Skip to content

Possum Magic

G21st June 2014

C2 Comments

Tenvironment, photography

I was rather surprised today when I came home to see a ringtail possum sitting on my side fence in broad daylight.

Ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) are a nocturnal mammal species native to the eastern states of Australia. Common in suburban backyards, their presence is often felt when they run noisily across peoples roofs at night. Theoretically speaking, Ringtails prefer a diet of leaves from members of the Myrtaceae family (such as Eucalptus and Leptospermum) but will quite happily chow down on other introduced plant species (rose buds are a favourite).

Ringtails typically become active immediately after dark, so I was rather surprised when I spotted this one out in broad daylight.

Possum sitting atop a gate with brick wall behind.

He (or she) may very well have been disturbed. Two angry-looking magpies (Cracticus tibicen) were standing nearby. Then again, magpies always look angry!

What surprised me was how closely the possum would allow me to approach. Fortunately I had my camera in hand and was able to take these photographs. It was only when a neighbour’s wire door slammed shut that the possum took fright and bolted off into the shrubbery somewhere.



Possum sitting atop a gate

I have no doubt that having had a rather ‘exciting’ day, this Ringtail will be much happier wandering our backyards at night in search of fresh fruit and leaves.



2 responses to “Possum Magic”

  • Written by isobel on 22 June 2014:

    What a delightful story. How fortunate to get close enough to take such excellent photos of the attractive little Possum.
    I know they make lots of noise scampering over the roof at night, and can wreck a basket of roses in one night!
    But those lovely large eyes looking down at you make it easy to forgive .

    This nature tale is so uplifting, and along with the glorious sunny morning, should make a happy day.

  • Written by Adam Dimech on 23 June 2014:

    They make even more noise when they scamper inside one’s roof!

Have your say:

The following HTML is permitted:
<a href="" title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comments will be published subject to the Editorial Policy.