Thursday, June 19, 2008

Red Fox Family

My dad always walks me in the morning. Mom sleeps in as dad and I visit the park, chat with the neighbors, and check out the scenery. Yesterday morning around 7:30am, we saw the red foxes that live in a fox hole on the east side of the pond. We haven't seen the whole family so far this year, so this was a real treat. Dad thinks that the four in the pictures consist of the momma fox and her babies.

As you can see by the pictures, these guys were having such a great time playing. They saw me, but thankfully didn't try to attack and eat me. Red foxes are related to dogs, but did you know that they have proportionately small stomachs for their size and can only eat half as much food in relation to their body weight as wolves and dogs can (about 10% compared with 20%)? I am so glad that I am not a red fox.

The fox hole is right next to the area where the foxes in the picture below are drinking. I don't know if it gets flooded when it rains.

Red foxes live about 3 years in the wild. Their known predators in our area are coyotes and eagles. We have a coyote pup that walks down the street at night, in front of his mother and cries. This does not happen every night, but when it does happen, it is loud enough to wake my mom up from a dead sleep. Nothing besides the smell of food cooking is enough to wake me up, so I sleep peacefully as the coyotes search for food.

Red foxes help to control populations of their prey animals, such as rodents and rabbits. They also may disperse seeds by eating fruit.

What a cute family. I hope to see these guys again soon. Oh, and before I forget. You know the geese babies? Well they were on the other side of the pond as the red foxes played. The foxes must have seen the geese and vice versa. Maybe the foxes had already eaten or maybe everyone knew one another. Either way, I am always happy to see my animals friends living together in perfect harmony.

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