A Fox in the Garden

I’d seen it (and others of its kind) in the neighborhood. “It” is a Gray Fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, most likely a female (vixen) native to Texas and common in Austin. A few days ago, she visited my back garden for about 20 minutes, clearly relaxed and in her element.

She knew we watched her, but didn’t flee, nor seemed nervous. Also, it was clear that she’d been here before; she knew her way along the garden’s paths. I suspect that it was a fox that predated our Eastern Screech Owl nest box back in February. If so, I imagine she had kits to feed. Gray Foxes are omnivores and eat what they find: eggs, seeds, insects, reptiles, bird fledglings, rodents; their diet is varied. They also climb like cats and can jump up to 6 feet. They’re well-suited as predators in an urban environment.

She looks healthy to me, her coat lush, her eyes bright. She spent a few minutes nibbling on the remains of safflower seeds, dropped from a feeder situated above her.

After a while, she jumped up on the fence, traipsing along the top, until she sat. Then she lay down on top of a trellis adjacent to one part of the fence, comfortably dangling one front leg off the trellis edge. After a bit of rest, she climbed over the fence, and with a swoosh of her bushy tail, she was gone into another’s fenced space.

I’d called my SIL over to see our foxy visitor. Through the screen of the enclosed patio, the Hub caught this photo of us as fox paparazzi.


19 thoughts on “A Fox in the Garden

  1. Oh my goodness! I guess the fox is used to the urban environment. My friends in Austin had a fox, but they lived out by the lake. I also did not know they could jump and climb like that and sit on top of a fence. I was just thinking about you because I have had so many different kinds of bees in the garden this week.


    • They’re shy and elusive, but occasionally, especially in kit rearing season, you see adults. After the owl house was raided (second time in 3 years!) I discovered that they can jump really high and then climb! We purchased a roll of linoleum from Lowe’s to use as a collar around the tree for next owl breeding season. I don’t know if opossum, racoon, or fox claws can penetrate the linoleum, but we figure it’s worth a try to keep out predators. All three predators are around, so fingers-crossed for next owl season.

      As sad I am when we lose owlets or eggs that way, it is a treat to see a fox.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. She is a beauty! And so relaxed. I didn’t realize that they can climb, wow. Apparently, she is the same species that inhabit our woodlands. I’ve only seen one once, running past me at great speed. I love the fox-parazzi shot, which one is you?


    • Isn’t she just gorgeous! Those beautiful, intelligent eyes. I think they range throughout the lower 48.

      I’m the pony-tailed blondie…with some grey for wisdom. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was such a treat, Sam. I’ve been certain that a fox (probably more than one) has been in the back garden, but for her to show up, mid-afternoon, and just hang out–wow, what a thrill! Even owl egg-stealers are welcome in my garden. I just wish they’d leave the eggs alone. Good with the bad, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful creature. I laughed to see her draped like a squirrel or cat over the top of the trellis. I’ve seen a few in past years, but they’ve always been on the move, and provided only a glimpse. In the photo of the photographers, what is that on the right side, by the steps. It looks like a hummingbird, but it also looks like it’s hanging by a thread. A cat toy?


    • I really liked her leg just hanging there, so relaxed and at home. Like you, fox sightings are usually quick and in the dark or semi-dark, which is what made this so special.

      You have a keen eye. Yes, it’s a small, hummer-sized, metal mobile that my mother-in-law gave us years ago. It used to hang by a window that is outside of the now enclosed patio. I thought I’d like it inside the “catio” and that maybe the cats would bat at it. That’s a firm ‘no’ but I still like it there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I miss seeing red foxes in our garden. We have an occasional visitor to the neighborhood but he knows there are too many people and dogs. Best to stay in the woods where there is lots of food.


    • Fun times, indeed!! I’m tickled that you have red foxes and you’re probably right that they’re taking care of the bunnies. Poor bunnies, but circle of life.

      I was pleased that Ms Fox was such a good sport about the photo session; I couldn’t have asked for a better model!


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