An unusual visitor

We had an unexpected visitor recently. It came by during the mid-morning hours in the midst of a snowstorm. It moved stealthily through the snow … came and went with no warning. Had I not spotted its movement through the woods behind the house its visit might have gone unnoticed. But the movement I saw was not that of a deer, nor was it the lighter brown color of deer.

When our visitor came into full view I realized it was a fisher – Martes penanti – a member of the weasel family.

A Fisher Cat roaming a yard in Connecticut.


The fisher circled our house three times, following the same route through the woods out back, the driveway on one side, the front yard, the side yard, and back to the woods. It only stopped briefly in the front yard, which is when my favorite photographer caught this shot.

We have no idea what it was doing … didn’t see anything it could have been chasing. But it seemed to move with purpose and intent as it circled then gracefully wandered off to wooded parts unknown.

Later that morning I photographed some of the tracks the fisher left in the snow.


Since voles and mice are on fishers’ prey list, I hope to notice declined numbers of each during the next few months.

I’d love to see the fisher again. This is my first glimpse of one. Though fishers have a rather nasty reputation, this one moved so smoothly through the snow. It was a marvel to watch.

Anyone have any fisher experiences to share?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Joene Hendry

10 comments for “An unusual visitor

  1. January 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    What an unusual visitor! Did you know right away what it was? I’d have to look it up, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fisher. I hope he did find some voles and took care of them. Your favorite photographer got a great snap of this wild animal.

  2. joenesgarden
    January 25, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I heard reports of fishers in my town so had previously looked up some information about them. I was really surprised to see it so close to the house during the day. They are ususally pretty sly and reclusive.

  3. January 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve never even heard of a fisher before but that thing looks fierce. From the tracks in the snow it also looks like it has very long claws. The long tail is interesting too, you would think that living in the woods it wouldn’t want (need) that tail. I guess it must have some use though. Great photos, Ralph!

  4. January 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Wow – that’s really interesting! Now I want a fisher and a bobcat for my backyard 🙂

  5. joenesgarden
    January 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    From what I’ve read, Debbie, fishers do have substantial claws which enable them to easily climb trees.

  6. joenesgarden
    January 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Cyndy, if you had fishers nearby you’d have to keep really close tabs on that puppy of yours. Fishers will prey on any small mammal.

  7. Marianne Winslow
    January 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Fishers are really are vicious. The only time I saw one was nearly 35 yrs. ago in Maine. It was shy and gone in a flash, but left me feeling quit nervous…instinct. My girlfriend ( from Maine) reported seeing one in an old barn , in Goshen, where I was at the time working. The fisher was chasing a chipmunk . Never did see it, and was not disappointed.

  8. joenesgarden
    January 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    This was my first time seeing a fisher, Marianne. It was fascinating to watch how it moved through the snow, but I was inside and it was not.

  9. February 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    i had no idea fishers were in CT. Very interesting.

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