Sunday, March 01, 2009

Successful One-eyed Juvie RT and a Fox on the Deck

Photograph by Robert B. Schmunk

NYC Hawkwatcher Rob Schmunk and creator of the Bloomingdale Village Blog, had a Red-tail surprise. Here is his note--

I was startled when very late this afternoon while walking over to the Great Hill to encounter a juvenile red-tail perched at eye level alongside the sidewalk in the middle of the Frederick Douglass house sat 103rd St., between Amsterdam and Columbus. And not only was the Juvie
there but so were Norman and Isolde. Apparently the adults were keeping an eye on an interloper. The juvie stayed put where it was for 15-20 minutes, but as soon as it moved, one of the adults gave it a chase-off.

But the reason I'm writing is to note that the juvie is also injured.I thought at the time that it had a very odd dark look to its eyes,but it was only on reviewing pictures that I finally realized the truth. It had no right eye at all. The eyebrow is also collapsed a bit, so it has an almost sinister look when viewed from that side.

The injury is apparently not recent, so the juvie has so far managed to get along despite the handicap.

Spring is almost here (barring the blizzard that's supposed to be rolling in tonight), so perhaps it will make it through the dreaded first-year survival statistics.

See attached pic taken from the front which shows both sides.

-- Robert B. Schmunk

It is amazing how many successful one-eyed raptors there are. The mate of Pale Male's who was the first mom of his young, had one eye. I just watched a documentary about a successfully breeding one eyed Bald Eagle female. Her monovision being just an interesting side note to all the hunting, brooding, and work involved in raising eaglettes.

Photograph courtesy of

Rhode Island's Karen Anne Kolling, had yet another of her Gadzooks-what-in-the-world-is-on-my-deck-now moments-- I believe the last one was thought to be a Great Horned Owl nabbing a raccoon (correction--it was a skunk!) right out from under her nose. Here is the newest--

Holy Toledo, a fox just came onto my deck. For maybe fifteen seconds, so no time to get a photo.

At least I think it was a fox, somewhat orangeish fur, I just looked at fox and coyote photos on the web. I don't know where he or she can be living. This is a more wildlife friendly habitat than real suburbia, but still.

While I was trying to find him again after I snatched up my camera, I saw someone walking a dog down the street, so maybe the fox had been hiding from the dog.

What a gift to have all these wonderful animals around,


Your orange-ish mammal could well be a fox, even though your habitat is less than pristine. Two years ago about this time, I walked out of a building in the middle of town here in WI and watched a Red Fox trot across the parking lot, the street, and onward past the buildings on the other side, just as brazen as you please.

I suspect that it is "that" time of year again, in which the usually solitary foxes get out and about traveling beyond their usual stomping grounds to look for mates. Or your fox could be a young Vulpes vulpes fulva out looking for an as yet unclaimed territory.

Also I just read that foxes are often lured near houses by a pet that is in heat in the neighborhood. They don't particularly want to mate with or molest the pet, they just seem interested in finding out what kind of animal it is exuding the fragrance.

Keep an eye peeled, Fox may be back.

Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Fox was back this morning, and made off with one of the squirrels. Sigh. I would like all critters to be vegetarians...

Karen Anne said...

p.s. The previous gadzooks moment actually involved a skunk (could an owl make off with a raccoon?)

I am now not sure a bird was involved then, since Bobby Horvath wrote that the whumping sound was probably not, as I had thought, wings, but rather the skunk thumping a warning with his feet. So the skunk could have been facing off with who knows what. It was dark, so all I could tell were the sound effects.

Donegal Browne said...

Sorry, yes absolutely the animal in the last gadzooks moment was definitely a skunk.