Wildlife on the Campus of Notre Dame de Namur University

Deer eat the windfall from fruit trees on campus

The first sight you see when you arrive on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) is often a family of deer grazing, complete with fawns. One spot the deer gravitate to is the area in front of New Hall student residence, where there are apricot, plum, and pear trees. When the fruit is on the branches, the deer come to eat the windfall off the ground. “They also like the cherries that grow by the student apartments,” remarked Chris Komahrens, NDNU’s director of facilities. Probably these tame deer find NDNU a congenial place because just up the hill from the classrooms and residential buildings there is a large natural area with plenty of secluded places.

Acorn woodpeckers on NDNU campus. Photo by Jennifer Rycenga, Sequoia Audubon Society

In addition to deer, there are multitudes of birds at NDNU. On a recent birding walk around campus  guided by volunteers from the Sequoia Audubon Society, twenty-three different bird species were spotted in a short time. The sightings included a red-tailed hawk, Anna’s hummingbird, a black phoebe, and an acorn woodpecker.

Red-shouldered hawk on campus. Photo by Jennifer Rycenga, Sequoia Audubon Society

Some of the birds feed on the campus’s population of salamanders and alligator lizards (tiny reptiles that look like miniature alligators, only a few inches long).

Other species on campus include three different types of squirrels, among them a rather rare black squirrel. The nature area of campus also has a nocturnal population of coyotes and raccoons who avoid human contact. Spotting one is an unusual event, unlike sighting of the deer, who often play and scamper up and down the hills of NDNU.

For more information on applying to Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU), please visit the admissions page.

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