Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday April 2018

It's the first Wednesday of April and that means Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says....".  Wow, do I have some cool stuff from the past month of March!  Even though we've continued our cool, cloudy weather longer than usual things are picking up.

I looked out the window one morning last week and spotted this Gray Fox climbing our tree next to the deck.  I had heard they climbed trees but imagined them walking on horizontal low branches common to our native live oaks.  Not so.  This Fox flattened against the tree and then climbed straight up the trunk like a squirrel or cat.  Unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to get photos of the climbing action.  This is 20ft (6m) up!


Searching for bird eggs or squirrels.


Jumping down to the lower branch.  So much fun to watch!


Gray Foxes are native to North and Central America and the only canid whose range spans both.  They have hooked claws which allows them to climb trees.  Getting down is a little more challenging.



All of the above photos were taken through the window.  Now back down on the ground, it joined its mate.  Wouldn't it be fun to find their den and see the kits?


The woodpile is always popular with so many places for tasty meals to hide.


Just before turning to walk away one flashed us a grin.  Seems they enjoyed their visit as much as we did.


Hummingbirds are also back and I'm keeping the feeder filled since most of their favorite flowers are yet to bloom.  I staked out the feeder on a windy afternoon and caught this GIF.  It's easy to know when to start the camera since they literally hum their approach.  Sometimes they first appear sitting above to make sure all is clear.  Catching them on a real flower is much more challenging.  Didn't see any red so this must be a Black-Chinned hummingbird.



Green Anoles have returned to the garden as the weather warms up.  Anoles have the endearing habit of claiming a specific plant as their territory and climbing to the top to await moths and other insects.  I heard one snap at a moth one day and it was quite audible.  It's unclear how this muhly grass is working out since it's not as sturdy as their usual agave perches.  Perhaps the agaves were all taken.  Depending on their perch anoles turn a color range from bright green to brown.  The change occurs quickly and is fun to watch.  This one is just a few shades short of bright green.


Meet "Mr. Buttons" who has been hanging out by the brush pile waiting for cuttings of Ruellia and other tasty plants.  Deer shed antlers in winter after mating season and before fawns arrive.  Buttons show new antlers are emerging.  They're also kicked out of the herd about the same time so he's on his own waiting for food delivery.  I rattle the gate when tossing deer edibles and he will walk over to inspect.


Yummy!

That's the wildlife report for the past month.  You can find more wildlife posts in the comments section at "My Gardener Says...".


13 comments:

  1. Wow! I never realized that foxes climbed. You should send these in to Steve Brown at KSAT for his "Critter Cam" on the 10PM weather cast.

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    1. I knew they could climb but it was quite surprising to see one climb like a cat. I love "Critter Cam" and wonder if it will continue when Steve retires in a few weeks.

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  2. That must have been something to see a fox climb a tree. I'm impressed too that you were able to get pictures too! They are such beautiful animals.

    We have green anoles here too and I enjoy seeing them run up and down the porch railing in really hot weather, puffing out their throats and bobbing up and down.

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    1. The fox was literally right outside the kitchen window which made it easy. As you can see they are not as afraid of people as they should be. I look forward to having lizards back in the garden as we warm up.

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  3. Great set of shots of that climbing fox! I knew they could climb, but I've never seen it, so thanks for that. Glad you have hummers; I typically don't see many until summer, but I'll keep a look-out. Glad you're anoles are back--I just love to have them around, though I'm not sorry I don't have deer. :)

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    1. The hummers usually let me know they're around by flying right up to the house!

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  4. What great catches! The fox photos are fantastic and, even going down the tree, he reminds me of a cat. No foxes here but, unfortunately, the bunnies have moved in - and we caught a coyote stealing our newspaper on our security cameras.

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    1. The least that coyote could do is take care of your bunny problem in exchange for the paper!

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  5. Wow, great fox photos!! They are the coolest animals, after horses of course. I once had a mamma fox raise 7 kits under my home office. I heard them mewing for a few weeks before I saw them playing on the porch. The poor mamma looked like a gutted shoestring as she lay there trying to rest. One tiny male went around peeing on everything, including his mom and siblings. I just wanted to catch them all and keep them as pets. I had seen her in the trees a few times the previous year.
    Great photos, thanks!

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    1. Hi Paula, if this is a hint that I need to visit you and Gilbriar Farm soon it's working! A trip to the country is on the list.

      I'll take a few hikes in the woods to see if I spot the kits.

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  6. Wow, that's amazing! What fun to have foxes in the yard!

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  7. Wow, what an awesome experience of seeing those gray foxes so close and even watch one climbing a tree! I never knew they could do that! The foxes have a lovely face, they look such sweet gentle creatures.

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  8. The fox photos are just amazing...I had NO idea they could climb like that! Our hummers came back this week and it's been so much fun to watch them. I finally got a positive ID on my mystery flower too and posted it today! Hugs!

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