Nighttime Visitor

Gray fox

Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

I have a Moultrie trail camera that takes regular images by day (3 megapixels) and infrared images at night (1 megapixel).  I set it out, attached to the back of a chair on the patio, on January 2, 2014, and collected it February 25, 2014.  Some interesting things showed up.  Two different cats passed in and out over several days.  Both belong to the neighbor.  Also, the neighbor’s pot-bellied pig came for a visit.  Only shots of him are from the rear–not especially attractive.  Also, deer appear regularly, but just their heads as they eat the landscaping–an eternal problem where I live.  One really interesting visitor, though, is this gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), who posed February 3 at 4:59 am.  I thought one was around, based on scat I have found on occasion.  Gray foxes like to poop in the middle of a trail–in my case, on two or three occasions in the middle of the driveway.  I have seen a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on the property, but never a gray–until now.  Four images show only the tail, but this image is the best.  Both red and gray foxes are canids, of course, but they are not as closely related as one might think, belonging to separate genera.  Red foxes have black legs and a white tip on the tail;  gray foxes have no black on the legs and a black tip on the tail.  Gray foxes have slightly curved claws and are able to rotate their forelegs more than red foxes, giving them the ability to climb trees.  They’re usually nocturnal, so are seen much less frequently than red foxes.  Enjoy this handsome fellow–a rare treat to see!

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