Monday, February 15, 2010

Fox Scat

Base of birdfeeder
Something unusual happened in the garden last week. I thought it was interesting, so I've decided to share it with you here---not for the "gross out" factor, but because I enjoy observing and learning from the animals that choose to visit my garden. Read on if you wish...

I was sitting at my desk early one morning - it was still fairly dark outside - when I noticed a
red fox trotting through the neighborhood, which is fairly common. But then he came right up to the bird feeder, not 10 feet from my window, and pooped. I'd never observed a fox do that! He was probably marking his territory, and since foxes do eat small mammals and birds, that spot was likely a good choice. Afterwords, he headed off down the block to continue his predawn circuit.

Call me crazy, but I was very curious to see what that scat looked like. Very cat-like scat, in my opinion. Now that I know what to look for, I'll be able to use it as a clue to the foxes' activity in my gardens once the snow - and their tracks - are gone.
Fox scat photo (30 hour delay)

6 comments:

susan morrison said...

The whole idea of foxes wandering through your garden makes me realize what a sheltered, suburban life I lead here in Northern California. Nothing much more exciting than an opossum or squirrel is likely to make an appearance in my back yard - although the occasional red tailed hawk drops by hoping for a little bird feeder buffet.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Hey, that all sounds pre4tty exciting to me, Susan! I don't think I've even seen an opossum before. Just a few miles west of me is where the real action starts; deer and mountain lions and black bears--oh, my.

gardeningAngel said...

We have lots of foxes in our neighborhood, and they are in the yard frequently. For a while, they would even come up on the side deck to try for a drink out of the dog bowl, and they sometimes mark their territory by peeing on our front door. Not a pleasant clean up task for me! I have a post with a video if you want to see them in the backyard:

http://gardeningfornature.blogspot.com/2009/11/fox-vole-and-garden.html

Kathy

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Thanks for the video, Kathy, foxes are so fun to watch. We were absolutely thrilled to see a black fox in our yard back in early December. No more sightings of that beautiful fellow, but I keep watching for him...

Jean S. said...

HI... pretty sure I have a fox using my garden box as his personal potty! We have at least 1-2 foxes in our suburban neighborhood in Raleigh NC(we back up to dedicated greenway)..Ideas on how to deter other than putting up some chicken wire? I don't think I experienced this last year.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

You might try coyote urine as a deterrent. Look for it where hunting supplies are sold.