If you follow my posts on Twitter (and more sporadically on Facebook) you’ll know that there are several regular foxes who visit our garden. As well as direct observation I keep track of them via a trail camera, so I know what’s happening even if I don’t see it direct. So for example, as well as the main fox group we have a couple of hedgehogs, plus the occasional badger that visits. There’s also one further fox with a long but tatty brush who shows up every now and then. This blog though is about the four main foxes, and I’m going to restrict it to one photo of each (having now managed to get semi-decent pictures of the two more reticent foxes).
First up is the shyest of the four. He’s a large dominant male and, I would think, the oldest of the group. So a significant fox, even though the shyest with humans. I have only managed a handful of photos of him (which makes selecting just one easier!). As you can see he has a fairly rugged coat and – typical of some of our recent foxes – has a quantity of grey/black mixed in with the typical red colouring. We simply call him the dog fox.
The second fox in the group is known as Longtail, which is something of a default name to distinguish him from the next fox. He’s quite shy, but is becoming a little bit bolder. Most of the time he hangs back from the others if I am in the garden, but on his own he does venture forward a little. I would guess he’s about a year to 18 months old. He spends a fair amount of time with the other regular foxes and is clearly part of the main family group.
Fox number three is the easiest to identify. He’s a young male (I would guess a sibling of Longtail), but he has suffered a tail injury at some point which has resulted in the loss of the lower part of his brush. This doesn’t seem to bother him at all, and he is otherwise in very good health. He’s also become increasingly confident over the past few months. He will venture to the front of the garden and is also comfortable with the camera and flash units. We call him Stumpy (my names are all very basic and descriptive).
The final fox needs no introduction. It’s Wolfy, the vixen. She’s been around the garden since she was a small cub (born 2018) and is entirely comfortable around us and the camera. In that time she’s had two broods of cubs (although we have not seen any of this year’s youngsters). It’s probable that Longtail and Stumpy are cubs from her previous season. She’s is undoubtedly the most dominant and visible of all the foxes, and it’s noticeable that both the younger foxes defer to her if there is any food on offer. She also spends much more time than the others gathering food from other sources and has a fairly regular routine of heading out early evening, probably to other friendly gardens in the area. There’s no doubt: she’s the boss!
Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS II USM lens.