Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Opossum Gets A Bite While Foxes Fight

Excitement continues at "The Downed Buck".  Foxes always seem to provide some interesting fighting photos at these carcasses.  This fight quickly turned into something else though as you will see in the following images.
Here we go.  Foxes meet once again at a dead deer carcass.  I blew the picture up so you could
more easily see the opossum (located in the middle-left of the picture) that is watching the action.

What could be going on here?
Did you expect this "fight" to end like this?  I didn't.
After a little canid copulation, it's back to some roughness.

All that opossum (Didelphis virginiana) wanted was some dinner, but he got a view that most humans would have to do a quick Google search for.

In previous posts, I detailed fox meetings at carcasses.  I wonder now if these foxes were actually mating with each other as well and that my cameras just didn't catch it.  It amazes me how much action and behavior   is possible to capture on night vision camera traps, but what is more amazing is how much we STILL do not see even with cameras taking multiple pictures with each trigger.  It's fun speculating these "between triggers" actions of animals.

I (as well as you might be) am getting a little tired of so many fox pictures.  I've gone through a few thousand of them in the past week alone and want something even more exciting.  I got a little excited though with a new camera-trapped species for me today.  

Skunk at my set for birds and squirrels in a very productive cam-trap site.
Mephitis mephitis came by one of my camera trap sets recently.  That's right, your very own, Virginia native, Striped skunk.  Striped skunks as you may or may not know are actually not quite yet in mating season.  They'll start in about a month or so and will start having their offspring around mid-May in northern Virginia.  So no, I do not have any skunk mating pictures to share just yet, but getting a new species today was just fine with me.


  1. Very nice pictures! I'm enjoying your writing style and the images you've captured so far. I myself just checked a camera out for over a month and was rewarded with a large Mustelid...blog entry to come :)

  2. Thanks for the compliment! I'm really enjoying your blog as well as it is super informative to a new cam trapper and a lifetime wildlife watcher like myself. Question for you about the flying squirrel pics you got. Did you stake out a specific place? or just put it randomly up any tree? I've read your posts on them but can't figure it out still

    1. Brian- We have a Norway maple in our backyard, and from my spot on the couch right now, I could turn 90 degrees to my left and see it out the window. We have bird feeders all over it, because it's so visible during the day. One night in the summer, the windows were open, and I kept hearing "tseeee tseeeeeee" a very high pitch call, but it was nighttime! So I went out on the back porch and shined a flashlight up there, and they scattered. Around that time, I also spooked one off the front porch, it was on the bannister right by the door, and decided to flee when I was RIGHT next to it. Those are the really up close pictures I have, if you've seen them. So because I knew the squirrels were coming at night to this tree for birdseed, I put a camera up. If I was to try this in the woods, on an arbitrary tree, I'd look for a dead snag with holes in it. Lay the camera on it's back on a branch, and put some PB an appropriate distance in front of the lens up the trunk. It's different with each camera. And then hope for the best.

    2. Yeah I haven't got much luck with pb or birdseed lately on the set for flyers. I put it near ground level and got raccoons, gray squirrels, and skunks (as you have seen in the post). I'll keep trying and look for holes in trees and put it up higher. Thanks!

    3. Brian- so another reason you aren't getting them is because it's winter time! This just occured to me.You have the southern flying squirrel where you live I believe, but actually neither species TRULY hibernate, but they do hole up in times of cold and bad weather. The smaller the animal, the larger the surface area especially the flyers with that large flap of skin. So they lose heat/energy very easily. They're probably not foraging, but relying on a cache nearby to their den or even in their den. I haven't seen action on my feeders in months, although last year at this time, we got a picture of one on the ground during my Winter Ecology class I was taking. It was incredibly warm though last winter, I don't even think the ground froze in NY. Ok, I'll get off your blog now! :)