Monday, November 30, 2009

Surprise Garden Visitor

Desert Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)




Late this afternoon I stepped outside to check on my roses, and much to my surprise, this creature was standing under a Palo Verde tree staring at me! It startled me--I didn't know what it was, and I stared right back. This stare-down went on several minutes, and since the animal didn't move, I went in the house to get my camera, hoping to catch a couple of photos before it bolted. I needn't have worried--it was still in the same spot, motionless and staring at me. I snapped about 20 photos, getting closer and closer with each one. Then, I began to wonder if this stare-down was normal, and thought maybe it was a rabid fox, so I retreated into the house to watch it from a window. It hung around for about 10 minutes, then sauntered away, jumping the perimeter wall.
From looking at photos on the Internet,

I determined this is a Desert Grey Fox--and it's the first fox I've ever seen! This fox is a member of the dog family and it can climb trees, where it rests, hides or searches for a bird meal. These foxes are basically nocturnal, but they do come out during the day if they want to explore.


About this time of year, fox families separate after the mother stops nursing the young. Grey foxes are usually solitary during the winter. I'm not sure of the sex of this fox, but I think the coloring is quite attractive.
forage for small mammals, bird eggs, insects, birds, fruits, or berries.

10 comments:

Chris said...

That is awesome! I am so jealous. I'm in the middle of Chandler so the most wildlife I see is an occasional hawk or two.

Julie said...

Hi Aiyana!!!!!!!!!!

What a gorgeous creature! The face markings (and tail) are very pretty! I can't believe you weren't more afraid as you were taking pictures! He certainly was cooperative!!! WOW! Neat info you found online too! I wish he/she might become sort of a regular visitor! (If he would not cause any problems).

Pam/Digging said...

Lucky you to spot this beautiful creature and get such good photos. But it does seem odd that it wasn't more frightened of you.

Lythrum said...

Nice pictures. :) I've done the same thing...taken pictures progressively as I have crept closer. Good capture! You've had quite the menagerie lately. :)

Darin said...

I didn't even know we had foxes in the desert, I thought we only had coyotes. thats a beautiful animal!

Claude said...

completely and totally cool, great shot! I've never seen one of these, the most I've seen are red foxes and they're so skittish you have no chance of catching one of them...

Jenn said...

Fantastic photos! Juvenile animals often offer close(r) encounters. They haven't fully formed their fear of humans and therefore are quite curious.

verobirdie said...

What a beautiful encounter! I hope it is not rabbid and will live a long life, it is such a beauty.

Dee said...

Oh how wonderful to get to see this, and not have it run away! The picture is great- I've never seen one of these!

Andrea said...

interesting and very informative blog. I have to look at your archives because i must see most of them. thanks.