations, including rats, moles, voles, gophers and squirrels. Without them these populations would grow to untenable and destructive sizes (many argue they already are). Coyotes are not particularly discriminate however and will take advantage of other available food sources available including human garbage and small pets. Because of this, we are often asked to attempt to control the population. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife oversees the management of coyotes, but regardless, thinning populations is ineffective and even counterproductive. This is because coyotes have the interesting ability to scale their litters depending on population size and resource availability. In times of low populations coyotes breed more pups, and vice versa.
Spring is when coyotes are most active, and sightings are most likely. Coexisting is easy if people follow some simple rules to prevent attacks.
- Do not leave garbage out
- Do not leave pet food out
- Keep birdseed off the ground (bird feeders are prohibited in Rossmoor due to it attracting rodents, but coyotes will also graze on seed)
- Keep your dog leashed
If a coyote approaches you, pick up your small animal. Wave your arms and make loud noises. Throw things at it if necessary. If a coyote attacks you or your animal, call 911 for assistance. Meanwhile, regardless of one’s feelings towards the ‘Song Dog’, there is no option better than peacefully coexisting. By following the above tips we can protect ourselves, our animals, and the coyotes.
Wild pigs occasionally find their way into Rossmoor and can cause immense damage to the landscape, particularly turf. They often travel in groups and should not be approached. A typical wild pig may weigh more than 400 pounds and will attack if threatened. If you spot a wild pig KEEP YOUR DISTANCE and call the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Snakes are common in Rossmoor and part of the east ridge is even a preserved Alameda Whipsnake habitat. Most snakes are harmless and even beneficial as they eat rodents including gophers. Rattlesnakes, however, are venomous and a bite can be fatal. If you spot a snake in a building, please call the work order desk and they will send help. After hours call Securitas.
To download a PDF with interesting information about the variety of wildlife that can be seen in Rossmoor, click here.
Barn Owl Boxes
Providing habitat for Barn Owls helps to control rodent populations naturally. Barn owls feed on gophers, voles, rats and moles.
We currently have ten Barn Owl boxes in various locations around Rossmoor and add more each year. The woodshop has generously constructed many of them.
Other naturally occurring species that feed on rodents are coyotes, hawks and snakes.
Since predators will ingest anything its prey has recently ingested, we only use rodenticides that are unlikely to cause secondary poisoning to predatory animals like the Barn Owls.