Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Red Foxes in Auburn, Washington? Possible sighting along the Valley Freeway

Random picture of a fox along a road way (source http://files.sharenator.com/Red_Fox_Road-s600x396-66460.jpg)

I had a rather interesting commute yesterday going to the Tacoma area.  I don't normally have to go to the Tacoma area for Crossmark or Advantage Sales and marketing, but yesterday was almost a first for me (I can't say it's the first time since I have been to the Reber Ranch Store Covington area a few times back when the company was still using the Sales Trak system for scheduling jobs about 2 years ago). Anyways, I was scheduled for a few jobs in the Tacoma area where I was supposed to work with some Hersheys reps in packing out some of the easter related displays they have set up at the Walmarts in Puyallup, Bonney Lake and Tacoma and as I was heading south on the Highway 167 freeway (aka the Valley Freeway) just south of the Auburn area (probably the Algona vincinity to be exact), I was glancing into the field and saw what may have been a red fox on the prowl.  The sighting happened rather quickly and I wasn't able to get a real good look at it (after all, I was driving on a freeway and traffic was somewhat heavy due to rush hour traffic), but it was a dog like animal and was definitely smaller than a coyote.  I am not 100% sure it was a fox (could have been someone's dog too), but it looked a little bit like a coyote but smaller (had pointy ears).  It could have been a dog, but it was in the middle of the field, early in the morning (around the time foxes are usually out) and looked like a wild dog instead of a domesticated one.  If I wasn't driving, I probably would have snapped a photo of the animal with my windows phone.

Here is a map of the route I took.  Circled is the area where the sighting took place.  Happened in a field along the right side of the freeway heading south.


Just out of curiousity, have any of you seen a fox along a freeway?  Also, for those of you living in the Tacoma area, have any of you seen a fox (besides the ones in zoos)?  It was definitely an unusual sight for me, though I did see a red fox one other time here in Washington to date and that was the night time sighting I had of one near Monroe, Washington.  By the way, this is not the first time I have seen large animals along the road ways.  Other sightings I have had in the past includes: coyotes (even saw one cross the highway 520 freeway near Marymoor Park in Redmond several years ago). black bear (saw one just north of Darrington along highway 530), and deer.  Foxes don't seem to be as common as coyotes are here in Western Washington, but they do seem to have a presence here in Western Washington.  If you venture out on the road ways (especially between dusk and dawn), you just might encounter a red fox sooner or later.  From my experience, sightings seem to be quite brief and if you happpen to be riding in the passenger seat, be sure to snap a photo if you can.
  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Latest Red Fox sightings screen shots on the Fox Family web cam

Two red foxes in action on the Fox Family web cam.  This was a unique sighting I had as there is usually only one fox present at a time, but this time around, there were 2 of them.
In some of my previous posts, I have been talking about some fox web cams I stumbled across on at the Simon King Wildlife website (see http://www.simonkingwildlife.com/) and have been watching them almost daily and I find that they can be entertaining to watch at times as sightings do occur every so often.  These web cams give you a really good chance to see these otherwise very elusive creatures (besides the ones on the web cams, I have only seen 2 red foxes in the wild myself to date). In this post I will share the many fox sightings I have had on the "fox family" web cam.  This is the web cam that is set up in someone's garden near London England (wouldn't know the family or where exactly they live) and records all of the animal activities almost 24/7.  Usual animals you are likely to encounter includes: various birds, squirrels, mice, black cats (yes I have seen some black cats on the camera) and even a few resident red foxes too.  The foxes are most active at night (though I have had a few sightings in daytime hours too, usually in the early evening London time, morning Seattle time).  Usually there is one that appears randomly, though sometimes you may encounter 2 of them at a time.

Below are the many different sightings I have had first hand (I usually get screen shots of sightings I want to share):

Here is a daytime sighting of a fox looking almost right at the camera.  While the vast majority of fox sightings occur at night, you may encounter some during the day when viewing the cam (especially morning and/or late afternoon hours London time).

This fox was trotting around in the garden.  I also remember he (I wouldn't know the genders of the foxes, so I will call them "he" for now as generic) eventually curled up and took a map in the moat area too.

Another daytime sighting of a fox in the garden (this one happened in the morning today around 9 am Seattle time, 5pm London time).

Here is a fox eating out of a dish.  I think the home owners put out food for the foxes (though other hungry animals might eat them too, like a black cat I saw, not pictured).  By the way, I have seen the foxes hunting mice in the garden too (you are likely to see mice too running around, especially at night) and even caught one too on at least one occasion (not pictured).

Another fox entering the garden area.  If you look closely, you can make out a white tipped tail.

