Fisher and Friends: Wildlife in New York City

Monday, June 30, 2014

A "fisher" has been spotted in the Bronx. It's an animal related to the weasel, and thought to no longer live in this area after over-hunting in the 1600s. Leslie Day, New York City naturalist, environment and life science educator at The Elisabeth Morrow School, adjunct faculty member at Bank Street College of Education and the author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) talks about wildlife in NYC, including what it means that the fisher is back.


Leslie Day

Comments [22]

Leslie Harris from Bergen co

Saw one in Bergen in my back yard about 2 weeks ago on a quiet morning. Carrying some small snack, presumably for young. I thought it might be a Marten, but too far south. Now I know

Jul. 02 2014 02:57 PM
Sal LaFemina from Hampton NY

I saw my first fisher about two years ago. I was sitting on a rock ledge deep in the forest in Washington Co. NY. It was in the spring. I heard some rustling in the brush behind me. When I turned a young fisher with a turkey egg in its mouth scurried up a small tree about two feet to my left and just sat there looking at me. It was close enough for me to be able to smell the musk odor. I said “wow nice egg” and it ran off. I have not seen one since however; I do hear them at night on occasion. They do make some strange sounds.

Jul. 02 2014 12:33 PM

Best not to tangle with the fisher cat. It's a weasel cousin of the honey badger. They don't mess around!

Jul. 02 2014 08:15 AM
PeterStrasser from Airmont, ny

I live in Airmont, Rockland county and my wife and I spotted and identified the the fisher cat as well a month back.
First time in 35 years living here, enjoying nature and identifying animals of all kinds that we witnessed such an animal.
Since then we have heard about many chickens mysteriously being killed in this area.

Jul. 01 2014 08:54 AM
Jackie from Eastchester, NY

Last year, when I was (of course) looking for parking late at night in Riverdale, a creature froze in my headlights. It had the facial markings of a raccoon but the long, slinky body of an otter, and I thought, "Possum!" even though I had never seen a possum. (I checked online when I got home: it was a possum.) I was glad to know that wild animals other than rats and mice lived in my neighborhood. Now that we've moved to Westchester, I've seen rabbits, wild turkeys, an egret (snowy?), and yesterday, a groundhog. For a city girl, it's Wild Kingdom out here!

Jul. 01 2014 08:39 AM
Ellen McCormick from Weston, CT

Here in Weston, CT we have seen quite a few Fishers. Apparently we have new babies in the area as well. It doesn't bode well for outdoor cats, etc. They are ferocious hunters!!

Jul. 01 2014 07:41 AM
rh from near nyc

I saw an animal like this in Poughkeepsie once. Thought it was a 4 foot long black rat.

Either way, I wasn't going to stop off for food in Poughkeepsie...

Jul. 01 2014 07:02 AM

as for that wild turkey,you might just want to cook his goose.

Jun. 30 2014 04:20 PM

has he been bar mitzvahed yet...?

Jun. 30 2014 03:48 PM
Rapidfire from Morristown

Thank you for this story and this photo. We definitely saw a fisher in our Morristown, NJ backyard a few summers back. Thought we were going crazy when we could NOT figure out what it was - escaped pet Tasmanian Devil was our closest guess. That furry tail is unlike any other animal's.

Jun. 30 2014 12:15 PM
Matthew from brooklyn

As my 7 year daughter has noted, porcupines don't "shoot" their quills.

Jun. 30 2014 11:58 AM
Tony from UWS

Every evening from my terrace on WEA, I see at least one, but usually a pair of egrets flying east. Last night, in addition to the egrets, I believe I saw a great blue heron also flying east. I've always wondered where they were coming from (the Meadowlands?) and where they are going.

Jun. 30 2014 11:58 AM
carolanyc from Bed-Stuy, Bklyn

I've seen large possums waddling around Brooklyn as far from Prospect Pk as 7th Ave. & Union St., and in Cobble Hill.

Jun. 30 2014 11:57 AM
Lois from West Milford NJ

I saw a fisher in Glen Rock NJ several years ago. I tried to report the sighting, but without a photo I guess they decided I was a crackpot because nobody would return my call. But it was a fisher, I swear!

Jun. 30 2014 11:56 AM
john from office

A 4 foot long animal!!

Jun. 30 2014 11:54 AM
amand from inwood

Last week i was circled by a turkey vulture while sitting on a cave in the canopy in inwood park - scary stuff

Jun. 30 2014 11:53 AM
Josh Karan from Washington Heights

I have seen some pretty unusual 2 legged creatures recently :)

Jun. 30 2014 11:52 AM
Mike from Manhattan

possums in long island city

Jun. 30 2014 11:51 AM
Rachel from Bronx

I saw this creature walking home from the subway a few months ago. I live in Pelham Bay between the Pelham Bay Park and the Bronx River. I thought it was a river otter because of it's long body and inchworm stride. It was broad daylight and it slinked across the street and ran between an apartment building. I asked everyone if they saw this creature which I described as a cross between a beaver and an otter. Now I know what it is!

Jun. 30 2014 10:14 AM
Hank Linhart from Gowanus Arrondisement

I walk my dog along the Gowanus Canal every evening. Before SAndy I use to see a Great Blue Heron come in with the fresh tide and fish by the Carroll St bridge . ( There were Night Heron as well.) It has not returned, but recently I've been seeing an egret. Also, in a low tide I saw a seagull dig into the Gowanus mud and bring up a bog crab.

Jun. 30 2014 10:12 AM

Occaisionally one can also see wildhumans from New York's upstate underpopulated rural regions wandering through NYC's crowded city neighborhoods.

Jun. 30 2014 10:08 AM
Jon Young from Staten Island

I have seen on Staten Island this year the usual deer, turkeys, and muskrats.
But I also saw a beaver waddling along the South Beach shore along the fishing pier. A picture is included in the article below about a bald eagle sighting (and possible nesting) in Great Kills.

Jun. 30 2014 07:48 AM

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