Survival!

It would appear that our “foxy friends” have established themselves quite well in our part of town. We often see one of them taking an imminent meal back somewhere, to either be shared with its family … or perhaps it will be eating alone? There is certainly a noticeable reduction in our squirrel population.

One evening last week, I went out into our back garden and disturbed two foxes. They quickly ran behind our garden shed and, I assumed, would exit through the fence and into the neighbor’s garden, but I had to check. Behind the shed were no foxes, but there was a very dead and very intact squirrel!

Assuming I must have disturbed them just as they were planning dinner, I thought courtesy should dictate that I leave things alone and just return to the house. I made a “mental note” however, that I must check behind the shed the following morning before I let Ray out. The next morning, behind the shed was quite clear. They had presumably returned and taken the squirrel.

A few days ago, it was time to do a quick check of the garden before I let Ray out for his morning “needs”. At the back of the garden, and on a path way (so in full view), was a  tail and a head of a squirrel. One must assume that our garden was, once again, their choice of dining area.

Yesterday, I was helping our neighbor replace his fence. The neighbor had to go to the store, so I carried on with the fence work. A few minutes later, I happened to turn around and there sitting quite happily on the ground, about 15 – 20ft away was a very relaxed fox clearly having a snack.

The fox left about 5 minutes later, and there was some debris on the ground which had to be investigated (my curiousity). There was one wing, and a birds head!

Our neighbors are talking about similar experiences which includes rabbits and small rodents, so it would seem that the “climate” in our area has changed significantly. We have always had isolated sightings of coyotes in the past, and regularly see hawks looking for food, but this large fox family is really changing the dynamics around here. Mother Nature will no doubt resolve things in her own way but, in the meantime, I would not want to be a rodent, or other small creature, living around here!

“Hey …. Colin. What’s with these foxes around here? They’re eating my food!”

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34 thoughts on “Survival!

  1. This was a delightful post–extremely well written and reminded me of a close-up and personal encounter with a possum on our back fence the other morning as I was weeding at 6:30 a.m. And, we live in a subdivision!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think that I would like being the recipient of the “gifts” that these fox leave behind for you…yuck! Although, it is better that you accept the gifts and dispose of them rather than Ray. The hawk doesn’t look pleased at all. I see the occasional Red Fox in the woods behind the yard, but not very often. By the amount of squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits that live here, it seems the fox are not much of a problem to them. Thank-you!

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  3. We have foxes locally and a kestrel has landed on our fence.
    When we had the chickens at the cottage, foxes were deterred by Hubby urinating round the chicken enclosure (done at night so as not to offend Mrs Nosey neighbour) and us putting Maggie’s fur in various places in the wire. It worked, and we never had a problem.
    I remember in our Poole bungalow though witnessing an extremely happy fox racing down the centre of our road with a chicken carcass scavenged from the bins! Sadly mange was rampant down at the wooded end and we had to keep a very watchful eye on Maggie even though we didn’t walk her there.

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  4. Nature ebbs and flows. Sometimes we seem to have a lot of foxes, then we don’t. Right now I’d love a fox. Our chipmunk population looks like a Chinese city! My old cat Jake kept it trimmed down but they are downright jubilant that he’s gone. Not many rabbits this year. We’ve had a lot of hawks but they’ve been swooping on birds.

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  5. Most of us believe in “live and let live”, but having a fox family in the neighborhood could prove to be a real problem. Apparently they are content dining on other small wildlife, but what happens when that food supply peters out? I hope your neighbors are keeping their cats in and keeping their small dogs securely on a leash.

    Kudos to you for checking the garden before you take Ray outside. I just hope a fox doesn’t cop an attitude and decide to show himself to Ray one day wanting to play ‘Catch Me If You Can’! That might be a challenge Ray couldn’t resist!!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

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  6. I am surprised at how relaxed that one fox appeared to be when you were so close. I guess he was just concentrating on his food and as long as you weren’t going to fight him for it, he saw no reason to worry about you.
    I like your picture of the Hawk, and that could very well be what he’s thinking. Impressed that he knows your name. 🙂
    I know that this is the way it goes among wildlife, but it still makes me feel bad for the little creatures. Especially the little bunnies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is almost guaranteed that some people around here are putting food out for the foxes because, while they keep their distance, they are clearly relatively trusting of humans. As for bunnies? Given that they make nests in open grass areas, and given the various predators, it becomes clear why they are prolific breeders. Their infant mortality rate must be very high.

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  7. We have “only” caught one (we transplanted 25 one summer) squirrel in our Hav-a-heart trap this season so our bird feeder has been in need of filling less often. I don’t think our pack of three would tolerate the intrusion of nature’s “rodent population control team” in their yard. Though a bit smaller than a red fox, our feisty pups would be more than a match.

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    • Hi Mike. We had to rethink the bird feeder, due to the messy feeding habits of certain birds. All the debris on the ground was attracting small rodents. The foxes do give Ray lots of space (size can matter!), but he is likely to grab and eat anything they leave behind … which may not be good for his health. Always nice to hear from you, and I hope your books are doing well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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