Animal Friends

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Travel, Tucson Leave a Comment

Bobcat and Striped Skunk visiting the water hole at the same time.

Bobcat and Striped Skunk visiting the water hole at the same time.

I had this vision that the wildlife in Arizona was largely solitary, rarely interacting with other wildlife except for prey / predator encounters.  I was wrong!

I was often surprised at how often animals would appear to overlap with each other at the water hole – I might see a gray fox with a time stamp of 11:22, then a skunk at 11:23, then a fox again at 11:24.  Other animals as well, but especially the fox and skunks.  So, I moved the camera way back so that I could see the entire area, and increased the frequency of the each photo to each second.  I was shocked to see how much interaction takes place!  Especially with the gray fox and skunks who often seemed to arrive and leave at the same time, do you think they travel together?  Skunk has little to fear as their only predator is the Great Horned Owl (who is also a regular visitor).  Unlike other predators, the owl can’t smell making the skunks main deterrent worthless.  So maybe the skunk feels safe from an owl with wildlife coming in for a drink at the same time.

I never did see the fox and bobcat at the water at the same time, and never saw the coyote there with any other animals as it would prey on most of them.

Check out these photos (past the more) for some interesting interactions.  These are all from the last month on the property.

Gray Fox and Hooded Skunk drinking water at the same time.

Gray Fox and Hooded Skunk drinking water at the same time.

 

Gray Fox and Javelina. This javelina eventually jumped over the water and chased the fox. The fox was nu-phased and circled back around for a drink. The fox will kill javelina young.

Gray Fox and Javelina. This javelina eventually jumped over the water and chased the fox. The fox was nu-phased and circled back around for a drink. The fox will kill javelina young.

 

The Gray Fox ended up approaching within about a foot of the Great Horned Owl as it bathed! The owl eventually took off, only to return for another bath 5 minutes later.

The Gray Fox ended up approaching within about a foot of the Great Horned Owl as it bathed! The owl eventually took off, only to return for another bath 5 minutes later.  The fox is a little hard to see here, look for the eye glow just to the left of the owl.

 

The Gray Fox and Striped Skunk are frequent nightly visitors, often at the same time.

The Gray Fox and Striped Skunk are frequent nightly visitors, often at the same time.

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