I do not live in the country right now, not by a long shot.  But, sometimes it is amazing the wild critters a person can see in town.  We were sitting on the couch the other day when I saw a woodpecker in one of our oak trees.  Now I am not a birder, but this was a woodpecker that I did not recognize and I was curious about it.  In spite of the red-stripe on its head, it is not called a red-striped woodpecker, but a red-bellied woodpecker.

Wikimedia photo

In all of my wanderings of Nebraska’s fields, forests and waters, I cannot say I have ever seen a red-bellied woodpecker before.  At least, I have not noticed them before.  It is a good day when I learn something new about our fish & wildlife.

And then there was a rumor floating around about foxes in the neighborhood.  Now between my office in our Game & Parks headquarters here on the west edge of UN-L’s East Campus and home, I see a fox now and then.  But this rumor included a den and pups.

The rumor was right!


Look close and count quickly, there are five pups and I am assuming, “momma”.  The first time I finally spotted them, there were so many little red fur-balls bounding and bouncing off of each other, “mom”, and the adjacent chain link fence that a person had a hard time following all of the activity.  I am guessing those pups are almost half-grown already and they are bundles of energy.  I hope the parents are having easy hunting with all of the squirrels and cottontails in our neighborhood.  I believe we have enough of those critters to support a whole skulk of foxes.

By the way, they “said” nothing like this, What Does the Buck (Fox) Say?

This goofy mallard drake did not realize how endangered he was landing in front of 5 very active young foxes.


It is a great time of year, lots of fishing, turkey hunting and mushroom picking to be done RIGHT NOW!  I promise I will have a lot more adventures and learning experiences to share with you in the coming days, and I promise I will get out of town to do that!  Anytime spent on the water, in the field, or in the woods, experiencing Nebraska’s fish and wildlife is time better spent than being in town!  I am outta here!

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at

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