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Buoyed by the bear that came out on the trail cam this week, I set out a fresh bait of sardines.

And I got a gray fox on the camera last night.

wv gray fox I

wv gray fox ii

wv gray fox

Gray foxes are actually the last survivors of a lineage of North American dogs that diverged from the rest of the dog family 9 to 10 million years ago.

They aren’t really “foxes” in the same way red foxes, arctic foxes, and swift foxes are.

The gray fox, which I think should just be called Urocyon (their genus name, which means “tailed dog,” a very apt name!), are ecologically like the European wildcat. They live on small mammals, birds, and reptiles, and unlike other dogs, readily to take to the trees to forage for food and avoid predators.

Finding a gray fox here means that I probably won’t be getting any red foxes on the camera. Gray foxes dominate reds, and coyotes eat them. With coyotes and gray foxes in the same area, my guess is that no red fox could live here without constant persecution.

 

Just a raccoon out frogging:

raccoon out frogging

raccoon out frogging ii

And this little creature:

black bear

black bear II

wv black bear

All this week.

Turkey vultures:

turkey vultures

turkey vulture ii

turkey vulture III

A few deer:

deer i trail cam

deer II trail cam

A wild turkey hen:

turkey trail cam

And a golden coyote:

golden coyote

Make sure you have the volume on your speakers turned up on high!

My guess is that if the dogs are North American, they will know this sound already.

The mallard family

Phil’s family is growing up rapidly.  I think all four ducklings are drakes now, which means we could have some interesting dominance contests coming up.

IMG_9572

Good luck picking out Phil in this photo! He’s in total eclipse, and two of his sons are bigger than he is. Their mother is the big duck in the middle. I am beginning to think she is a wild mallard/Rouen cross, just because of her great size.

IMG_9569

IMG_9604

This one will be a classic greenhead. I almost guarantee it.

IMG_9608

This one is very dark, so it’s difficult to see what color this one will mature into.

IMG_9607

I don’t want to count my eggs before they’ve hatched. Especially with this duck, who has had four nest failures this summer.

But she’s currently brooding 11 eggs. Maybe there will be hen ducklings in that clutch!

IMG_9564

 

Who is the daddy?

Source.

My guess is a European polecat that mated with the ferret.

I don’t know about the extra toes bit.

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