Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Watching Foxes

The foxes have been in the back yard off and on now for two weeks. There is a rather mangy looking mother. She seems to have lost a lot of fur around her neck and off of her back. For all that, she seems healthy, but worse for wear. At various times, I see her with one, two, or three kits. The kits started out about as big as my cat, but they seem to be growing pretty fast.

In addition to the regular mother fox, I have also seen what I think might be another mother, but she only seemed to have one kit. She also seemed quite a bit younger than the mom. I was wondering if maybe this was a previous year's daughter.

Then, one day I looked out and there was the regular mom with six kits - and the other mom was nowhere in sight. I think maybe regular mom was doing day care for busy fox mothers. She has her work cut out for her. The kits are pretty active - running, pouncing, attacking each other, exploring. They don't stay still for very long.

I tried to get their pictures once, but the regular mom was startled when I opened the door to the deck and she gave this barking call - and the kits ran for cover immediately. I was afraid then that they wouldn't be back, now that I had violated their feelings of safety. But they have been back several times since then. Sometimes they look at the windows and I can tell they can see me, but as long as I am inside, they don't run away.

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