If you look closely you can see a fox curled up in the grassy area in the garden.

Here is a night time fox looking almost directly at the camera from by where the dish is.

Here is a hungry fox eating food in the dish.  Bear in mind other animals will eat out of the dish too, like mice, squirrels, and even black cats too

Here is a closeup screen shot I got of one of the foxes. He looks somewhat like a coyote to me (even though he is really a fox), not sure if England gets coyotes or not (like America does).

Another fox looking for food.  Note the white tip on the tail.

This fox was wandering around from the left (btw the usually leave from the left too)

Here is two foxes in the garden.  Usually there is only one fox present at a time, but sometimes you may see 2 or more together too.  

Aw, these 2 foxes seem to be feeding together almost like buddies.
Well, those all of the sightings I have worth sharing for now (I've had other sightings too, but there would be too many pictures to share if I got all of them).  Curious on where you can see the foxes?  You can view the web cam at http://www.simonkingwildlife.com/page/live-cams/fox-family-cam-966.  If you are patient when watching the cameras, you are likely to have sightings of these resident red foxes.  I actually live in the Seattle area myself, so there is about an 8 hour time difference between where I live and where the cameras are set up (when it is noon here, it is 8 pm there).  

Tips and notes about viewing the cameras:
- The foxes are usually most active at night (London time), so be sure to check the cameras anytime after dark (London time) for the best chances to see them.  They can come out in the day too (as I found out), especially in the early morning hours or in the late afternoon / evening hours.
- I can't guarantee sightings every time as they tend to be hit and miss.  Sometimes the foxes are there, sometimes, they are not.  Usually if you check back often and are patient, you are likely to see a fox sooner or later.  I usually keep a tab open when browsing the web and check back on the cameras every now and then and every now and then I will see a fox or two.
- Be sure to take a screen shot whenever you see the foxes and want to share your sightings.  By the way, sightings usually tend to be short as the fox usually wanders off after a few minutes (though some sightings can last longer than others and shorter than others).  When they do appear, they can be interesting to watch.
-  Occasionally you have to replay the camera (when it stops).  Sometimes you can get infinite loading bars too (usually the best remedy is to refresh the web page).
- be sure to watch for other resident animals too, such as squirrels (especially during the day), mice, birds, and even a stray black cat too.

Disclaimer:
I don't own the web cams nor am I affiliated with the Simon King Wildlife people in any ways.  Never even been to England myself.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns you can always reach out to the web masters there.

Do you have a sighting you want to share?  Be sure to share them in the comments sections below. Simon King is a pretty unique website and it is not every day you can see live red foxes in action like you can on these web cams.  Normally foxes are not easy to find in the wild and if you are seeing red foxes in the wild regularly consider, yourself lucky as they are not usually easy to find or spot and to date, I have only seen 2 of them in the wild myself (once in Wisconsin and once near Monroe Washington).  

Watch live Grey Wolves on Web Camera

Check out this live wolf at night.  

Here is a black wolf just waking up

I am the boy who cried "wolf" and I mean 4 of them


Let me ask you this...have you ever seen a wolf in the wild (besides the ones you might see in a zoo)? I can't say I have, though I faintly remember hearing a wolf howl near Whistler British Columbia (was doing a sleigh ride there several years back in the winter and heard what may sounded like a wolf howl instead of the usual coyotes howling).  Anyways, I found some web cams where you can watch some live wolves (much like the fox web cams I was talking about earlier).

Here are the web cams:


And

These cameras are live action (though you can replay the footage from the beginning) and you can see live wolves in action.

You can also view these web cams from the source at: http://www.wolf.org/meet-our-wolves/wolfcams/

Feel free to share your sightings and stories in the comments section below

On a side note, these web cams are based out of the International Wolf Center in Ely Minnesota.  To date I have only been to Ely once and that was back when I was in 3rd grade (back in the 1990's) and when I was still living in Illinois (I have since moved to Washington State back in 1994).  Sadly I Haven't been back to Ely since moving to the Seattle area in 1994, though I did pass through the Minneapolis area in Minnesota on the amtrak train going to Milwaukee back in October 2016 (even did a selfie at the train station there too) and even visited Door County in northern Wisconsin again whil there. However, I do recall visiting the wolf center while I was there (was in Ely for a cabin trip with some family friends back in the day) and at the resort we were staying at they did have programs you can attend, including one where you can visit the wolves and see them almost up close (at least without going in their enclosures) and even hear them howl sometimes.  By the way, if I recall, Ely is supposed to be a hot spot for wolf sightings in the wild (being near Ontario Canada) and you may see one or hear them howl at night (I didn't see any in the wild when I was there, but my parents claim that they have heard them howl at night), though if you really want to see them, I might recommend visiting the place.  By the way, have you ever seen a wolf in the wild?  To date, I have yet to have a sighting of my own.  There are supposedly wolves in Washington State too, though I think they are mainly found in the north cascades and eastern Washington (particularly in the north eastern corner of the state near Spokane) and at least in my neck of the woods, they usually come in the form of coyotes too.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Red Fox Sightings and Screen shots from the Simon King Wildlife Web Cams for February 6-12

