Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday October 2015: Foxes, Ringtail Cats plus the Owl Returns

Since the garden has been basically dormant for months it's nice to have Wildlife Wednesday provide a good reason for posts from the garden.  With only few blooms to offer I think the butterflies are passing me by on their southward migration so we'll focus on some larger subjects.  Foxes are back after a long stretch of no sightings.  The water bowl we keep out near the creek is becoming more popular as the weeks without rain add up.  I'm joining Tina at "My Gardener Says..." in posting on wildlife visitors to the garden.

This photo was through the back door glass so as not to scare off Mr Fox.


Common around Texas, Gray Foxes prefer woodland areas like our dry creek.  Gray Foxes are omnivorous and will eat cactus fruits and berries in addition to small animals.  They can even climb trees which helps them keep away from their predator the Coyote.  I went outside to take more pictures (after allowing a long drink) and he departed, but since foxes are very curious animals they usually give a look back at people while leaving.  One last smile for the camera.


We check the wildlife camera on a daily basis and discovered a fox "leaving his mark".
Ewwww, I wonder if the next visitors got the message.

video

It's fun to now see our wildlife visitors in action.  Here's a very thirsty fox from last night.  Good thing we change that water often!

video

We hadn't seen Ringtail Cats prior to installing the camera.  Sometimes considered rare, these relatives of the Raccoon are actually fairly common it's just that they are only out around 2AM or so.

video

The Barred Owl which we spotted almost daily earlier in the summer has been sighted several times in the last few weeks.  This is from last week sitting on top of the back gate after a bath.  Just look at that head turn!


Cutest owl expression ever?


...but it was because a Blue Jay flew by.  Smaller birds often harass the owl.


Here's the bath from the wildlife camera view.


video


Time to clean that beak.  First one side.


Then the other


Don't forget the top!


And now for the finale, cleaning that tip.


A few weeks ago we heard a noise and found an odd imprint on the back door glass.  An investigation turned up this incident.  The glass apparently reflected the trees and looked like an opening.  This used to happen with our clerestory windows until we added sunshades.  No owls were harmed in the making of this video and the owl has appeared unhurt many times since including in the photos above.

video



That's a wrap up of wildlife highlights from the past month.  To see more wildlife in all our gardens visit "My gardener says..."

13 comments:

  1. What an exciting post Shirley, the footage and photographs are brilliant, I would love a remote wildlife camera here, it must be quite thrilling to look through and find your visitors. And to see them in real time too, your fox is quite beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We enjoy checking out the video each day even when there's not much of interest. The cameras are fun and quite easy to set up.

      Delete
  2. Oh, that is so cool! I just have extremely destructive raccoons. What kind of wildlife camera do you have? I'm thinking of buying something. Your video quality is great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The camera is part of a video security system (not specifically a "wildlife camera") placed near the water trough. It trips on motion and feeds to a DVR. We also have a wildlife camera which takes photos and video but we find this method easier. You can use either.

      Delete
  3. You always out-do yourself, Shirley!! Love the fox--we had a band of them for a couple of years. I never got photos, but what a treat it was to see them in the 'hood. And the ringtail: they are common, but so elusive. My husband grew up in Austin and saw them all the time as a kid. Great video. Your owl is darling. The Blue Jays are obnoxious with their harassment of owls, but of course, it's in their long-term interest to be so, I guess.

    Thanks so much for your participation--fabulous post, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your nighttime garden is a busy place! That video system is worth the investment. If I thought it would show more than an endless parade of raccoons and skunks, I'd get one here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A great post. Thanks. Loved seeing all the shenanigans of your wildlife. I've never seen a ringtail cat and you have a family of them. We have three game cameras on our place. We just have it set for a series of still shots and view them every Sunday. It's my DH's thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's fun to see what shows up at night. We had no idea there were ringtail cats out there before the camera was set up.

      Delete
  6. What an amazing post (as we've come to expect!). You've really upped the ante with your wildlife videos. I used to see foxes but never spotted a ringtail before. And your ongoing chronicling of the owl antics - absolutely adorable as well as demonstrating very important behaviors. Somebody should alert your local schoolteachers as to the resource you are establishing with these video clips. It is one thing to read about animal behaviors but to get to see video of them right in your own area? Priceless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are so cute, especially the ringtail cats with their pushing and shoving. I'm glad we don't have to sit up all night waiting to see something.

      Delete
  7. Wow, great set of wildlife photos! The ringtails..wow! That's awesome. :) I've only seen roadkill before out west of Fredericksburg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are just very hard to spot so it was fascinating to see them.

      Delete
  8. You get the best wildlife photos ever!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by. To comment simply open the Name/URL option, put in your name or initials and skip the URL.