Saturday, July 30, 2011

Baby Raccoons

It’s been a bumper year for young animals. I found these two young Raccoons scrounging for food beneath the bird feeder. They don’t seem bothered by my close proximity.

Raccoon pelt coloration can vary greatly. The individual in the foreground displays the typical coloration of a wild Raccoon. Except for some facial markings, the other has a completely black pelt.

Uncommon coloration often gives rise to stories of strange animal sightings. A glance at this black individual wouldn’t automatically suggest a Raccoon. Raccoons have a rather close relationship to bears and the black Raccoon looked a lot like a bear cub as it moved about.

Both use the same technique to pick up bits of cracked corn. The corn is trapped between the front paws and then lifted to the mouth. Their small paws seemed better able to accomplish this feat than the larger paws of an adult Raccoon.

Here is the classic stretch your legs to the limit and arch your back defensive posture. A mature Raccoon would actually expose some teeth and show a menacing face as part of the attempt to scare away a threat. This baby has a look that makes you think he wants to be petted.

A Camera Critters submission.


  1. They're adorable! I love seeing them use their hands. I've seen an all black skunk but never a black raccoon, it's certain to cause some excitement with whomever sees it.

  2. Fascinating about the different colors. Davey Crockett could have a whole wardrobe of different color hats.

    Nah, I don't think I would want to pet that guy. The arched back reminds me of an unhappy cat.

    They are cute, though, from a distance. :)

    Great post! I really enjoyed this one.


  3. They're not very shy when they are young, I guess. I wonder where mom is, though!

  4. For 24 hours, 4 kitts and mom rented a hole in the tree on our fenceline. During the early evening when there was still plenty of sunlight, they appeared brown to reddish. As the light diminished, they appeared black.

    I love that yours came down to feed.

  5. Ha Ha ..that has to be the smallest Black bear I've ever seen! ;)

  6. Nice post and photos of these cute raccoons.


  7. So cute! Ours come around only at night, to upend the bird bath in search of water.

  8. I haven't noticed an all black raccoon before, but there are certainly many, many babies around this year!

  9. Hi, Julie. I agree that they’re cute and a lot of fun to watch.

    Thanks, Lois. I wouldn’t pet him either. When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was Rascal by Sterling North. It was about a boy who found and raised a young Raccoon. I spent a lot of hours trying to find a Raccoon of my own. It’s probably a good thing that I was unsuccessful in my efforts.

    Hi, EG. There’s been an older Raccoon hanging around, but I’ve not seen it together with the kids.

    Hi, Cheryl. It’s always fun when animal families hang around where you can see them. It doesn’t happen often enough.

    Well, Michael, around here you have to make do with what you can get.

    Thanks, Tatjana.

    Hi, Susannah. I also get the night visitors, but they’ve been behaving themselves lately.

    Hi, VioletSky. It’s also been a year full of babies here. I’ve seen babies of all of the commonly found mammals.

  10. So cute, great series of photos.

  11. Wow, I really enjoyed this article. I came across it by googling pictures of black raccoons for my blog. Great pictures!

  12. A melanistic raccoon just showed up to eat with my other raccoons. It was really beautiful. I tried to snap a few pictures, but didn't want to frighten it. It's only the second time I've seen one. Great pictures!

  13. Thanks Anonymous. It's great to have something like that show up where you can get a good look.