Fox Week!

Actually, I have only two posts scheduled for Fox Week (foxes are the only d*gs I like), so if you have GOOD fox photos, send them along.

The first set comes from regular Diana MacPherson, who sent photos taken by a friend of a fox and its presumed cubs. Her commentary follows:

Here are some cute fox pictures a family friend sent. He lives in northern Ontario near the French River and there are foxes who visit. She raids the food he puts out for chipmunks on his woodpile and she brought him that stick and it looks like she is playing with a ball he probably bought for the foxes.

The ball in situ:

JThe ball, pre-fetch

She shows up with things like that ball which she steals from a dog’s grave. The neighbours had a Lab that died and they were really upset about it and so they put its toys on the grave and the fox steals the toys! She took off with that ball.

JFF FETCH 1 s

JFF FETCH 2

He also feeds her the cat food in a can with a lid (she comes buy yipping to be fed) but last time she took the whole works, can and all! The fox must have a den full of stuff she has stolen!

JFF FETCH 3 s

The “fetching” started when he threw a golf ball and she took the ball, came closer, then dropped it. He then threw it again and she took it and brought it closer and dropped it. He says she is teaching *him* how to fetch.

I think she just brought him the stick as the next thing she could train him with. She just showed up with the stick [below]. I don’t think he threw it for her though. I guess you can see how wolves could start on the road to domestication ~30 000 years ago if the fox is so trusting. I had one hang around my house that was really curious about the cows next door and would stare at them sitting there hunkered down.

Fox fetching stick:

F w STICK 2

These are the kits I believe but it’s hard to tell. The mom came with her kits in the summer and the kits learned to come up there for noms. They are *almost* tame!

FOXES (cubs?)

71 Comments

  1. gbjames
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Foxy!

  2. bonetired
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Cue old joke:

    Prince Charles was spotted at the ball in Blenheim wearing a tuxedo and fox hat on his head. One of the curious patrons approached him and complimented his tuxedo but then asked “Why are you wearing a fox hat on your head?”

    Prince Charles explained that before he left he said to the Queen, “I’m going to the hunt ball at Blenheim and I don’t know what to wear.”

    The Queen said, “Wear the fox hat.”

    • merilee
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      what am I missing??

      • merilee
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Ohhhh, I get it… where the f’s that…little slow today;-)

      • Marella
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        It only works in an American accent, it doesn’t work in an English accent or an Australian one.

        • Merilee
          Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          Lol – maybe that’s why I only got it after saying it aloud to myself…

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t get it until I read how to get it. :)

        • bonetired
          Posted December 3, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Or a very posh English …

  3. Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    According to a book I read about evolution (perhaps The Greatest Show on Earth… can’t remember), dogs are entirely derived from wolves and have no fox lineage.

    • Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      I mean by d*gs any species in the family Canidae.

      • Curtis
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Just so you don’t say “the dog kind”. Lol.

  4. JohnJay
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    So this Fox week post reminded me to go back and watch this.. (now over 260 million views)

    • Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      I came here just to make sure someone posted it. I’m amused just imagining Jerry’s reaction while he watches it.

      • Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s catchy but biologically inaccurate. :-)

        • Marta
          Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Which part?

        • Marella
          Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          When you listen to the sounds foxes make and then the song, using a little lot of artistic license it is possible to to fit most of their fox sounds in, more or less.

          • Marella
            Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Damn, a “litte” was meant to be struck through. I don’t really html.

    • Marta
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      That thing is just preposterous. I love it with my whole heart.

      My grandgirl, 3yrs. old, will, apropos of nothing, bust out a “what does the fox say?” to which her mother, my daughter, will “sing ring a ding ding ding ding, what does the fox say”. They do this everywhere, and it makes hearts gladsome.

      • Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Yeh, it’s all so cute and endearing, once one gets over the shock and initial gag reflex! Then the cutesy artsy part can be appreciated.

  5. Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Lovely photos! In my neck of the woods we have many foxes. When I was living in the country with a relatively huge garden and a large number of cats, springtime could be tragic for the odd cat or two as that is the time when vixens are hunting intensively to provide milk and then food for her cubs, and that is the time when they don’t hesitate to enter gardens at night and kill cats if they manage to catch any. My cats had access to shelter in the garden shed through a hole too small for foxes, but it did happen now and then that I would hear a terrible and characteristic loud cry and squeal when a vixen had caught a cat and was killing it. So keep your cats indoors in the spring at night if you can and if there are foxes in your area.

    Did you know that fox urine can be very toxic to humans (Leptospirosis), and should foxes have urinated on any of your herbs, salads and other veggies growing in your garden, eating them raw can make you very ill even if you have thoroughly washed them.

    • Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Ooops, forgot to sub.

      Done!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Lepto I think is also spread by racoons. If you live where there are wild animals, always get your pets vaccinated against it.

      • Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this is true. Loved the pictures and fascinating story, Diana. Thanks for sharing them.

  6. Larry Gay
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    OK folks, how many of you have seen a black fox? One trotted through my yard last spring in the company of an ordinary red fox. From what I read, they are in fact red foxes. You can see lots of black on the legs of Diana’s foxes above.

