Red Fox, Fox Squirrel

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 thoughts on “Red Fox, Fox Squirrel

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

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