Fun Friendly Foxes, a Meat Munching Mink, and Beautiful Birds - UPDATE November 28, 2018

The friendly pair of foxes jumped up on the railing to eat sunflower seeds together. Blue jayBlue jayOne checked out the suet and might have taken a bite, but suet was the main menu item for the gray jay that is starting to come for food to stash. Pine grosbeaks have made it down here to the southern edge of their winter range now. A blue jay posed to show off its colors in comparison with the gray jay.

The female mink grabbed a piece of bologna and showed me how she bites it to carry it. This was the first that I noticed her right eye might be missing. I’ll look for that about her in the future. Early this morning, a gray fox showed how it eats bologna, using its sharp carnassial teeth like a scissors to slice off pieces small enough to swallow. The carnassial teeth are the fourth upper premolar and the first lower molar. Both teeth have a sharp ridge for shearing meat. Carnivores have these. They don’t chew the bologna. It was so different to see how gray foxes and mink manage bologna compared with herring gulls that somehow draw it deep into the beak with the tongue and swallow it whole. Bears are in the order Carnivora but have blunt bunodont teeth for crushing nuts and berries.

Gray foxesGray foxes Pine grosbeakPine grosbeak Gray jayGray jay


Fox slicing bolognaFox slicing bologna Female minkFemale mink Female minkFemale mink

Always action out the window.

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