Holes in yard

In my back yard there are about 50 or more holes. They are about 1.5 inches in diameter and seem to be between 4 and 6 inches deep. It looks as if they were punched in by a stick as there is no mound of dirt around them. They have been there for several months and I have had several opinions on what they may be. The ground is near the woods and there is a small stream about 50 feet away from them. Some are close to each other but some are about 20 feet from the others.
Photos can be found here:
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmowery28146/Holes /
The shinny object near one of them is a quarter to compair the size.
They are not mole or vole holes as they only go down a few inches and stop.
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Cicadas?
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Motion detector camera - about $50 at Walmart - they work for me.
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Could they be squirrels. I have lots of squirrels in my area, and they did small holes similar to that to bury their 'cache'. I have a big corn stalk right in the middle of my flower garden, the result of a squirrel. (even my Alzheimer memory is better than the squirrels)

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Crayfish burrows.
On Sun, 6 Aug 2006 07:14:25 -0500, "FireBrick"

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dicko said:

There would be evidence of the excavated dirt. The OP stated that wasn't the case.
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I had thought of the crayfish as there is a small stream about 25 feet from the holes, but did not know what one of their holes look like and I have not seen any crayfish around. There are no built up mounds. They look like they were punched in the fround by a pipe or stick. I do live in the middle of North Carolina . I have seen squirrls, rabbits, turtles,frogs, black snakes, but nothing digging or comming out of the holes.
Called the local agurcurtual agent and he mentioned the cicadas or the cicada killers. Have not seen either of those either.
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Ralph Mowery said:

You most likely won't see the cicada, but I'm sure you hear them, daily. Cicada killers have been out in force here, lately. They kill a cicada, bury it, and lay an egg in it, IIRC. I'm sure you'd see the excavated dirt. I'd say it's most likely something (beetles, cicada, etc.) emerging from the ground, rather than digging from above. Perhaps, a little bit of both.
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What about Ibis or Sandhill Cranes? They leave exactly the type of hole you're describing as they look for grubs and worms . . . but I don't know if you have them that far north -- Regards --

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My first thought when seeing this was some neighbor running around in the middle of the night poking a pole into the ground all over the yard just to goof on old Ralph here. Could very well be <grin>. I did start doubting myself when upon closer look I see that around each hole there is _no_ vegetation - every hole for about a half inch. So the clue here is that something removed the vegetation around each hole. What eliminated this vegetation is a key here. Tomes
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

You don't indicate where you live, but if you're in the Midwest USA, it could be voles. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vole
One way to tell is to walk across your lawn...if you're walking on firm lawn and then suddenly sink down a few inches, it's voles.
A local lawn pest service provider can help you get rid of them, if that's what you have, by installing sonar devices (to scare them away from your lawn and into your neighbor's lawn) or traps. I never tried the castor oil solution mentioned in the wikipedia article.
Good luck!
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