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Red fox, cats, birds

Posted by jessaka 7a (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 30, 12 at 7:03

I was in the house but the doors were opened. I began hearing birds making a lot of racket. At first I thought we just had a noisy flock, like how starlings get together in the fog and make a lot of noise. I went out on the front porch and saw nothing. I went out on the back porch and saw that a cat was after one of the birds. I ran out and chased the feral cat off. I found the bird in a bush and he flew to the post, so he was okay. By the time I had chased the cat off the birds were calming down. I think it was a jay that the cat was after, and a baby one at that.

Well, my first thought was, red fox you can eat this cat. But this is the cat that chased off the fox, which I need done. And now I see the fox daily. I thought that they were nocturnal animals.

How grateful I am for hearing the birds, and next time it happens I will know what is going on.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

Jessaka,

I am glad the birds alerted you and you were able to chase the feral away from the birds.

Feral cats can, do and will chase off wild animals they feel are encroaching on their territory. It is all about survival. They don't want some other animal like a fox getting food they want for themselves. One of the hardest things about taming a feral cat is breaking them of hunting birds, rodents and even squirrels and rabbits. Usually, our once-feral-and-now-tamed cats give up hunting birds, squirrels and rabbits after they get used to eating cat food from a dish, but they tend to keep hunting rodents although they rarely eat them after they kill them. They basically are playing with them and toying with the rodents and when they get tired of the 'play', they kill the rodent and walk away.

Foxes and other nocturnal animals will become more visible in periods of drought when food is scarce. There again, it gets back to survival. If they are not successfully finding enough to eat during the nighttime hours, they will come out more and more in the daylight hours.

At our house, we are seeing deer at all hours of the day. Maybe at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. or noon, or even 2 or 3 p.m. The rabbits are coming out a tiny bit earlier in the evening and staying out a tiny bit later in the mornings, but so far it is not a big shift in their timing yet.

Last year, it got to where the rabbits were out during the day just like the deer are this year, but we're greener this year than last, and the rabbits aren't having to search as hard for food as the deer are. Rabbits graze on grasses and such, but deer browse on woodland understory trees and such. Apparently the understory trees took a big hit last year in the drought because the deer seem really hungry even though at our house we are just about at average rainfall for the year-to-date.

In the year when I had my cougar encounters in the yard, we were in a drought here in our area that had been dragging on for about a year, and even the cougars were out, each time, in daylight hours when you normally would not expect to see them hunting. I suspect they, too, were desperately hungry. That year the bobcats and coyotes also were out at all hours of the day.

Usually, the longer the drought continues and the hungrier the wildlife are, the more you'll see the normally nocturnal animals out in the daylight hours. The hungrier they are, the bolder they'll get. We've had wild raccoons sit on porch furniture and knock at our windows begging for food. We do not feed them, but that's a clear indication that they know we have food, and they want it, isn't it?

Dawn


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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

Dawn that is a great image of racoons.


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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

I was so amused when it happened but I knew better than to feed them. Once it was fairly young raccoons and so I thought I'd open the door and scare them off. It kinda worked. We have a Victorian-style wrap-around covered porch, and those scared little racoons climbed right up the porch pillars and held on for dear life. Even after I came back inside, they stayed at the top of those porch pillars forever.

When we first moved here, I loved seeing the little bandits hanging around. At that time, I had no idea that would kill kittens, chickens of all ages and would eat literally every ear of corn our plants produced. Any coon foolish enough to show itself around the house or garden now usually finds itself on the wrong end of a flying piece of lead. It sounds cruel, but if you don't control them, they cause you tremendous problems. My friend's brother once trapped and destroyed 18 in 18 nights, one per night in his trap. They still got every single ear of corn from his large corn planting.


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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

When I am walking in my yard and Puffy follows the birds always make a racket. I think there is a good chance the cat wouldn't have got the bird even if you hadn't intervened unless it was a fledgling. I'll bet that wild cat gets lots of rodents and even small snakes. I hope the fox is not a threat to your cats. I think it would be interesting to see it if it stays at a distance.


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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

Jessica, having been to your house, I am so surprised that you have a fox. Even with a grown up lot next door, you are well within the city limits. We very rarely see foxes out here in the country--or coyotes, although we hear them more than see them.


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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

I live in a small lake neighborhood and the houses are close together. We have some open area across the road and several areas of untouched native timber around. We see red fox a lot and they come down the streets of our neighborhood frequently. I think they live in the wooded area now, but at least four of them were born under a storage building at a vacant house near mine. The house was fenced and several of us in the neighborhood would stand at the fence and watch the little ones play and that was during the day. The house sold and the fox moved into the woods. The guys in the neighborhood that fish, said at one time a mother had her babies down near the water in a small hallowed out place in the bluff. The land drops quickly to the water in one area. I have left food out for them before, but now we have so many dogs running loose, that it would be gone before the fox found it. They are very hard to see unless you are driving and the car lights shine on them. They don't seem to be bothered by the dogs and will come right in where they are.

We see deer all around us but for 11 years I didn't see one in the neighborhood. This week my dog jumped out of the car and ran off so just before midnight I drove around looking for him and spooked a deer that was in the front yard of a house on the other end of the neighborhood, so they must be getting hungry.

I have a few hens and have been running water on the ground for them for a month or more. They stand in it and after it dries up a little they will sit on the ground. Today, I put a fan out there, but they don't like it and I haven't seen one in front of it, but I was too late for one. Although they are in the shade, this is just too much heat for anything.


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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

dorothy, i wouldn't think a fox would be here either. i know another woman who lives on the edge of town that has a fox as well.

so it is the drought. maybe i need to put some cat food out for him so he will leave the critters alone. we probably have enough out already. the cats don't eat it all at night, and it is gone in the morning. groundhogs used to eat it but not sure what they are doing. I hear one in the woods in the early morning screaming at some other animal, and it seems to do this almost every morning.

I think the fox knows where we put the cat food because he jumped on the stump (where we put the food) the other day.

The bird was floundering around the cat, and it looked like that cat once had ahold of him. My DH insisted it was dead, that the cat had broken its wing. I am glad I didn't listen to him. It looked like a fledging since it only had some blue on it and the rest brown.

I expect if I don't feed the fox it will do as Dawn's racoons do, knock on my door. Only we have a dog door. I can see it all now.


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RE: Red fox, cats, birds

I have a fox story for you, Jessaka. My older brother lives in a nice brick house type neighborhood in Fort Worth that probably was built in the early 1970s, so it has been an occupied area for a long time and everyone has beautiful, manicured landscapes so there's not a lot of 'wildness' there if you know what I mean. They have the kinds of mailboxes that are attached to the exterior wall of your house near the front door. One day in about the mid-1990s, he opened up the closed mailbox to get the mail, and there was a fox sleeping in the mailbox along with his mail. We never figured out how the fox got into the mailbox to begin with. You wouldn't think the fox would be present in such an old, well-established neighborhood, but there it was.

We used to have a dog door in the door that goes outside from the laundry room, and closed it up permanently a couple of years ago by screwing in sheet metal to fill it in. As you might guess, anything that wants to come in through the dog door can do so. Ours had a plastic panel that you could slip into place so nothing could come in at night.

Our great hunting cat, Moose, used to come through that dog door constantly bringing us live baby rabbits he apparently wanted to adopt. That was the beginning of the end of the dog door because he also brought in dead birds and voles. He was more of a hunter than I wanted him to be.


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