Leave already!

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.

_T6C7406The 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.

Latest Comments

  1. Viorica says:

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  2. janina says:

    Lyle, these are delightful images! That fox is saying “this is my patch, you clear out!” Of course, old man crow just waits patiently….


  3. FeyGirl says:

    Hee, great images…. I have a woodblock print of the fox and the crow in my home, and this is very reminiscent. 🙂


  4. Mind Margins says:

    Ha! Dang ravens! Great photos and commentary.


  5. hannele says:

    Great series of pictures, and a wonderful story, as usual. I like that you also think of the prey’s point of view in this situation – they’re not just there to be eaten by a fox, they have other things to do.

    All the photos are good, but the last one is particularly awesome. You should submit it to a competition, I’m sure you’ll do well!


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I was privileged to witness that remarkable hour with the fox – it will not be forgotten. I am fascinated by the inter-play between the species and how they all seem to work together. For example, after they reintroduced wolves back into Yellowstone National Park, some of the plants started to come back. It turned out the wolves kept the grazing animals moving around so the plants had a chance to grow a bit more.


  6. doriswamyganesh says:

    Dear Lyle, Some day in my lifetime or what is left of it i do hope i have the pleasure of shaking hands with a person whose ability to shoot such lovely wild life pictures have given me so much joy and happiness.Regards, Ganesh.


  7. caleephotography says:

    Great story & pictures, Lyle! The fox is so beautiful, I love the captures of him running through the snow. 🙂


  8. choppy123 says:

    Brilliant, love the story as well 🙂


  9. Mike Powell says:

    Your photos of the running fox are wonderful by themselves (that tail is gorgeous). The interaction with the ravens, though, gave you the chance to apply your formidable storytelling skills to an amazing sequence of shots.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. You’re right about the story opportunity. It’s hard to come up with a story on an isolated fox running – beautiful as it is. The beauty of it all is that I just get to say what happened.


  10. Gunta says:

    I totally love that last shot the best, but they’re all excellent.


  11. chbo1 says:

    Great photos on your blog! We would love to have you as an author on our blog wildlifehub (wildlifepic.wordpress.com). Please check out our about page for more information and email wildlifehub@yahoo.com


  12. artsifrtsy says:

    What a great gallery, better to be rid of the ravens that to let your supper get cold!


  13. Linda says:

    Fantastic series of photos!


  14. MikeW says:



  15. Deb W. Trotter says:

    Sometimes subtle is overrated! 🙂 Love the photos.


  16. Sue says:

    About the canid-corvid interactions: I was trying to bait a fox in with pieces of frozen hotdog on a stick, but the crows kept finding and stealing the bait. In fact, they watched me, and then swooped right down to pick it off the stick. Later that night when I went to visit the fox den, I found a crow carcass! I hope it was one of the thieves. Great photo sequence!


  17. Scott Marshall says:

    what a series – especially love the first 2 shots – the colour on the coat is fabulous


  18. Phil Lanoue says:

    There has been more then one occasion where I have felt exactly like that fox. Usually it involves family.
    Terrific series!


  19. Colline says:

    Love the way you have captured the fox.


  20. Buzzwordz says:

    Great pictures, but I admit to hating the Ravens. My nine-year-olds say they sound like old people fighting! They wake us up at 5am every morning! I’m voting for the fox on this one!


  21. Dan Traun - Outdoor Guy Photography says:

    Great timing and awesome captures!


  22. Hanno Phenn says:

    I Love Foxes,Great Images.


  23. owenslaterphotography says:

    Corvids and carnivores…annoying each other for thousands of years. No wonder they are done with the subtle hints! Great series of shots!


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. The annoyance can be quite funny or interesting when you’re on the sidelines but I imagine it’s a whole different story on the front lines.


  24. westerner54 says:

    Ha! I’m sure ravens just drive those foxes absolutely nuts.


  25. Honie Briggs says:

    I know exactly how that fox felt. Being openly inhospitable is the only thing some people, um, I mean ravens, understand.


  26. iseebeautyallaroundbyrobpaine says:

    great story, great pictures!


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