She saw the small, dark brown creature again, and this time got a picture.
Laurie Borst captured digital images in mid-March of a narrow dark-bodied animal with a long, bushy tail walking through her yard in Sandy Hook. “I know my nature,” she said. “This is a fisher cat.”
Wildlife Biologist Paul Rego, with the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in Burlington, Connecticut looked at Ms Borst’s photo via email and confirmed that the animal “is a fisher.”
On Tuesday morning, March 12, around 9 am, Ms Borst saw the fisher for the second time, and unlike months ago when she had no camera within reach, she was ready with her point and shoot. As she approached the window to take a picture, her mother-in-law Barbara Borst, who lives nearby, called to say, “It’s back.”
Quickly getting off the phone, she soon took a series of photos. “Here’s some real proof, it’s not a house cat. They’re out there.”
The fisher, which is in the weasel family, entered her yard “at about the same time I saw it the last time.” This particular fisher, which she imagines is the same animal she saw months ago, “came from the same direction up the hill from me, ran around the yard for a bit, then crossed the street and headed for Lake Zoar.” She said, “I would say it was the same as before. It seemed to follow the same tracks as the first time I saw it.”
The fisher had added a bit of surprise to her otherwise quiet morning routine.
“When I am having coffee and am at the dining room table, I have view of the backyard,” which gave her a clear sight of the fisher, she said. “It’s an oddity, you don’t see unusual wildlife other than deer eating the tulips.” With a background in science and a keen interest in nature, Ms Borst said, “The more different animals I can see the happier I am.”
She estimates that the fisher was 20 to 22 inches long with another 16 inches for the tail.
According the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website, the fisher’s habitat includes large tracts of coniferous or mixed hardwood-softwood forests containing large trees for denning.
Male fishers can weigh roughly 8 to14 pounds; females: 4 to 6 pounds. Males measure 36 to 40 inches; females: 30 to 36 inches.
The animal’s diet includes squirrels, rabbits, mice, voles, carrion, fruits, beechnuts, porcupines, birds, and frogs. The fisher’s long, slender body, short legs and elongated, bushy tail are usually dark brown to nearly black.
Also according to the web page, the fishers living in this region have their young in March and April. Their kits are born in dens often in tree cavities.