Jan 17 2008

Red Fox, Fox Squirrel

Published by at 12:39 pm under Mammals

Red Fox (photo by Chuck Tague)Not a bird story, but interesting anyway. 

Last Saturday my husband and I visited Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh's east end and walked around the part of the cemetery that borders Frick Park.  I came around the edge of a building - a mausoleum, actually - and suddenly saw a red fox carrying a dead fox squirrel in his mouth.   Fox squirrels are larger than gray squirrels and have fox-colored reddish coats.

I called softly to my husband to come see the fox but it heard my voice and immediately disappeared into Frick Park's brush and trees.

After I posted my sighting on PABIRDS, Candy Gonzalez from Lawrence County replied that squirrels seem to make up a large part of the fox's diet.  As she wrote, "Once they are seen in a residential neighborhood, it seems they stay for a year or two until there are virtually no squirrels left. ...  They seem to raise a couple litters, feed them with the squirrels, and then move on to someone else's neighborhood."

Nature's way of balancing the number of squirrels at our bird feeders.

(This photo by Chuck Tague is not the fox I saw.)

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Red Fox, Fox Squirrel”

  1. Libby Strizzion 18 Jan 2008 at 8:37 am

    a question for you — how do the foxes catch the squirrels? Can they climb trees? or are they just super fast on the ground?

  2. Kate StJon 18 Jan 2008 at 9:07 am

    Foxes hunt the way cats do. They wait and pounce. They must be really good at it to be able to catch a squirrel.  But then, I might be overestimating a squirrel’s ability to get away quickly.

  3. angelon 05 Mar 2008 at 9:26 am

    I have seen the same fox in Frick park twice over the last year or so, very elusive but very cool!

  4. coryon 03 Sep 2008 at 10:30 pm

    has anyone seen the fox recently?

  5. Kate St. Johnon 08 Sep 2008 at 11:01 am

    I haven’t been back there for a while … so I don’t know.

  6. Coryon 17 Sep 2008 at 8:19 pm

    I was on Beechwood Blvd the other morning right before Fifth Ave and I could have sworn a fox ran out infront of me. It was early in the morning and still dark but something tells me it was! And the next day I saw quite a few squirrels in the area! So maybe, just maybe

  7. Lewison 07 May 2009 at 7:24 am

    Just spotted a large fox in Frick Park this morning – by the entrance from Homewood Cemetery. Perhaps it is the same fox. There are plenty of squirrels remaining. However, someone has been spreading food-trash in a gully nearby that might be another attraction for the fox.

  8. Greton 17 May 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I was in Homewood cemetery this morning and saw a full grown red fox.. still plenty of squirrels, so perhaps not to move on so quickly. I have a question. Down by the cat tail pond there was a bird, mostly brown , larger than a red wing blackbird by nearly double… not, I don’t think a flicker. When it flew it had a white tuft on its rump. What bird could it be?

  9. Kate St. Johnon 17 May 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Hmmm. That’s a hard question. What other colors did it have… and where?

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