Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Denning Fisher?

Dan writes:

Behind my childhood home in Carlisle is a steep drop-off, leading down
to a wetlands. The builders bulldozed brush and stumps over the edge,
creating a warren of holes and crevices. For the past several weeks, my
parents have been finding fisher tracks going in and out of three
different holes in the "stump dump". We recently set up a remote camera
to monitor the area.

A fisher was photographed at one of the holes at these times:
1/26 9PM
1/30 5PM
2/5 8AM
2/5 4PM

A few years back we found another hole that was being regularly visited
by fisher every three or four days.

I'm curious what you all think about this. Is this a female fisher
using a natal den to raise young? Is this just a fisher checking the
same hole over and over again, hoping to find a squirrel or rabbit? Is
this a fisher holing up for the night when he/she passes through this
part of his/her territory?

With some luck, I'll continue to get photos of this fisher over the next
month, and maybe one of them will help solve the mystery.


  1. I think it is too early for a female to have young, plus the natal den is usually fairly high up in a tree cavity. Male fishers might kill the young, so females may choose cavities with entry holes that are too small for the much larger males to enter.

    What you have in the photo looks too vulnerable to me to be a natal den...Though I hope you prove me wrong, because it would be really cool to see photos of the young!

    During winter,fishers like holes close to the ground for sleep/rest/cover, because they are warmer than tree cavities. Hence the association of fishers with mature forests that feature lots of coarse woody debris on the forest floor.

    Cool find!

  2. Dan, that fisher looks to be a male-- w/ pronounced sagittal crest; males look more bear-like opposed to the fox-like, sleek females...