In case if you haven't seen my last post, I stumbled across some fox web cams at www.simonkingwildlife.com and have been watching both of the web cams.  Considering there are not very many screen shots of red fox sightings, I thought I would start a thread sharing my own sightings.  Whenever I see a fox I will try and get a screen shot of it (not always) and will share my results once a week (usually Sundays or Mondays, tentatively).  These are screen shots I got from both web cams

Here is a red fox posing for the camera.  He seemed to be eating something (I think the camera men put out seeds and other food items that the animals can eat).

Here is the same fox in full view of the camera.  Fox sightings usually only last for about a minute or 2 at a time, though they can be shorter or longer.  They also seem to be timid and can run off easily (probably camera shy)

Here is a picture of a badger I saw.  The badgers are the other stars on these cams and do make appearances occasionally, usually at night

Here is a closer up screen shot of the badger feeding in front of the camerra


Here is a fox and badger feeding together.  They seem to have a love - hate relationship.  Sometimes they get along just find, and at other times, they to have a tendency to chase each other.

I got a photo of this fox right in front of the camera.  He seemed to be cowering at something (maybe being camera shy, though there was also a badger near by and may have reacted to it too). 

Here is another view I got of the red fox.  I like how they tend to come right in front of the camera.  Can be a good opportunity for close up screen shots.

Those are all of the pictures I have so far.  This will be an ongoing topic for this year (given my new found interest in foxes), so I am sure I will have more to share over the next several weeks.  By the way, you can find these fox web cams at http://www.simonkingwildlife.com/page/live-cams/fox-family-cam-966 and http://www.simonkingwildlife.com/page/live-cams/badger-fox-feeder-cam-964

Tips on watching for foxes (based on my experience):
- Most sightings I have had occur at night (London time).  If you are having trouble seeing them during the day, you may want to try watching for them at night.  Though during the day other kinds of animals are often present, including squirrels, mice, and birds  Like I said in the last post, you will want to note the time zone difference.  Sure if you live in the United Kingdom and want to see the cameras at night, be sure to visit the Simon King website after dark to check the web cams for animals (I understand foxes may come out during the day too, though I believe the chances of seeing them are better at night as they seem to be more active then).  Personally, I live in the Seattle area, and there is a least an 8 hour difference between Seattle time and London time (if it is 10:00 pm here, it is about 6 am there), but wouldn't know where all of my readers live (though when in doubt, you can google what time it is in London to see what time it is there).   
- Patience is key when watching the camera(s).  In my experience, most of the time nothing happens, but every now and then (especially at night) you are likely to encounter a fox or two if you check the cameras often.  Since sightings tend to occur at random, I can't guarantee you will see a fox every time (sometimes you will see them and sometimes you won't) and usually when they do appear, they are only there for a short period of time (usually about a minute or two, more or less), but when they do appear, you can see them walking in front of the camera, eating the feed left out of them, interacting with other animals, checking out the camera, and even running off.  Be sure to take screen shots of sightings if you do have encounters you want to share. 
- There doesn't seem to be any audio on the web cams, so it is impossible to hear anything in the video.  Would be nice though (such as hearing footsteps or animals moving around in the bushes, or even animal calls, like the vixen screams or howls). 

Disclaimers:
- I don't own any of the web cams nor do I own Simon Kind Wildlife or their website.  I am merely an observer and blogger and if you have questions, comments or concerns, I am sure you can contact the webmasters there directly (see http://www.simonkingwildlife.com/page/contact).
- All of the screen shots are based on the sightings I have had on the cameras and might not necessarily be the same experiences other people are having with them. 
- I can't make any guarantees about sightings either.  Sometimes you will see foxes, sometimes you won't.  Lot of it is luck, patience and timing, along with other factors, such as time of day, weather, etc.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Zoos in Japan: Miyagi Zao Fox Village

Here is another take on Fox Village.  I can't say I have ever been there before, but might be worth a visit someday if I ever visit Japan.  Zoos in Japan: Miyagi Zao Fox Village: In Japanese folklore, foxes are depicted as intelligent, mystical creatures that possess the ability to change their appearance - often t...