Skip to main content

Welcome! Be sure to visit the NABC website as well.

Fox vs Fisher and a Confession - UPDATE January 19, 2024

Red Fox

Last night, "Eyes of the Night" caught a picture of the good fox about 11:25 PM as it looked into the darkness. Tonight at 6 PM it was big action with him as he came for big food and showed who is the boss of the second floor deck. It started this evening with "Eyes" calling "Come foxy, loxy, doxy; Come fox." Red fox w/ham fatRed fox w/ham fatWithin a minute he was running out of the woods and up the steps to the second floor deck. To his and our surprise, the female fisher had just come up a tree but had not yet come into our sight. He saw her, though, and immediately tore after her as she ran back to the tree to quickly descend. Red foxes can’t climb trees, so she had an easy escape. But with the temperature nine degrees below zero F, she wanted some of the calorie-rich ham fat to burn through the night. Whatever she was thinking, she wasn’t done. She knows what we put on the second floor deck, so after the fox carried the biggest piece down the steps and off into the woods, she was quickly back selecting the next biggest piece to grab and go. Shortly she was back, grabbing another piece as the fox arrived and went after her again. Fisher femaleFisher femaleCarrying it in her mouth, she made it to the tree and down to safety. I don’t know if that was enough fat for her or enough of being chased, but she didn’t return. The fox, however, made trip after trip burying good calories off in one direction and another until he called it a day (or night) with more still available on the deck. I was going to say we’ll see if any is left in the morning, but at this very minute (9:34 PM) the fox came back and is back to work carrying and burying. We’ll see if he takes it all this time.

I hadn’t known what would happen if the fox and fisher met. I was surprised at the fox’s confidence in going after her without hesitation, considering the fisher’s reputation. It might be different, though, if he meets the big male fisher.

Common Redpoll maleCommon Redpoll male

On a more peaceful note, the first Common Redpoll I’ve seen this winter appeared briefly yesterday. This lone, beautiful male landed in the perfect spot where my camera is aimed and ready. He looked at me and posed nicely in the sun as I reached for the button but flew the moment it clicked. Redpolls are among the tamer birds as is most common for birds of the boreal forest, and I’ve had many land on me at once, but it seemed to be the camera click that made him fly.

The confession is that the wolf in the update of January 15 is a coyote. He or she was back today offering a better look at its size, tracks, and the shape of its ears and muzzle. What they told me is that I have a correction to make. (we corrected the update)

Thank you for all you do,
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

Share this update: