The Travels of Tug 44

Red Fox

Driving down a quiet dirt road in Fort Edward, I spotted this female Red Fox near some brush about 50 yards from the road. It looked like she was playing, but she was hunting mice in the tall grass.   high-res

When I clicked the shutter for the previous picture, she heard it, and turned to look at me.   high-res

And then ... to my amazement ... she came trotting over to my car to check me out!   high-res

She trotted all the way around my car and then back up the road. Here is Momma Red Fox as she passed my car window! Note there is a nipple visible just back of her front leg, so we know she's female and has babies (Kits) somewhere nearby.   high-res

I did not see Momma red Fox again the next few weeks, but I received reports of another Red Fox den at the Willard Mountain ski area, so I took a drive over there and found a Kit playing in an old hollow log. The Kit is chewing on something, probably a bit of left-over Possum. Red Foxes are known to leave the left-overs hidden for future meals.   high-res

As I walked closer, the Kit came out of the hollow log and posed for this photo!   high-res

Then a second Red Fox Kit came out and they both posed for me.   high-res

And suddenly there were 6 Red Fox Kits in sight, and they were all playing and hopping on each other just as puppies or kittens might do.   high-res

Their Mom was out hunting so there was nobody to bark an alarm so I was able to get within 25 feet of the little cuties. Eventually one of the Kits barked an alarm and they all dove for the nearest hole. There were 4-5 holes in their play area, all leading to a central chamber where they are safe from predators.   high-res

And a few weeks later at the Fox den in Fort Edward, I spotted Mom and about 5 Kits playing in the sun.   high-res

Here's Momma red Fox, showing off her 1980s "big hair", as she played with and groomed her babies.   high-res

Baby Red Foxes sure do like cuddling when they are tired after playing ... which gave Mom another chance to groom them.   high-res

This was one of the smaller Kits from the Willard Mountain Red Fox den. This one needs a good grooming, but Mom will return home soon to get em cleaned up. Yep, this is a cuteness overload!   high-res

April 2017, we spotted the Fort Edward Red Fox family again, and wow have they grown. This is one of the Kits, and he's a lot bigger and the reddish colors have come in.   high-res

The baby Foxes were running around and chasing each other and piling into balls.   high-res

The entire time, Momma Red Fox was grooming her little ones. They always need their faces washed just like any kids. But she always kept a close eye on me. :)   high-res

In 2018, most of the Red Foxes in the previous photos caught a disease called Mange and most of them did not survive. But in January 2019, we spotted this beautiful male who ran across the road in front of us, in a drizzle and freezing rain. He went up on a small hill near us and looked back to be sure his mate was following. We did not see her, but one of our friends had the day before ... so we know that we will soon have baby Foxes again and our local population will recover!   high-res

After just a minute or so, the male Red Fox dove into the brush and vanished. What a lovely critter!   high-res

The Red Fox, with a beautiful and cuddly family!

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