Oct 092012

Observing Animal Behaviour in Wild- Encounter between a Fox & an Eagle 

fox looking for food in tal chhapar rajasthan
The Cunning Fox
Ever since our childhood, we keep on reading about the smaller carnivores of the jungles of India. The Wolf is portrayed as a ruthless killer, the jackal as sly, and the hyena as despicable all stereotypes worthy of further debate and investigation. But it is the fox that takes a special place in jungle lore and has maximum stories dedicated to her. From the fox that could not reach the sour grapes to the Chalak Lomdee ( चालाक लोमड़ी or The Clever Fox) in Aesop’s fables. Then in all the cartoons that we read in Panchtantra and Hitopdesh series of Amar Chitra Katha the fox keep on emerging again and again and each time it comes out as a winner, the case of the sour grapes being an exception. But honestly, do you believe in the old fox actually losing?
spiny tailed lizard in mouth of fox in tal chhapar rajasthan
The Fox With Lizard In Mouth
The fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla) also makes the appearance in the sentence
“ The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” used to practice typing during the age of manual typewriters as this is believed to be the shortest sentence with all the alphabet of English language. (Did you notice here also the Fox is the winner?) I also remember a dubbed serial that used to come when I was a kid it was called ” The Old Fox”, where an old detective used to solve mysteries in a very subtle scientific way.

eagle flying high in sky
A Tawny Eagle Watching from Above
 Anyways coming back to point. A fox is one of the smallest carnivores in the jungle and unlike the jackals, wolfs, wild dogs and even hyenas normally hunts alone and is not your typical pack animal using the numbers to advantage. So how does a fox survive in the jungle where it is always in danger of being hunted itself and is prone to losing its prey to bigger predators? Please read on.


We were in Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan and looking for birds when we saw this little fox in the horizon moving restlessly from one bush to another. Soon we realized it is trying to hunt the Spiny Tail Lizard that was lazing in the sun to soak the warmth as they are cold-blooded animals and need the sun to regulate body temperature.
Finally, the fox was successful and grabbed on the lizard in its mouth, we were at a very long distance from them so could not see clearly but it was clear that she has been successful in grabbing a lizard. Then the action started. A large Tawny eagle dived down and attacked the fox that was half the size of the eagle. But the cunning fox was not willing to give up the ground. It immediately jumped into a bush and hid the lizard. And came out to confront the eagle.
There was some show of strength and the eagle was convinced that the lizard is gone. A few seconds later the eagle was distracted and in a second the fox went into the bush and ate the lizard and came out again.
The eagle was no match for the cunningness of the fox and decided to leave her alone. This all happened so fast that the 4 of us were wondering what actually happened. After checking the pictures we reached the conclusion mentioned in the story above. Thus the fox proved once again that there is no match for her when it comes to being a cunning hunter. This my friends I believe is the reason fox survives in the jungle where it is one of the smallest predators and does not normally hunt in packs. Check the photos below ( note to self…learn to take videos on your camera…)
fox and eagle fighting in jungle
Eagle Attacks The Fox
searching for food
Where is the Lizard?
fox eating the prey
The Eagle Looks Away for a second
the fox watches
The Eagle flies away as the Fox watches 


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