This week I chose to do part A for the discussion which was to create an account in iNaturalist. This site allows you to upload photos of animals or specimens from the wild that are around my home. As I got into the iNaturalist website, I started to notice many things like people adding photos of plants or animals onto the website. The more I explored this database I found it very interesting, and I wanted to try to find animals that I could upload onto the iNaturalist site. I think this is a unique tool that I was not aware of before and is something I think I will be able to utilize more. I see myself using this site with my kids when we find interesting unknown things out on hikes or in our yard, that we can continue the exploration after our adventure by looking on the site and upload what we find on the site so it’s a more family-oriented experience. Also, for those days when I’m out and see something interesting, but I don’t know what it is, this may be an easy way to upload a photo and try to get some information on what kind of animal it is or what kind of plant life I found. It allows for feedback by other people to give insight on your findings with just an upload of a few photos onto the website. The first two photos that I uploaded were from a couple months ago before the first snow. We have a neighbor that has free range chickens in their yard which attracts certain animals like fox and lynx. We have seen both in the area where we live, especially when they have chickens. The fox travels through our yard on a specific route to get to the chickens and the coop. At the time of the photo, the fox had taken anywhere from 6 or 7 chickens from our neighbor’s yard in a short period of time. Looking out the window, I saw the fox carrying something in its mouth and dropped it in the yard and just sat over it. I went out to examine what it was and realized that it was a hen taken from the hen house. I chased the fox into the woods. We went back to check on the chicken and realized the chicken was not going to make it. We also checked with our neighbor who didn’t want to deal with the dead chicken in our yard and said we could have it or get rid of it. So, I decided to let nature take its course and went out check on it one last time and as I was turning around turning around to walk away from it, I might have been 5 feet from the chicken when the fox came from the woods, grabbed it and ran off back into the woods with the chicken. The fox was not afraid of us or even my dogs because we have seen it taking a nap or sleeping in the front yard while we’re at home. Once all the chickens were slaughtered the fox disappeared. I assumed he went to find a new food source, until the other day when I saw him or it on the same track as it did before the snow season started and it came through the yard again. This was the third photo I uploaded. I’m not sure what kind of fox possibly an Arctic Fox or Red Fox. We have seen red fox in our yard and in the area but it’s coat changes from a dark black and red coloring. This fox, however, seems to still have the same red coat as previously seen before winter. I am also assuming this is the same fox as it is following the same track through our yard to the chicken coop. No one has yet commented on the photos, but I feel this is something I will be using quite often to track animals that come through our yard or for when we come across interesting plants when out on hikes. I’m excited to see what people post about the photos I upload.

 

Here is the info that you can follow me on iNaturalist

User Name : mags74

3 Thoughts to “Discussion #9”

  1. Angela Linn

    Nice job Michael. I think foxes are some of the most interesting Alaska animals for sure. Good luck keeping an eye out for this one – I’m sure you’re right that he’s come back to see if those chicken are available again!

  2. Barbara Long

    Good Evening,

    Great post! I feel bad for those chickens. Did you save the hen? I wonder, if you had a fake predator (with its smell) standing guard that it would deter the fox from approaching the chicken coupes. The photos are very nice, and you caught him coming and going. Thanks for sharing.
    Respectfully,
    Barbara

  3. Erin Gingrich

    Hello,
    That is such an experience that you’ve shared! I have always thought that my non-human neighbors are some of the most interesting, but that is not that good that this fox has this level of predatory behavior and the lack of fear of dogs or people! Could be dangerous for little ones or other small pets like cats or small dogs, and foxes can also carry rabies. That being said they are a beautiful canid and I really enjoy watching them too. Good luck in any future observations of this one! Quyana.

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