Wildlife at the Sanctuary: Red Fox

A pair of these stunning creatures had a family of three pups; their den was under an old tree stump across the ravine from my camper. Here, mom is bringing home a bird (looks like a Mourning Dove) she caught to feed her pups.

The three pups ventured out of the den for the first time.

They often played on the dirt mounds around the den.

One of the pups was a "bad boy" who kept coming over to the camper to check out the birdfeeders. I could hear mom yipping for him to come back.

After the pups grew up, the den was abandoned, and it's been abandoned ever since (except for a groundhog interloper). Here's one of their dens up close:

This little beauty stopped by recently to scarf down some leftover fries.

There's now regular activity in Red Fox Ravine, as it's now called. One year between eight and ten pups were there—evidently multiple families will congregate at one den for the resident mom to play "fox daycare."

One morning I witnessed a most curious thing. A clueless red fox—one of the pups from the litter this spring, now mostly grown—found himself standing between two deer and Bobby in my side yard. He pranced around in circles attempting to appear as menacing as possible, but wound up looking rather comical instead. At one point he picked up a small branch and dragged it around. Bobby just sat beside a tree and stared at him, unfazed, and the deer occasionally glanced his way. After a few minutes, the fox trotted off back down the ravine toward his den, which he appears to have inherited from his parents. I assembled a composite image so you can see what was going at different spots of the yard simultaneously.

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