Two turkey hens have formed a creche with seven chicks; if that seems a low number compared with the five in that clutch, we may have just seen the reason.
The turkey flock came foraging across the back yard one evening while we were eating supper on the patio:
The hens began behaving oddly and the chicks went into periscope mode while looking in all directions at once:
After a moment, we saw this tableau:
The red fox entered from the left, then made a great show of ignoring the turkeys while scratching an ear, licking its nuts, and examining the ground as the hens postured and threatened. The fox eventually trotted off to the right, through the grove in the rear, and away.
The flock required a few minutes to stand down from the alert:
And then they moved on, searching for yummy things in the grass as usual…
The pictures are crap from the Canon SX230HS, hand-held at long telephoto, and ruthlessly cropped; the high-res originals aren’t much better than these. I’d expect better results in shaded sunlight, but for obvious reasons I couldn’t move any closer or pause to fetch a tripod. The fox tableau seems perfectly focused on the garden netting, which is what you’d expect from contrast-based autofocus; even if using manual focus would help, the bad picture you get is better than the good picture you didn’t.