Possums – creatures of the night
Possums are undoubtedly very cute little animals. Here in Australia we have many different species. This one we called Belinda and she came to us with an injured paw. You can become very attached to these little guys. I captured this shot one night in her enclosure, she loved to eat almonds, so it was easy to take great shots, looking very alert and not at all afraid of me. She is a Brush tail possum with gorgeous eyes and a very cute pink nose. Once her paw had healed, she went safely back to the bush.
Other possums take a bit more work and patience to capture naturally. Like this little feather tailed glider, so named because of his feather like tail. All possums are nocturnal (meaning they are night animals). These little guys are very agile and fast, when foraging for insect and nectar. A lot of these little possums get eaten by cats, there owners thinking they are mice until they see the feather of its tail left on their doorstep by their feline friend. They are colony animals and like to live in little communes. We have seen them by the dozens especially when the tea trees are in blossom.
The feather tail gliders are one of the smallest possums along with the pygmy possum, which are also nectar and insect feeders.
Pygmy possums are quick and harder to photograph.
This is an Eastern Pygmy possum, found along the east coast of Australia, from southern Queensland to south east Australia and Tasmania. They are tiny marsupials and can have between 2 and four young in a litter. The breed mainly in spring but can breed anytime. All care must be taken when photographing these little creatures of the bush, just set up, take your shots and leave. Don’t stress them and don’t linger too long.
The sugar glider is another of my favourite possums to photograph, with its lovely bushy tail and marking just magnificent. These little ones are not as common to locate, but still very cute. They love to hunt insects and also eat nectar. This one seemed to prefer gum blossoms.
They nest in hollow logs and line them with leaves for warmth. This is an angophora tree, lovely smooth bark. Gorgeous trees.
These are wonderful marvels of our animal world, we are so luck with the animals found here in Australia.
All these images except for the feather tailed glider where shot on film and digitally scanned.
For more images of these gorgeous creatures please visit www.owenwilson.net.au