Warblers and a gray fox

While birding at Bond Lake at few days ago, I watched in amazement as a gray fox lunged out of the thick vegetation at the bog and darted up a willow tree trunk that was leaning over the bog. The fox was apparently after warblers, finches, chickadees, and titmice that were foraging along the branches of this scrubby willow. The fox was at least 4 foot, maybe 5, off the ground. It remained in the tree for nearly 30 seconds, then scrambled back down it. This attack made a huge impression on the birds and they raised quite a commotion. A magnolia or prairie warbler (I could not tell which) flew out of the tree in a hurry.

Again, the fox lunged into the brambly trunk of another willow, apparently hungry for some bird. But it was not successful in this attack either. However, a few minutes later, I heard the death struggle and squeal of some unfortunate critter, a rabbit I presume.

I saw three common yellowthroats, including one immature male with its unique coloration and pattern around the eye. Sibley Guide has a good diagram of this.

I also saw an immature male Baltimore oriole that was eating poke weed berries in the bramble by the dry creek bed. The bird had very nice reddish-orange coloration on its breast just below the throat. This was my first time sighting this species here at the park.

The American goldfinches are thick in this area. You can find them in the willows, the creek bramble, and deep in the bog itself where the thistles are tall and plentiful. I watched five finches loading down a milkweed nearer to the bog’s edge. The diffuse backlight and the rising fog framed the view in my binoculars. What a treat to behold such natural beauty.

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About birdingatbond

I love birding! And I live near Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary, NC.
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One Response to Warblers and a gray fox

  1. Eddie Owens says:

    According to one mammalogist, birds comprise 10% (by volume) of the gray fox diet. In some areas, 25% of the examined contents of the stomachs of gray foxes were birds. Another mammalogist comments that the gray fox, imported from England for fox hunts, is the most primitive of the canids, with a catlike ability to hug a tree in order to climb it. Its joints actually articulate in such a way to allow this capability.

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