Saturday 25 May 2019

Update 25th May 2019

Things are fairly stable at the moment, at least as far as the known possums are concerned.

Sasha - 12th May 2019 [Photo by Xesce]

Sasha is visiting regularly and is in good health. She definitely has a baby in the pouch and if things go as expected, we should be seeing the little one out of the pouch in August.

Sasha glaring at Bilbo - 12th May 2019 [Photo by Xesce]

Bilbo is also visiting regularly. He hasn't contracted any new wounds and fur is growing back over the old ones.

Bilbo - 12th May 2019 [Photo by Xesce]

Bilbo - 12th May 2019 [Photo by Xesce]

Recently, Bilbo has decided to pad his box with leaves.

Bilbo bringing a tail full of leaves into box 3 - 22nd May 2019

Often, when possums bring leaves into a box, they go away and don't use the box for a while. I don't know the logic behind this; are they fumigating the box with gum leaves to get rid of parasites? But this time, Bilbo has been using the box quite frequently, so maybe he wants a warmer bed to lie on in the colder weather.

Nikita is also visiting regularly. Her pouch is getting fairly plump and I think we will see her babies out and about before Sasha's.

Nikita - 10th May 2019 [Photo by Xesce]

A couple of times Nikita has tried to bring an adult male ringtail (presumably her new boyfriend) to the house, but he was always too nervous and made his way off into the trees whenever a human approached. There are no photos of him yet.

Koji, Austen and Nikita's babies Ryder and Rune haven't been seen for a while.

Some other possum news:

On the day of the federal election, a dead male ringtail was seen on the road outside of the house. He looked liked he'd been hit by a car (which is probably how I looked after the election). It can be difficult to recognise ringtails in a situation like this when often an important factor in identifying them is their personality, but it wasn't Koji, Austen, Akira, Leto or Bamm-Bamm.

A few days ago, a black and white cat was seen climbing awkwardly backwards down a tree next to boxes 3 and 6, at a time when Bilbo was sleeping in Box 3. I later reviewed the box footage and Bilbo was well aware of the cat; he suddenly started awake, listened intently for a few seconds and then went to look out of the box entrance for a while.

Seemingly Bilbo either scared off the cat or decided it wasn't a threat, because he soon curled up to sleep again. A cat would certainly win a fight with a brushtail, being larger and a specialised carnivore, but would be unlikely to get away unscathed from an encounter with a large brushtail like Bilbo or Sasha. Probably most house cats would prefer to pick on a smaller animal.


  1. Great pics of Sasha, she looks identical to one of the brushtails in my area. I was wondering if you have observed brushtail possums licking lichen from trees? One of 'my' brushtails has been in the ponciana tree every night for the past month licking lichen off the branches. Her ~6 month independent joey has started doing the same thing. They're at it for hours! I can't imagine there is much nutritional value. Perhaps it tastes really good? Or perhaps there is some addictive component to it?

    1. I can't say that I've ever seen Brushtails licking lichen on a tree.

      I have heard of a kangaroo nibbling plaster off a wall due to a calcium deficiency, and it would seem that native animals will seek out unusual foods if they have some dietary deficiency. So it could be something like that, but your guess is as good as mine.