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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Avon Avians

Well-known member
United States
Hello, folks!

Those of us who are interested in wildlife have all had a few of those surprising moments when wildlife turn up unexpected.
Sometimes, this is in their suitable habitat, even though we didn't anticipate that they might be around.
Sometimes, though, they show up where they are least expected.
On driveways, in cities, in abandoned buildings, and even in our own habitats, our houses!

Some animals adapt well to the presence of people, and regularly seek shelter indoors.
Such synanthropes as house mice, rats, geckos (in some regions), and innumerable insects and arachnids are as familiar indoors as they are outside. (And some more so in manmade structures!)

Others are outdoor animals that will come in when we allow them to (by allowing cracks and crevices to be accessible to them).

Still others are trapped and cannot survive unless we intervene (by setting them free).

And obviously, excitement isn't always our reaction to seeing certain animals around. In general, living with wild animals (inside) does more harm than good to both us and the animals. But having animals in our houses are seldom occasions to be forgotten!

There is no reason to be ashamed of these animal experiences. Seriously speaking, every human building has almost certainly had an animal in it at one point (except for Arctic igloos too cold to sustain insects and arachnids).

Among the animals that we have seen in our houses over the years include...

A bird (Passeriformes) - Possibly a house finch or house sparrow. We successfully let it outside through a window.

A mystery mouse (Muroidea) - Possibly a house mouse or white-footed mouse (more likely the latter).

Deer mice (Peromyscus leucopus/maniculatus) - These mice mostly live outdoors during the summer and only come in for the winter. We successfully caught and relocated one that was wandering around our morning room during the day.
They are commonly associated with warm garages, where they may raid stashes of stored birdseed.
They are strictly nocturnal in natural settings, and may be seen at night with a flashlight or motion camera.

Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) - These squirrels are common, but rarely seen. In the wild, they can often only be seen on motion cameras. They are surprisingly bold in indoor settings, and will wander through rooms at night even when the inhabitants are not asleep. They are somewhat tame. We had a major infestation.

Northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) - These soricids are neither rodents nor pests. They are predatory mammals with venomous saliva (that is not dangerous to people or pets) that may enter houses in search of mice or insects. They rarely survive for long in houses because they can starve in as little time as a few hours, but one managed to find our dog's food bowl, allowing it to survive long enough to be released.
They may be seen day or night in the wild, where they rarely show themselves for more than a single second. They may be seen on motion cameras buried under deep snow or other cover. They are actually beneficial creatures to have around a garden!

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) - One of these bats entered our house through an open attic door once, while we were sleeping. I woke up to see it flying around the ceiling, quite possibly as confused as I was startled. We all woke up and watched the bat until it flew back into the attic. We set up several bat deterrents, but the bat may have left the house the same night that we saw it.
These big bats, which may be resistant to white-nose syndrome, are among the most commonly seen bats in North America.

Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) - This squirrel relative seldom enters buildings in an attempt to infest them. We had one enter our garage, but it was quick to leave as soon as we allowed it access to the outside.
This sciurid rodent is diurnal and commonly seen in woodlands, even around urban areas.

Green frogs (Lithobates clamitans) - A bizarre creature to find in indoor settings is the frog. Indoor conditions are usually too dry and unfavorable to attract them indoors. But my dad once found one in our dishwasher!
In wet weather, they may enter garages, where they will die unless they can find water or an escape exit.
This common frog of wetlands may be seen almost anywhere during dispersal when the weather is wet or moist.

Gray tree frog (Dryophytes versicolor) - Like the green frog, this frog may enter garages during warm, wet weather. They should always be relocated, as they cannot survive dry conditions.
This common tree frog is most active on wet or moist nights.

Bonus: Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) - One of these common birds entered our garage once, but was quick to disappear out the open door.

This list doesn't even include the innumerable invertebrates that we've seen, including insects, springtails, spiders, mites, myriapods, sowbugs, and even slugs/snails.

The frogs were the most unusual, but the flying squirrels were definitely the most memorable!

So, what do you think?
What are the most interesting wildlife that you've seen in your house/garage?
Stag beetles regularly come into my house when I have the windows open at night in early summer. Also had the odd Western Conifer Seedbug too over the years later in the season. Always nice to see, Last year I found the scarce hoverfly Volucella inflata in the conservatory, closely followed by the less common Ferdinandea cuprea the same day.
Living in 1800's log cabin means entry for critters is easy. Black snakes (sometimes mating), bats, mice, squirrels gray & flying, lots of spiders,...
Great Spotted Woodpecker, blue tit, robin.

On different occasions, baby rabbits.

Various mice, voles and once a rat.

Bats on three occasions.

Lots of spiders, moths, butterflies, ladybirds, earwigs, beetles and bugs.

Squirrels in the roof.
Bats, an occasional Beech Marten (seen once, probably heard several times), Turkish Geckos , Wall Lizards, and hopefully Red Rumped Swallow. A regular pair were prospecting an old nest last year so maybe this year theyโ€™ll move in.
Are all these (specially birds) IN your house? Because if so... coool!
Covered balcony for me. Not technically inside but there are days where 8-10 Red Rumped Swallows are lined up along the balcony washing line, all windows open, and it feels like they are inside. The lizards often venture in on summer days and the geckos live in the internal wall cavities used for wood stoves.
Are all these (specially birds) IN your house? Because if so... coool!
Yep, all the creatures listed have been in my house - the kitchen (GSW on worktop, robin on a different worktop on a different day), the hall (blue tit), the utility room (rat and a baby rabbit on different occasions), the downstairs loo (a different baby rabbit), sitting room (bat), my bedroom (bats on different occasions), mice and voles have been in utility room, kitchen, hall and sitting room.
Stag beetles regularly come into my house when I have the windows open at night in early summer. Also had the odd Western Conifer Seedbug too over the years later in the season. Always nice to see, Last year I found the scarce hoverfly Volucella inflata in the conservatory, closely followed by the less common Ferdinandea cuprea the same day.
There was a western conifer seed bug in our bathroom this year. They enter buildings for the winter, but aren't well adapted for this lifestyle.
It died within a week, almost in the same spot.
Dead conifer seed bugs are common sight almost everywhere inside private and public buildings.
Brown marmorated stink bugs and Asian multicolored lady beetles also.
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Not strictly in the house but I had a paradise tree snake in the mail box once, many years ago when I lived in Malaysia. As this is one of the "flying" snakes I assumed it came by air mail!
I'm absolutely shocking at moths, but even I could id the Oleander Hawk-moth spotted on my kitchen ceiling a few years ago. A real stunner!
I once awaken and saw a bat, perhaps Pipistrelle, hunting in my bedroom. It did not seem disoriented, it flew away on its own. I am sure I did not dream it :)
I also had Woodpigeons waling from the garden into my house. I cut it short after two started fighting in my living room.
-Turkish and Moorish geckos (they are mostly on the outside walls but occasionally wander inside).

-A juvenile Western Whip Snake

-Tyrrhenian Painted Frog

-Mediterranean Flycatcher

-One of the Plecotus Long Eared bats (probably P.austriacus) took refuge for a day behind the shutters :)

Not quite my house, although it sometimes feels like I live there!, a damselfly emerged from the 30 by 15 by 15 cm box I kept the pond weed in in my school lab yesterday ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
Well, there is the occasional elephant in the room but one of the most exiting animals i had in my house was a scorpion in my boot when i lived in Crete.

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