Possum Photograph

possum photograph


10.24.2004 - I thought that this was a fine photo of an opossum. Possums are slow animals, and they have very tiny brains. They are not so smart. Thus, when they encounter trouble, sometimes they just kind of stand there. Sometimes they play dead, sometimes they open their mouth and bare their teeth, sometimes they try to run away, sometimes they grimmace (really), and sometimes they ...just stand there. That's what this one did. I was tasked with catching it, since it was hanging around the property and not leaving, and the homeowner was concerned that it might attack or have rabies. Opossum aren't aggressive, and they don't really carry rabies. Their body temperature is lower than average, and not a good host for the disease. Regardless the homeowners wanted me to come and get it, so I did. But first, when I saw how calm it was, I decided to take some photographs.

I think that this opossum is very good-looking. Some opossums are mangy or slimy or just plain ugly, but this one had a very nice coat of fur and very nice colors, and a decent looking face.  So I'm featuring it here on my wildlife blog as my best possum photograph.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Opossums page for tips and advice.
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The opossum, (Didelphis virginiana) is a nocturnal animal that lives in North America. It is a marsupial, which means that the females give birth to tiny young, who grow in a pouch. These young eventually cling to the mother's back and drop off when they are large enough. Opossums are unique for many reasons. They have opposable thumbs, prehensile tails, 50 teeth, and several other unusual features. They are omnivores who eat almost anything, they have excellent immune systems, and they rarely live more than 2-3 years in the wild. They are most commonly considered a nuisance species when they live in an attic or other structure, such as under a shed, or steal pet food or threaten animals.

Humane possum removal - As is the case with most wild animals that you find in your home or yard, you will want to get rid of it in such a way that the problems are eliminated, the creature is re-homed safely, and with as little hassle and stress as is necessary. For most people, calling a wildlife guy is the best approach and this is for a number of reasons. Most people do not have enough knowledge to remove this creature, whereas the wildlife professionals will.

Another approach that can be taken with the possum is to catch and release, although there are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to. Trapping the animal will not be an easy task, especially if you do not know enough, so education and research is first needed. Once you have this, you should be able to catch the animal with some practice, but it is at this point that most people find they struggle. Where do you release the possum? What exactly is the "right" thing to do?

One simple option that works for people, especially if you don't have other pets to worry about or small children, is to build a nest box in your yard and encourage the possum to live there. This removes the threat of the possum in your home, and will also discourage other wild animals, especially other possums, taking its place.

One of the obvious options yet is still one that a lot of people do not think about is to call a local wildlife rehabilitation centre. These people will take over the responsibility of re-homing or looking after the pet, meaning that it will be one less thing that you will have to concern yourself with. There are a lot of ways that you can find these guys, and your local vet, animal control guys or city animal services will be able to point you in the right direction.

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Are you looking to get into wildlife photography? Possums are a great place to start, as they often live in urban areas and are plentiful. However, taking photos of these furry friends is often harder than you'd think. Here are some tips to help you get ahead and get the best photos of these creatures.

Get Used to Low Light Photography
The possum is a nocturnal creature, meaning that it usually comes out at night. This is because it's the best time to gather food while avoiding their major predators. Because of this, you'll need to be able to take photographs in low light situations. You won't be able to use regular flash photography, as this will scare these easily frightened creatures away.

To get around this, you'll need to get used to changing your ISO speed. This is how you control the light sensitivity of your camera. Remember, the higher your ISO speed is, the more digital 'noise' you'll allow into the shot. The best rule of thumb is to have the ISO speed as low as you can go without losing the quality of the picture.

Possums Won't Stand Out in The Open
Looking at regular wildlife photography, you'd be forgiven for thinking that animals are posing out in the open for their photographers. You'll see animals in these photographs looking as though they're just out in the open, waiting for the photographer, but that isn't true. In fact, they're more likely to be hiding away.

This is especially true of possums, that usually live in tree branches and hollows. They live in communal nests, and you're not going to find it easy to simply stumblr across one in the wild. You'll need to find these nests and wait for them, so you can get the right shot. You may even find yourself crawling under bushes or under trees in order to get that photo.

Do Your Research
Whatever animal you want a photograph of, you'll need to research first. You're already on the right path if you want a picture of a possum, as you're reading this guide. You need to know the animal's habits, habitat, diet, and more if you want to find them.

With possums, you'll see their diet is mostly plant life, although they'll also eat insects, small invertebrates, and eggs. If you want to find them, you'll need to find their nests in trees or any nearby plants that they like to nibble on.

Don't Worry About Getting Too Close
It's hard to get close to a possum in order to get the shot you want. As they'll scare off easily, you won't be able to get close without using your zoom. However, you can use this to your advantage. You can take wider shots that show the possum going about their usual behavior. These are usually more valuable as they allow you to see the animal in a natural environment, with no intervention from you.

With these tips you'll be able to get a great shot of local possums. Get out there and give it a go.

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