Pretty Brings a Cub to Visit

Pretty, our regular vixen doesn’t have any of her own fox cubs, but she is supporting a senior vixen in a ‘helper’ role. This is common behaviour among foxes. Pretty, herself only just a year old is working hard supporting the senior vixen with baby-sitting, food gathering and other support. She was in the garden this evening gathering up some chicken scraps which she dutifully took back to the nearby cubs. She returned a few minutes later, and this time had a cub in tow. This was the first proper visit by a cub this year.

fox cub

Pretty standing over a fox cub she brought with her into the garden

fox cub

Tasting chicken

fox cub

fox cub

fox cub

No doubt there will be many more visits over the coming weeks. Pretty is still the main visitor, but even Mama has put in the occasional visit recently.

vixen

Mama Vixen

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

First Fox Cub of 2018

The annual wait for a first fox cub sighting has come early this year. The cubs haven’t yet ventured into our garden, but our neighbour mentioned that he had seen them at the rear of his garden so I’ve been keeping an eye open. Very little activity, but this afternoon one youngster did poke its head out for a few moments.

My line of sight is partly obscured by garden furniture, fencing and branches; but only partly. And it is very cute 🙂

First fox cub of the year

First fox cub of the year

First fox cub of the year

It may be a week or so before they venture as far as our garden, but you can be absolutely sure that I’ll be quietly watching! There are at least three adults in the vicinity (Pretty, Mama Vixen and another). Here’s a short video clip of them being very noisy at the end of March.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Mama Vixen

A month or so ago I posted that we thought Pretty Vixen was pregnant… but that proved to be a false alarm. She isn’t. What’s been noticeable though over the past three weeks or so is that her behaviour has changed. She visits less frequently and either takes any scraps away or caches them. She’s what is known as a ‘helper vixen’, a young female who assists in the raising of another vixen’s cubs.

Last night she was in the garden again, but Mama was lurking in the background.

Pretty Vixen and lactating vixen

Pretty Vixen and lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

Lactating vixen

For the mother to be venturing out so soon, the cubs must be very close so there’s a good chance (but not guaranteed) that we’ll see them while they are quite young. We’ll be watching!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.