We feed crows. We don’t go out much, so we feed crows. Any scraps that used to go to the chickens now go to the crows.
They are generally grateful but sometimes our offerings aren’t quite to their liking. Stale bread, for example, is
bit by bit,
until a good bill full is
carried off to a pan of water.
Here it is dunked in water and, after soaking for a few seconds,
taken out again
and buried in the lawn for later retrieval.
With all that food stashed away it was only a matter of time before it peaked someone’s interest.
At about half eight every evening (when the light is fading – along with my hope of crisp, clear photos),
arrives to raid the crows’ larder.
As you may imagine, this makes the crows furious.
We are usually alerted to the fox’s arrival
by the screams of a crow
as it repeatedly swoops down on the thief.
Generally, the fox isn’t too bothered and continues to eat;
though occasionally she’ll remind the crow not to get too close.
But the vixen is wary; these are, after all, big birds.
Though she seems more
irritated by the mobbing than
Sometimes, the adult vixen has a young female in tow. This is probably a daughter from last year’s litter; they sometimes stay with the family group and help raise any cubs.
At first, the new arrival seems unfazed by the crow’s indignation
Though repeated diving
begins to unsettle her.
This is the third mobbing of one species by another that I have watched (See ‘The Fox And The Duck‘ and ‘Swallows And The Kestrel’). But on this occasion it actually
pays off. The young vixen has had enough and runs away.
Later, when it is darker still, the adult vixen finally brings out her cubs.
She has two, probably born in March and now seemingly healthy and well fed – on a diet of crow food.