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 Post subject: I don’t cotton to no rats
PostPosted: May 27th, 2015, 11:18 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2249
Location: Unicoi, TN
Seeing a rat in broad daylight is not something I’ve personally seen but a few times.
My wife and I were on the edge of a salt marsh and that seemed to be a haven for Hispid Cotton Rats (Sigmodon hispidus).

I’ve seen them at night and under artificial cover but was surprised to see them running around like rabbits or conies in daylight.


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Even the kids were out.


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Note to our good friends just starting with English:
“Don’t cotton to” is a southern U.S. slang that means to not like.
(Ok, ok, it’s tough to do rat humor in any language!)


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 Post subject: Re: I don’t cotton to no rats
PostPosted: May 27th, 2015, 2:00 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:42 am
Posts: 2247
They are cute, Bill.


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 Post subject: Re: I don’t cotton to no rats
PostPosted: May 28th, 2015, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2249
Location: Unicoi, TN
They actually are pretty cute even with naked tales like black rats and gray rats.


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 Post subject: Re: I don’t cotton to no rats
PostPosted: June 9th, 2015, 11:04 pm 

Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 5:48 pm
Posts: 688
Location: AZ.
Bill,

we have the same (?) species here in Arizona. I was amazed to encounter them when viewing a friends bird feeder, looking for a Lewis's woodpecker. I never saw the bird, but he was surprised when I told him I was viewing cotton rats, whom were taking the spilled grain along with the mourning doves. These rats apparently are strictly diurnal, a real surprise to me. My buddy traps some of them, and reports them at high numbers this year. He freezes the carcasses for a minimum of 90 days
and feeds them to captive snakes and sometimes to my indigos. I commonly see the rats running across our rural roads in broad day light.

I recently viewed a group of coyotes pursuing a jack rabbit. Two were hot on the hares trail, and the 3rd was trotting along with a cotton rat in its jaws. I think they support a lot of predators around here.

Last year I grew cantaloupes, and just as I was ready to harvest, something drilled a neat 2"d hole in them and emptied them of seeds. I set a trap and caught cotton rats, and the garden depredations stopped.

Good photos, they can be quite wary.

Vic


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 Post subject: Re: I don’t cotton to no rats
PostPosted: June 11th, 2015, 9:37 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2249
Location: Unicoi, TN
Lot's of interesting stuff, Vic.

I chuckled at
Quote:
Last year I grew cantaloupes, and just as I was ready to harvest, something drilled a neat 2"d hole in them and emptied them of seeds. I set a trap and caught cotton rats, and the garden depredations stopped.

Only because we could empathize when we went through a similar bout with a burst of voles and bulb flowers! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: I don’t cotton to no rats
PostPosted: June 15th, 2015, 7:31 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Posts: 3298
Location: San Antonio, TX
Hispid Cotton Rats are diurnal and I frequently see them out in the day. I have done quite a bit of live trapping of rodents and we often caught hispidus in the middle of the day. We used to have to check our traps twice a day.....at dawn for the nocturnal species and then again in the afternoon to get all the S. hispidus out.

Around here they have population explosions associated with rainfall and the availability of green forage. They seem to displace other species under those conditions.

I see a lot of them at bird photography blinds -

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