Photo of the Week - "No - That's Not A Flying Squirrel" - Porcupine (North American)

April 03, 2021  •  1 Comment


Porcupine (North American) - 5 Photos


This porcupine is the same mammal that was featured in the March 26th, 2021 blog - "Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed". Because of its adorable face and expressions, I have nicknamed it "Sweet P" - "P" as in Porcupine!


So there was Sweet P in a tree a little further in from the week before. About 40 minutes in, the porcupine made its move - that backwards crawl, tail facing downward as it began its descent from the tree. It wasn't windy at the time so not certain the rationale for the move.


Needless to say, my heart started racing but in any wildlife photoshoot, my primary concern is for the animal's welfare. No shot is worth any stress or any unnecessary expenditure of calories for the animal. A porcupine's eyesight is fairly poor but they do see movement. Their hearing is excellent and their sense of smell is very good as well. So how do you manage to capture a porcupine descending a tree. Well - very very carefully! :)


After one miss, I managed to navigate my way round to the back of the tree, which of course is in the shade, to minimize a porcupine's exposure of being seen by predators. Standing a fair distance away from the tree, I caught Sweet P's descent onto the ground. I don't think I will forget the sound of those claws as they caught each step on the way down. From the back, to me it looks like a giant flying squirrel (with quills).


He/she then did a left turn and headed for a wood pile (Photo #5).


Having found a safe place for nap, I did not expect to see the porcupine exit until dusk but after 45 minutes, it crawled out and leisurely (by porcupine standards) headed back to the original tree, climbed back up and fell sound asleep.  I managed to grab a shot of its stroll (Photo 6). (The glare to the photo is due to the time of day - 12:45 p.m.) Perhaps in the porcupine scheme of things, it needed a "pit stop" which is why it went back up the tree when by this time it was blowing a gale. And believe me, it was in no hurry to make its way back.


And that's where I left it, snoozing happily away probably dreaming of new Spring greens.











John harper(non-registered)
I love the shot of Sweet P plastered to the tree. That looks right out of Wily Coyote vs Roadrunner cartoons. Your patience has paid off with several rare to see images. Great series! Thanks for posting them.
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