Wednesday, May 4, 2011
An Alarm of Crows
Last night, at dusk, I heard crows cawing outside. I've had some experience listening to crows. They have a distinctive caw when they are raising an alarm. Usually, they are busy harassing a hawk. Being the raptor-phile that I am, I started glancing out windows, looking to the sky and trees.
I spotted one crow directly behind my house, perched in a maple tree. I couldn't see any hawk. The crow flew off, over the roof, and headed to the front yard. I followed from the kitchen to the living room and gazed out the picture window, still searching for a hawk.
Then I saw what the crows saw. I should have been looking down.
I just caught a glimpse of the red fox as it leapt over a stone wall into my neighbor's yard. I also spotted a white flash dashing. I assume it was a rabbit, but it all happened so fast it might have been the white tip of the tail of a second fox. Entirely unsure on that point.
If you've friended me on Facebook, this won't come as a surprise. Just two nights ago I overheard neighbors talking about hearing a fishercat, and it turns out foxes and fishercats sound similar when making their loud cries. I was suspecting a fox, I've had them traipse through the yard before. But with our healthy population of rodentia this year, I wonder if this fox will stick around. He has plenty to dine upon - chipmunks, red squirrels, gray squirrels, black squirrels, rabbits and we just spotted the woodchuck again over the weekend.
I'm fine with that, it's neat. Only slight concern is for my kids & wife outside playing. Rabid foxes, it seems for some reason, have no fear and attack people. I have no reason to believe this fox is unhealthy, but we'll be vigilant.