An Early Morning Mystery

Dear Readers, every Wednesday morning, very early, we get a delivery of organic eggs and some fruit and veg (so North London, I know). The box of eggs is always put gently on top of the other boxes so that it doesn’t get squashed or broken.

Well, this morning when we opened the front door we got a bit of a shock. The cardboard box containing the eggs was in two pieces.

One of the eggs was in two pieces.

One egg had been broken into, but the contents had vanished (see the photo at the top). And the other four  eggs had disappeared completely.

Well, it took me a couple of minutes (well, it was very early) but then I realised that we had probably been raided by one of these chaps/chapesses.

I imagine that the four missing eggs have been hidden away somewhere, and maybe the others broke when the fox pulled the box to the ground, or maybe s/he was very hungry and decided to have a quick snack straight away. The intelligence of this amazes me though – could the fox smell the raw eggs right through the box? Was s/he just messing about and the box fell off? Oh for a trail camera.

I know that foxes like eggs (and will steal them when they find them), and also that kind people sometimes leave hard-boiled or even raw eggs out for the foxes, but they’ve never nicked our eggs before. I suspect, however, that this won’t be the last time, unless I can get up early enough to thwart them. I shall keep you posted. But a lot of young foxes will be trying to fend for themselves now that it’s autumn, so it’s hard to begrudge them a bit of sustenance. I mean, just look at that face.


8 thoughts on “An Early Morning Mystery

  1. Anne

    As pretty (and intelligent) as foxes are, I read that their numbers are increasing in urban areas and that there are ‘pest exterminators’ that shoot them on request in some areas of London. I feel the same about black-backed jackals (also very intelligent and beautiful to see), yet they are regarded (unfairly – probably as in the case of foxes) as a scourge by sheep farmers in particular.

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      It’s true that some people do ask for the foxes to be exterminated, but it’s a bit stupid as foxes from nearby territories will just move in. The main thing that controls the population are cars, with lots of young foxes killed every year. The foxes are mainly inhabiting urban areas because they are adaptable creatures, and there’s more food here than in the country, which is often something of a desert these days. I’m interested about the jackals, though – I thought that they mainly ate small mammals, birds, eggs and insects? I imagine most of the damage to sheep would be via new borns, and often predators like jackals are blamed for killing things when in fact they’re just scavenging.

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      It’s just that four are completely missing and I can only think that they’ve been cached – if we had ravens I’d think it might be a corvid, but I suspect that the crows and magpies would just have smashed them and flown away. Food for thought though! Thank you!


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