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The Kid Should See This

A ‘plucky’ songbird harvests nesting material from a snoozing fox

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Animals in nature share unexpected interactions that humans don’t usually get to see. This Texas Backyard Wildlife video captured one of those interactions when a ‘plucky’ black-crested titmouse (incorrectly identified as a tufted titmouse in the video voiceover) felt bold enough to gather nesting material from a sleeping fox.

Why is this surprising? Foxes eat songbirds like this one. “What on earth was the titmouse thinking? She could so easily have wound up being lunch…”

bold titmouse

Turns out this is what she was thinking: “This is a very furry fox. Fox fur makes a nice, soft nest lining. Surely this fox doesn’t need all his fur? Summer is coming, after all. Surely he won’t mind if I take some?”. And that’s what she did. Once she’d established that the fox wasn’t going to kill her, she went to work plucking out fur and the fox let her do it! We were astonished. She hopped around on the fox’s back, harvested a beakful of fur, and took off with it.

She was back the next day for more.

a beak full of fur
Is this a common springtime occurrence? Do nesting songbirds regularly harvest fur from soft snoozing animals that are their predators?

Watch more videos about foxes, birds, and this previous one from Texas Backyard Wildlife: Great horned owl vs. raccoon in an owl nest.

Then watch these videos:
• Baby capybaras jostle a sleeping parent
• Playing piano under a sleeping cat
• Naps, a collection film by The Mercadantes.

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