It’s a Grey Fox… not a Red

I’m not venturing out to garden, weed, or prune in our new frozen tundra this winter. The only outdoor activity I’m fully engaged in so far is feeding the songbirds. We have no trees near this house so instead of hanging feeders from limbs as I did in Virginia, I discovered a great Advanced Pole System at Wild Birds Unlimited to bring the birds closer.

The pole with attached auger is simply twisted into the ground about 24″ and additional poles are snapped onto this pole. The top of the pole is where you can get fancy or stay simple. This is what you could do:

I chose to stay simple with one squirrel baffle tube feeder until I saw how many birds would be tempted to dine with us. The small chickadee was the first to discover the feeder, followed by the tufted titmouse, hairy woodpecker, goldfinches, nuthatches, and the ground feeders, the juncos and other sparrows.

I’ve had the system for one week and the food is disappearing fast. Now I’m waiting for those birds I rarely or never see in the south, like the redpolls, the grosbeaks, the crossbills. I’m gearing up the the Great Backyard Bird Count of 2012 on February 17-20. I’ll count the birds around the feeder and the birds I see in the distance or simply flying over. With an extensive salt marsh vista, hawks are numerous, busy scouting for food over the grasses, gulls soar from the nearby rivers, and noisy Canada geese fill the skies.

With the noise at the feeder today, we attracted a new visitor.  What I thought was a Red Fox is really a Grey Fox. I’m sure his acute hearing alerted this visitor to see what all the ruckus was in his neighborhood. He stood very still on a sunny hillside where the snow has melted and just observed the bird activity at the feeder. After a moment, he turned tail and quietly disappeared over the hill into the white pines. There were no dining opportunities at our feeder on open ground.

Grey Fox

However…. should the fox be interested, there is a meal or two available if he is patient and quick. You see, not only the birds have found the feeder. We have one or two uninvited guest who are eating more than their fair share of my costly bird food. And, boy, are they FAT.

7 thoughts on “It’s a Grey Fox… not a Red

  1. I also have one of those tall squirrel proof feeders and I also have one squirrel that leaps 12 ft through the air to land on one of the swinging feeders! It took many trys before he got the distance just right but, in spite of an increasing limp, he refused to give up. Needless to say he has earned his reward and I will allow him to stay!

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  2. First of all, I think this is a grey fox. Secondly, once a squirrel learns to jump 12 feet he must be eliminated, as those genes will pass along, so soon they all will be able to accomplish this unwanted behavior. Well, must go saddle up…..tally ho!

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    • Uh-oh, I must tell mister gardener that his ID was incorrect. I guess you can tell by the tip of the tail, right? This tip looks black so it must be a grey fox. My bad that I didn’t double check. I corrected the blog.

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