Some Hillside Mammals

Striped skunk

The stripped skunk (Mephitis mephtisis) is a native species to most of the continental United States, northern Mexico, and southern Canada. They are most commonly known for their highly-developed musked filled scent glan that wards off predators. Their diet consists mainly of inscets like grasshoppers, crickets, and larvee, but they are also known to alter their diets to include invertibrates and plants.

Common Racoon

Virginia opossum

Little brown bat

Eastern chipmunk

Eastern gray squirrel

The Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), also just called the Gray Squirrel, is a type of tree squirrel native to New York. They bury seeds, which helps with forest regeneration. They have many predators, including hawks, coyotes, bobcats, and snakes. Sometimes you may see a squirrel with black fur, which is not a separate species, but a rare variant with a mutant pigment gene. Considered invasive on other continents, gray squirrels are on the World Conservation Union’s list of the world’s top 100 worst invasive species.

Eastern Cottontail

The Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is the most common rabbit species in North America, and it therefore forms a prominent component of several predators’ diets. Predators include domestic cats and dogs, coyotes, weasels, raccoons, great horned owls, and snakes. Their own diet depends greatly on what is available, and can include twigs and bark of woody vegetation, flowers, seeds, fruits, etc. They are active year round, but are most commonly spotted during their breeding season (in NY, this is Feb. to Sept.). They are hosts to fleas, ticks, lice, among other pests and diseases. For more information, click here for a Cornell Blog or here for the Wikipedia Page.


Coyotes & coywolves

Coyotes and coywolves are making a comeback in Hastings. This is actually helpful in reducing deer population. However, beware: keep your dog close by and be careful not to let your housecat out at night. Coyotes once even attacked a toddler in Rye, and two rabid coyotes made headlines in 2018, as they tore through Hastings and Yonkers.

Red fox

White-tailed deer




White-footed mouse