provided by:

Priscilla Sokolowski

Eugene, OR

Photos from personal trips  AND trips with

“Birds of Oregon and General Science” (BOGS)


Bird photography


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Many people have been seeing the Red Foxes at a popular park in town recently. I went out yesterday specifically in search of a Fox and was surprised to find one rather quickly. Even though it was after 11am when I arrived there, I soon saw a Fox hunting for rodents a few hundred yards away. Because it had patches of darker fur, I thought at first it might be a dog, but quickly the VERY bushy tail with the white tip showed itself. My old Peterson Field Guide Series: Mammals; says the Red Fox has several phases. The one with the darker fur patches is called the "Cross" phase. Apparently the dark fur makes a cross shape on its upper back. I couldn't see enough of it to see a shape. To me, the dark and light patches seemed random. It could have been between phases which the guide mentioned.

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I slowly made my way in the general direction of the Fox, keeping vegetation patches between us so as not to frighten it away. The Fox layed down for a while, and the next time I looked it was gone. There were places in the field with narrow trails, which I thought might have been made by Foxes when hunting prey. I came across a stone that looked like it had been marked by urine droplets - ie "sprayed". There was a mole mound which had been dug out. And there was what looked like it might have once been a nest of some small critter. I photographed all these and you will see them in the slideshow.

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I worked my way around the large blackberry patch it had been near, staying 50 yards or more away all the while. There were three dark openings into the blackberries which were probably entrances to its den. Each was in a different cardinal (compass) direction - west, east, south). As the southern boundary of the patch came into sight, I saw what I took to be a marker with some yellow tape on it. With my binoculars I quickly found that this was in fact a Fox, not yellow tape. It turned out to be a different Fox than the first one I had seen. This one had some dark-tipped fur on its flanks, but fairly uniformly distributed rather than random. The upper back was evenly red fur. I walked directly to the trail nearby and that actually took me closer to the Fox than I had been at any time. I didn't feel I was crowding it because an intermittant flow of people were going by on the path all the time.

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