Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Opossum

I love opossums!  Even though they are sometimes mean and are quite ugly.

From Wikipedia: The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), commonly known as the North American Opossum, is the only marsupial found in North America north of the Rio Grande. A solitary and nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat, it is a successful opportunist and is found throughout Central America and North America east of the Rockies from Costa Rica to southern Ontario (it was also introduced to California in 1910, and now occupies much of the Pacific coast); it seems to be still expanding its range northward. Its ancestors evolved in South America, but were enabled to invade North America in the Great American Interchange by the formation of the Isthmus of Panama about 3 million years ago. It is often seen near towns, rummaging through garbage cans, or lying by the side of the road, a victim of traffic.

You know what I love about opossums?

They are marsupials - they have a pouch!  We don't have too many marsupials here in Maryland!  
Young are born in that pouch, and are carried in that pouch until they get large enough to be carried on the mama's back.  Many opossums visit us here on our back porch, and I always look for babies in the opossum's pouch or on the back.  I have never seen any babies, until TODAY!!!

This mama came to eat at our back porch today, in broad daylight, as they often do (even though Wikipedia calls them nocturnal).  I have been watching her belly grow in size the past few weeks, so wanting to catch a glimpse of the baby/babies I knew were in there.  She waddled, her belly was almost dragging on the ground.

She turned her rear end towards me.  Wait, wait, something fell out on the left! 
It has feet!!  And on the right there's a little tail. 
Two babies!!

Then suddenly this little guy climbed up onto mama's back!

He looks left...

...Then right...

...Then he looks straight up.  Hello big world!!

The baby got nervous when the mama opossum went into the high grass to drink some water that had pooled there from the recent rains.

Look at that grip!

The baby slipped off mama's back and disappeared underneath.  The mama was patient as he climbed into the pouch.  The second baby never made a real appearance.

Now we cannot say that we have never seen baby opossums in a mama opossum's pouch or on her back!


CeeCee said...

They are sooo cute. Babies, I mean. How fun that you got to see one. Those about about big enough for momma to kick out of the pouch.

Anonymous said...

What a great series of pictures!

AJ-OAKS said...

How cool is that!!!!! That is so, well, very cool!! Wow, baby Possums! Have never seen a baby one so I am fascinated now.
The only Possums we see here are the ones that have been hit on the road.
At a house I lived in years ago there was a Possum that would come up and eat the cat food, but I have to say, that one was a nasty booger! He would stand on his hind legs and hiss.

Gail said...

Possums are so amazing. My daughter had one raised on a bottle.

Thanks for these photos, many people are not allowed to witness this miracle of nature.

Chai Chai said...

Amazing set of pictures. Possums, raccoons, woodchucks, and fox; I bet the chickens are getting very nervous.

WeldrBrat said...

They can be mean. But they're so ugly that they're cute! And look at how that baby holds on to the hair on its mama - just like a hand! She trusts you. To bring the babies out like that... she trusts you very much. Very cool! I just hope you don't become overwhelmed by a population explosion. LOL

IsobelleGoLightly said...

What wonderful photographs! My lady likes possums too but we try to keep them away from the horses since they can carry a nasty protozoal virus that attacks horses. I hope they visit again and we can see more of the babies as they grow!

Genny said...

You have the most wonderful and interesting visitors at your farm. I've never seen a baby possum either, until now. How adorable!!! You have such varied and rich sources of wildlife where you live. I'm glad that the 250 acres is under your stewardship and the habitat is safe. These photos were amazing.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness!!!That is just too precious for words!! We don't have those around here. I find them cute. Kinda like when we visited England and hedgehogs are everywhere. They are so cute. We only have porcupines and skunks.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Great photos!

Poconoangel said...

I don't particularly love opossums,but I must admit that baby was cute. They can be very nasty when they grow up! - Great pictures! They don't go after chickens, do they?

jalynn01 said...

I too like Opossums and would die to get the pictures you got! That baby is just so darn cute and you did such a nice job of getting all those shots. Wow! I hope they show themselves again for another photo opt. Nice series!! Loved it.

John Gray said...

cracking photos!!!
well done

Carolynn said...

Oh my gawd! That little guy is too cute for words! I especially loved the "Hello World" shot. What a treat!

Tina said...

How cute are those! Adorable. I usually think they are ugly too, think of rats on steroids, I think it's the naked tail that makes them ugly, their faces on the other hand are cute.

Razzberry Corner said...

CeeCee - I hope I get to see both babies on mama's back! That would be cute!

AJ-Oaks - I agree, they can be nasty!

Gail - That is so interesting that your daughter raised one! I have never heard of anyone raising a opossum before! How cool!

Chai Chai - I don't know if the chickens are nervous, but I am nervous for them!! I am always so worried about them!

Welbrbrat - I guess we are going to get more opossums when those babies grow up. Maybe they'll move away from home and go far away to make their own homes??! ...Probably not.


Razzberry Corner said...

IsobelleGoLightly - I hope I can get more pictures, too!

Genny - Thank you. When we bought this property we were so happy to be able to keep it in it's natural habitat. The previous owner was a developer, but his plans didn't go as well as he wanted with the slow housing market. Lucky for the wildlife!

Lisa - I'm glad we don't have porcupines!!!

Toni aka irishlas - Thanks!! :)

Poconoangel - Yes, I think they could go after chickens. but our opossums are very slow - I've never seen them move very fast at all!!!

Jalynn01 - Thanks!! I took alot of photos of the opossums! I was lucky the mama let me!


Razzberry Corner said...

John Gray - thank you!

Carolynn - I thought he was just so cute, too! I loved the way he looked all around, it was adorable!

Tina - yes, I agree, the tail does make opossums ugly. And they have such big mouths! But the baby is so very cute and small and fragile-looking.


Anonymous said...

Too cute!! That's about the size of my little guy I am raising, we got him off the road after his mother had been hit, sadly he was the only baby left alive! He is sooo sweet. I raised 3 babies last year and let them go, but I think this little guy will be too spoilt to release, they do make great pets and can even be litter trained! Loooooove them!

Razzberry Corner said...

Anonymous - That is so very wonderful that you rescue babies after the mamas are killed. I bet many people wouldn't even think about the babies! I would love to start a baby wild animal rescue program to help all sorts of baby animals. But I would never want to let them be wild again!

JosephAlsarraf said...

At what age do the Momma possum's let their babies go. I just saw one about the size of that baby possum alone. I thought it looked funny trying to act tough in front of my cat and me. Would you mind if I use your photo for my blog?