Night Pics, Foxes, Deer - UPDATE February 12, 2018

For night-owl, nature-lover Peggy Stubbs, the volunteer assistant bookkeeper, prime time starts when I go home in the evening. Red fox - by Peggy StubbsRed fox - by Peggy StubbsHer bedtime is about 2 AM. Through the wee hours, she jumps from window to window to follow the foxes that scour the yard by the light of the yard lights. Some of the gray foxes are used to her. Last year they raised pups here under the porch. The red fox is a newcomer and still skittish. She caught it on camera anyway. She doesn’t know cameras, but the new cameras are automatic enough that she caught some nice shots, holding the camera steady and trying to catch a moment when the fox was still enough to be more than a blur. The red fox pictures make a nice comparison with the usual gray foxes we see. She looked up when we saw the last red fox before this one—October 25, 2014 at 11 PM, weighing 19 pounds on the scale. The opportunity to see bears and other wildlife is what made her willing to drive 1,600 miles round-trip each month to clean, crunch numbers, put out food and scoop poop for a week or two most months.

Gray fox - by Peggy StubbsGray fox - by Peggy StubbsThere was a nice article in the Timberjay Newspaper February 2 about the expansion of gray foxes to this area from their former range over a hundred miles away. I’m not sure it’s easy to access online though, unless you have an account with the Timberjay. Here is the link: http://timberjay.com/stories/gray-foxes-move-north,13896.  If someone does figure it out, maybe let others know.

Peggy also was the main one watching Quill nightly a couple years ago and documented Quill’s return the next May.

Red fox - by Peggy StubbsRed fox - by Peggy StubbsWatching wildlife is also part of the Black Bear Field Courses here in July and August. Participants often stay up late watching bears and other animals, including owls and the occasional wolf. They see bears emerge from the darkness and interact closely just outside the windows. I got a nice call today from a lady in Austria. She is signed up for the first course in July and can hardly wait. I’m looking forward to the fun of meeting everyone—some new, some friends from past courses.

Deer at the WRIDeer at the WRIAs a deer family cleaned up the last of the corn that was out today, a latecomer hurried by the family with a raised tail, seeing that two of the family members had their ears back and the doe had a tense look. The latecomer could tell she was not welcome and she wanted to get past before the doe struck out with her hooves.

At the Bear Center today, the big talk was the changes that will be made in the Cub Room after two years of Lily Fans donating to make it possible. It will be a race to get it done before we open in spring.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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