Cemeteries boast lush landscaping, quiet spaces and a sparse human presence – living humans, at least – making them ideal havens for wildlife to hang out in.
A Red Squirrel strikes a gravely respectful pose amidst the lichen-encrusted tombstones at Oulu Cemetery in Finland. Don't be fooled by the bushy-tailed beastie's calm demeanor: you've got to be a bit squirrelly to hang out in a cemetery. (cemetery wildlife image via Estormiz - Wikimedia)
Gravestones warm up on bright days, offering cold-blooded creatures such as insects a cozy resting place that won't dampen their metabolism. Carole Tyrrell spied this striking Jersey Tiger moth showing off its gorgeous striped upper wings at Brompton Cemetery in London, one of the UK's oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries. (cemetery wildlife image via Shadows Fly Away)
When the wind howls in the depth of a Chicago winter, the coyotes howl back. Indeed, the sight of a coyote in suburban Chi-town – in this case, Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park – isn't as rare as it used to be. They're probably just following the Roadrunners. (cemetery wildlife image via Ann Fisher - Flickr)
If you had to cross a cemetery to get where you want to be, wouldn't you want to cross it as fast as you possibly could? And if you were an animal making that crossing, you'd want to be a Jackrabbit like the long-eared galoot above. Hey, there might be coyotes in that cemetery, amiright? (cemetery wildlife image via Ronnie Pitman - Flickr)
Here There Be Gobblin'
We're guessing most Wild Turkeys would rather give thanks than Thanksgiving, if you know what we mean, and we think you do. This fine feathered friend was snapped while making tracks across Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. (cemetery wildlife image via Kristin "Shoe" Shoemaker - Flickr)
There's not much doe in the cemetery biz and not a lot to fawn over... wait, we take that back. Mark Roeder found some unexpected life at a cemetery in Manchester, Iowa one fine summer day. Thanks to his quick reflexes (and a single lens reflex) we can share in his discovery of two White-Tailed Deer fawns. (cemetery wildlife image via Mark Roeder - Flickr)
A Jungle Crow enjoys a morning meal atop a tombstone in Tokyo's Aoyama Cemetery, as captured by Flickr user Kitty Kono in December of 2013. Why eat breakfast in a cemetery? Just beak cause. (cemetery wildlife image via Kitty Kono - Flickr)
Fox On Blocks
This Red Fox gazes out at the photographer from behind the time-worn and tilted tombstones of a Sutton, England cemetery and why not? The odds of encountering horses and hounds are rather low in such a place. (cemetery wildlife image via Dan Davison)
Who was that masked mammal? Oh, just a Raccoon roaming through Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis County, Missouri. (cemetery wildlife image via Jason Matthews - VOA)
Where Eagles Dare to Dream
This evocative image features a lone Bald Eagle perched atop a gravestone on Hooper's Island, MD. Maybe old warriors just like the company of their kind. (cemetery wildlife image via Chesapeake Bay Program)