Christmas Male

All fox-watchers must know them. It’s the season when territory lines vaporise, and dogfoxes scatter to the four winds seeking mates. It’s a reasonable strategy in deserts and conifer forests, where fox densities are low and home ranges big. In the rich pickings of the English greenbelt, fox neighbours are never far away to begin with, and the mating season brings trespassing and anarchy.

There are male foxes everywhere.

red fox england

Fox garden young male1 131214

The resident vixen has hidden herself, very likely because of her suitors. Even if they will be her mates later on, for now they are her competitors for food and shelter. They are also in bad temper, fighting quite fiercely amongst themselves.

Out in the meadows, another male was strolling alone this morning.

Fox meadow1131214

He held his ear on one side, like a dog with canker. It’s probably an ear infection, but it might be a nip from a rival.

Fox meadow2 131214

The skies seem very peaceful in comparison.Dawn 131208

About Adele Brand

UEA Ecology grad, typically sighted in the company of a tall graceful Belgian shephard dog and often trying to carrying a big camera around. Dislikes urban habitat but is comfortable in either prairie or mountain biomes. Frequently watching, or being watched by, foxes.
This entry was posted in behaviour - breeding, surrey hills foxes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Christmas Male

  1. wybauwerwin says:

    A great post Adele do have a nice day

  2. thomasgable says:

    Really interesting and really great post! Red foxes are incredible creatures and really beautiful as well! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! Thanks for sharing! Look forward to more!

  3. Darko says:

    They look kind of sneaky, do they? And the way they look you in the eye 😀 How do local cats relate to a fox invasion like that?

    • Adele Brand says:

      They probably look sneaky because they’re trying to avoid each other :p Yes, they will look me in the eye, which is an interesting behaviour – it’s more like a domestic animal action than a wild canid.

      The cats around here sometimes loiter with the foxes, sitting on walls with them. But most cats are too arrogant to take much notice of an average fox…

  4. Words says:

    The winter territorial games are always interesting to watch and I see your garden is regarded as a prime location 🙂

    • Adele Brand says:

      I can imagine what it must be like radio-tracking foxes in this season. My local ones seem to abandon the idea of ‘territory’ altogether. Oddly the males seem to outnumber the vixens six to one, unless they’re simply more visible at the moment.

  5. Deb Platt says:

    I enjoyed the photos, especially that top one of the dogfox peeking around the shrubbery. And it was interesting to read about the foxes jostling for territory and mates.

  6. You have the most amazing talent for finding photogenic foxes, Adele.
    Lovely sunset, too.

  7. Andy Wison says:

    Found ya, My Opera has died, and bookedmarked this page 🙂

  8. pam says:

    Oh those lovely foxes. I’ve got to save this one for Mia to see. She’s obsessed with foxes now.

    I laughed when Darko said they looked sneaky. I wonder if that’s where the old saying “sly like a fox” comes from.

    I think they look just a little mischievous.

  9. Adele, have you heard anything from Erwin? It’s beginning to feel sinister.

    • Adele Brand says:

      He left a couple of comments on my photos via google+ yesterday.

      • Glad to hear that … go to “Tapping Away in the Middle of the Night” and check out the top post and read all the comments. Erwin has apparently been missing, and all sorts of dire ideas have been floating around. I’ll leave a note there, and let them hash it out … I’m just glad I don’t have to figure out how to get to Europe.

    • Adele Brand says:

      Hrm. I suspect in this case fiction is a lot stranger than fact. He didn’t say much on Google+, just commented in his usual style, but to the best of my knowledge there’s nothing amiss.

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