Foxes Feathered and Furry
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During this Thanksgiving weekend, I am thankful for many things. On the list are wildlife that provides joy and wonder, including two different types of foxes – one fully-feathered Fox Sparrow, and a furry Red Fox with bushy tail and coat!
Fox Sparrows, a winter migrant in southeastern PA, have arrived over the past week. Two are enjoying our backyard, spending most of their time searching for insects and millet seeds that I scatter daily. Fox Sparrow is a big, chunky sparrow, noticeably larger than the White-throated and Song Sparrows that it often associates with. They forage by double-scratching – hopping forwards and backwards in leaf-litter along the hedgerow blending well amongst rusty brown autumn leaves. Fox Sparrows have a lovely sweet rich song that can be heard sounding through woodlands during the winter.
Red Fox is one of my favorite mammals, and I’m delighted that at least one pair – possibly two – are thriving in my local cemetery. They reside amongst the quiet gravestones and surrounding shrubs, finding plenty of rodents and insects to eat. They occasionally pass through my backyard, likely attracted by bird feeder activity. Foxes are remarkably well adapted to urban areas, and it’s always a treat to see these beautiful animals passing by.