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Desk, Birds, and Fox - UPDATE February 5, 2019

It was actually a dreary day at the desk, but birds stopped by a bit, so it was a good day. Sharp shinned hawkSharp-shinned hawkThe day started with my only sighting ever of a sharp-tailed hawk in winter here. I couldn’t miss it because it flew right by the window when it was almost too dark to take a picture, and then it took off from where it landed and I almost missed proof of the sighting.

It was kind of cold (-9°F), and after the snow yesterday the birds were back to seeming desperate. Even the nice chickadees were arguing. ChickadeesChickadeesI’m not sure what they were saying because I can’t really read chickadee minds, but I’d guess the chickadee on the left is saying “Don’t eat that seed. I want it.” And the one on the right is hanging its head and saying “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have even thought about it.”

Then, as it got brighter, a blue jay stopped by and showed me its bit of frost and said, “See? It’s not even 9 AM and I’ve lost almost all my frost already. The only part left is a little behind my eye.” So I clicked.ChickadeeChickadee

In writing about the nice gray fox, I hate to call it an “it,” but I can’t really tell if it is a male or a female. But I’m going to start calling it a male because it touched noses nicely with another gray fox and then went after one that was watching. It’s mating season, and that behavior seems more masculine, I think, so we’ll go with that until I know.

Blue jayBlue jayTwo foxes come up on the second floor deck. One runs frantically down the steps and up the driveway at the slightest glimpse of me. The other comes to the door window and puts his nose to it if I hold a piece of bologna near it for him to see. When I open the door, he usually runs off to the side 4 or 5 feet and then comes right back when I hold the door still. I think it’s because the reflection in the window moves so much when I open it. When I hold the door still, he doesn’t mind the reflection.

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

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