It Begins with a Kiss (Fox photo special)

The fox cubs were enjoying the late afternoon sun today. Lot’s of lolling around and sleeping, but the Little Dog Fox is (at 4 months old) reaching that awkward adolescent stage. The cub we call Long Nose is the other cub…

fox cubs playing

It begins with a kiss

fox cubs playing

The Little Dog Fox gets romantic with Long Nose

fox cubs playing

fox cubs playing

Whoops!

fox cubs playing

fox cubs playing

A quick nibble

fox cubs playing

And it ends with a kiss!

This is all play for the cubs… they won’t start breeding until about 9 months old. And an interesting side fact I learnt this week from the excellent BBC film ‘The British Garden: Life and Death on your Lawn‘ is that one litter of fox cubs can have up to five different fathers!

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

Little Dog Fox

So far as I can tell there are five fox cubs visiting the garden (at least according to the trail camera). We’re getting to know them quite well. There’s the Little Vixen (fine-boned and very pretty and very bold), Black Tail (who has an amazing dark brush), Long Face (who is lightly coloured), a second vixen who visits less frequently than the rest and who I haven’t yet named… and this little chap we call the ‘little dog fox’. He has a permanently wizened look about him, as though his brow is permanently in a furrow. He was quite dominant as a young cub, but more recently has stayed away from the main group. This evening he made a lengthy visit (on his own) which is when I took this sequence.

Fox cub in long grass

Fox cub in the grass

Fox cub in the grass

He was back again tonight with three of the others, so perhaps his confidence is building. He does seem to get bullied though.

I also got a rare sighting of the adult dog fox, who made a brief appearance at the rear of the garden while four of the youngsters were congregating near our back door!

Adult dog fox

I’ll focus on the others over the next few posts.

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

Hedge Fox

We’ve got a lovely 5ft shrubby honeysuckle hedge along one side of the garden, painstakingly trimmed and nurtured by Mrs Words. It runs alongside the edge of the garden pond, and is stepped to follow the general terracing of the garden. The fox cubs have discovered the hedge and at different times two of them were clambering up it tonight to explore. Here’s a short sequence of the young vixen having a go.

fox cub

Fox cub looking up at the hedge

fox cub

Starting to climb

fox cub

Fox cub on top of a shrubby honeysuckle hedge

They’ve some way to go before they reach the heights of this fox in the trees from 10 years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long), but they are still youngsters so still plenty of time

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF70-300mm 4.5-5.6 DO IS lens. Video taken with something else!