Think about the most annoying person you know … yes that person. Then imagine that individual showing up just when you were about to eat a particularly nice meal. I think that’s what may have happened to a fox I was watching in Yellowstone.
The fox was minding its own business. This largely consisted of rudely interrupting and ending the lives of meadow voles that were also minding their own business. Unfortunately for them, they were doing it loud enough to be within fox earshot. This can be a problem when a larger predator considers you a snack.
The fox had caught yet another vole and was lounging around, waiting for just the right moment to enjoy its latest morsel. Suddenly two hungry ravens appeared on the scene. From the demeanor of the fox, I guessed they were unwanted.
As soon as the ravens landed, the fox gulped down the vole with uncommon haste. The fox seemed to give the ravens a dirty look and wandered off. The ravens kept hanging around. After an uncomfortable time had passed, the fox had enough of these two unwelcome guests and took after them with unbelievable speed.
I’m fairly certain the fox’s primary goal was to get rid of them since it was unlikely to catch a bird from that distance. Still the ravens had to leave promptly or face the consequences. The ravens appeared quite offended at this rude gesture and flew off in a huff, complaining loudly at the lack of hospitality.
The fox seemed quite satisfied with the result and went back to searching for snacks. (Click on the gallery below for better-sized images.)
Perhaps you will find more subtle ways to coax unwanted company to leave when you want to start eating.