Red Fox Siblings
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
I'm back from an extented shift at work, I could tell some real sob stories about the last ten days but that is boring, so some good news I finally located a couple of dens of Red Foxes while we stayed at Jenner so I would'nt have to drive so much after some long hours. Lucy and I would watch them for as much as we could after work. They are so cute and playful what a joy to watch, each den had five cubs. One den was in some long grass and the other in a hedge row. I am glad be back amoungst my friends here after such a long abscents.
By Gustave J. Yaki
The Red Fox is one of the most widely distributed mammals in the world. They occurs naturally throughout all of Europe, Asia, northern Africa and North America. They were also introduced to Australia and are now widespread there. In North America they range from northern Mexico to some of the high arctic islands -- which they have been colonizing since 1918. In Alberta, they occur throughout the province.
The Red Fox, in its normal pelage, is instantly recognized by most. It resembles a small, slender dog with a long, bushy white-tipped tail. Its face is pointed, as are its ears. The footpads are furred. The long, thick underfur is grey at the base but buffy towards the tip.
In the wild, three distinct colour morphs occur. The most common is the familiar orangy-red form, with white lips, throat and undersides. The back of the ears and the legs and feet are dark. A few black guard hairs may run along the centre-line of the back and these are quite prominent in the tail. Overall, this colour form represents at least 80 per cent of the population.
The second morph is known as the 'cross fox'. Its pelage is an ochraceous or grey-brown. The dense, black guard hairs run in a broad band over the back and down across the shoulders, forming a solid cross. In some areas this form may account for about 20 per cent of the species.
The third morph, the least common, is the 'silver fox'. It is totally black except for the white-tipped tail and a variable frosting caused by the white tips of the guard hairs. It usually accounts for only about two per cent of the population.
In captive breeding, a number of other pelages such as 'platinum' have been created.
Adult male Red Foxes range in body length from 900 to 1117 mm (3 to 4.8 ft), with the tail accounting for 350 to 420 mm (14 to 17 in) of that. They weigh between 3.6 to 6.8 kg (8 to 12 lb). As is the case with most mammals, the females are slightly smaller.
Red Foxes are omnivorous, eating whatever is available. Meat is the main component during the winter, mainly small mammals. Species eaten includes shrews, moles, voles, muskats, squirrels, cottontails and Snowshoe Hares. Birds may account for up to 20 per cent of their diet. This includes grouse, pheasants, quail, ducks and other ground-nesting birds. In summer, invertebrates such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, caterpillars and crayfish make up to 25 per cent of their diet while vegetable matter such as acorns, berries, fruits and grasses amount to 16 per cent. In turn, foxes are the victims of Bobcats and Coyotes. When Coyotes numbers are high, Red Foxes numbers are low and vice versa
During the autumn and early winter, Red Foxes are solitary. They tend to be shy and mostly nocturnal, but frequently are seen in the early morning and late afternoon -- rarely at mid-day. They may cover 8 km (5 mi) during there night-time foraging sessions, preferring semi-open country. They are only infrequently found in dense forests.
Breeding occurs between late December and the end of March. Several different males may court a vixen. At that time, in courtship, they may perform a dance. Apparently the 'fox-trot' is modeled after it. After a bond is formed, the pair is monogamous. The gestation period last between 51-53 days, with most young being born between March and May. A litter of one to ten (average five) is normal, but there is a record of sixteen pups in one den. Their birthweight is about 100 g (3.5 oz). Born blind, their eyes open at about ten days, and they make their way to the den mouth when about one month old, at which time they are also weaned. They are then brought animal matter -- mice, rabbits and birds as growth food, and are also moved to another den. After a brief training period, they disperse when about 15 weeks of age. They reach sexually maturity at ten months of age.
gerbilratz, nglen, Jamesp, Luis52, maurydv, writerscrawlz, vanderschelden, CeltickRanger, bobair, eqshannon, NinaM has marked this note useful
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Hi Rick, great capture, both cubs showing keen attention to you, a truly fine pair of cubs, it is a pity these animals are so maligned... thanks for sharing these great cubs... regards h
- [2008-06-21 11:51]
Hi Rick. They are having one last look at you .Its a shame we have to work. great detail and natural colour in the fox cubs. we have some in the grounds where i work. i have yet to get a picture. well done tFS. Interesting notes too.
- [2008-06-21 14:02]
Great shot of these two fox cubs. Good eye contact with nice colours.
- [2008-06-21 14:16]
Nice to see You here aagain Rick. I miss Your photos last 10 days, and this is a big surprise to find a very good photo of this two little red Foxes. Lovely faces and kind looking at You and Lucy.
- [2008-06-21 15:18]
Welcome Home, Rick. You have been missed! And you brought us such a lovely present with these two adorable baby Foxes. The one is posing so nicely and looks like the other decided he was missing something. Beautiful animals with such lovely faces and eyes. They look wonderful surrounded by the green.
Bellissima cattura di questa coppia di cuccioli di volpe, molto bella la composizione con i cuccioli che guardano curiosi immersi nell'erba, ottima nitidezza, belli i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio
Okay, that does it, I'm considering a move to Canada! :)
Seriously, what a splendid shot - one cub is showing a keen interest in you while the other, the one walking away is showing a wariness. I think people forget that foxes, coyotes, and wolves have a job on this planet and we, as humans, hamper them.
I love the pov here...
i am happy to see again from your photos,
you are presenting us and lovely image
of these 2 adorable fox puppies, fine POV,
excellent sharpness and details,
great eye-contact with you, TFS
- [2008-06-21 22:07]
it is so very nice to see these little ones looking so fluffy and innocent and you must know that I just adore foxes.You know that we live in an area of the world that is an embarrassment of riches of the wildlife and that is the not the least of it either. I have lived here in good old Alberta for a now solid 17 years and in any given month I have seen more wildlife than anywhere else here in Canada;
Alberta is not just about wheat,cattle and the ever growing oilpatch, it is about the wonderful things you have captured with your cameras and me to a lessor extant and as well as Janice,Mario and Art right here in High River.All of us are ambassadors of this beautiful country and of Alberta in particular so this lovely photo adds to the appeal of the best place I have ever known.
This photo is an honest shot of the kits with a mellow and somewhat muted colour and a good clear focus.I like all the green that surrounds these two fresh young kits and in it's way this photo gives hope for the future with it's life affirming quality.I have nothing but hope for them and my foxy friends to make it to adulthood and beyond.Thanks for your view of these two and I hope,Rick you can get some more of them as they grow. Bob... your fellow fox fan
Welcome back...I would be anxious to hear your sob stories,....You must email me. A fine duet here Rick. Funny how you have so many of these and we do not..I wonder if it is the Rockies which separate the majority of them??? While they do exists here, it is rare to see them more or less get an image.
- [2008-06-22 10:40]
Great capture of these foxes. I like the composition and that they are looking at you. Nice colours and natural surroundings.
- [2008-06-22 13:08]
a lovely capture of these cute Fox cubs :-)
Excellent composition and POV.
- [2008-06-22 18:55]
Ho, that's a very cute one, RIck. I'm amazed at the beauty of their eyes and the way they look at you. It's a beauty!