  7. Posted December 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    We live in rural Pennsylvania. Sometimes have coyotes but haven’t seen any foxes here.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      That a be why you don’t see the foxes. I may be wrong, but I think coyotes prey on them.

      Foxes are truly clever. They will lead you away from their kits by yipping and getting you to follow them and they are so dodgey in a field that they can easily allude you. They also have the strangest calls from what I’ve found on YouTube.

      • Matt G
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        I have heard the typical fox call described as a cross between a bark and a cough.

        • BilBy
          Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          But the vixens (or maybe both sexes) also have that splenetic scream/wail. I rather like it: there used to be foxes in the woods outside the house I grew up in in the UK and that call was one of the sounds of a still winter night.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I live in the suburbs just east of Pittsburgh and just learned tonite before coming in to read this that we again have a fox in the hollow behind us, for the first time in a dozen or so yrs. We’re hoping it will dine on groundhog.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Awww poor tubby ground hogs!

  8. Rod
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    No photo, a fox story….
    Mid 80s I called on a pulp mill in Red Rock, Ontario. Checking in at the gatehouse, I noticed a fox in the bushes a few feet away. It was semi-tame, and the guards fed it regularly.
    On a later visit to the mill I saw it come to the gatehouse proudly showing its litter of several kits.
    Mill employees would leave scraps of meat at the gatehouse and they would disappear by morning.
    I met another tech service rep at a conference who called at that mill, and he remembered the fox as well.
    You are right… awesome tail.

    • merilee
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Red Rock, Ontario, is a beautiful spot! Stumbled on the inn there a few years ago (Northern Lake Superior).

  9. Bob Carlson
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t yet taken photos of the fox that is seen from time to time in our yard. Although I live in the city, there are woods at the rear of our lot and some of the adjoining ones, and that is presumably where the fox lives. The trees in the woods are mostly oaks, and, of course, there are lots of squirrels in those woods. In our front yard, there is a large willow oak, and although its acorns are small, they tend to be numerous and attract many squirrels. There can be as many as ten squirrels out there at a time. Earlier in the day, the fox will sometimes be sitting in the yard watching for squirrels outside our kitchen window. My wife has seen some narrow escapes by the squirrels but never an instance where a squirrel has been caught. She has no fondness for the squirrels, as they dig in her flower beds, so she feels sorry seeing the fox go hungry.

  10. Matt G
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure most folks here know about the 50+ year experiment in Russia to domesticate foxes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox

    Sorry, I don’t know how you Big City Folk do that fancy link-embedding trick.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      What a cute fox! I’d love to have a pet fox.

      • Merilee
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        My son has a wonderful d*g, Lloyd, who looks just like a big- headed fox. He’s orange with a very bushy tail. Would love to see his DNA. Best guess Chow/Akita/?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          DNA My Dog will do the tests. I think the same company is starting to do cat DNA too.

          • Merilee
            Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            Might be fun for my Currsanthemum, too :-)

            Not sure it would be as interesting for cats, as there don’t seem to be as many distinct breeds.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

              I had my gigantic dog tested as I thought she could have great dane in her but turns out she was all lab (just a lab that exceeds the standards). I rescued her & I suspect she was a field trial dog as she is high strung like field trial dogs & breeders of such dogs don’t care about looks so much.

  11. stuartcoyle
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry that I cannot share your liking for foxes. They are a feral pest here in Australia and one tried to kill my chickens, thankfully my cat scared it off. :)

    • stuartcoyle
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Before anyone brings it up, yes I do know that cats are a feral pest here too…

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        ….and rabbits, and toads. :)

        • Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          …and camels and horses…

          • Matt G
            Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            Oh my!

            • bonetired
              Posted December 3, 2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink

              And Test Cricketers …. ( and least from an English point of view ;-) )

  12. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    You wanted some fox photos so here goes. All taken in my back garden.

    Excuse the shaky video, I’m not very good at it.

  13. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Damn, it embedded again. It was just supposed to be a link, sorry Jerry.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Cute fox! I swear I replied about how to link but then maybe my trickiness in showing how to do it made WordPress think it was spam.

  14. gbjames
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    OK, here’s one of my little fox snippets from two years ago in Milwaukee.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6s6_ZcKbY4

    (I hope this won’t embed the video!)

    • Merilee
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Love the (itchy) kit!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Me too – so cute how it came trotting out!

  15. Hempenstein
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I like your friend’s woodshed too, Diana!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      LOL he lives way way up north now and wants to keep wood available in case of power outages, etc. He grew up with my dad (they’ve known each other since they were boys).

  16. Michael Fugate
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    What category does the tanuki aka raccoon d*g belong in good canid or bad canid?

    http://www.canids.org/species/nyctereutes_procyonoides.htm

  17. Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    About this playing/retrieving interaction with humans, could it be that the fox wanted to earn some more noms? (like singing for her supper or something?)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      I think the fox wanted to train a human. She probably went back and bragged to all the other foxes about her human training skills!

      • Posted December 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        :D And you know what they say… “Crazy like a fox!”

      • Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if the mother fox had observed the dog owner and dog playing fetch with that yellow ball, and seen all the attendant bonuses that go with those interactions, both in affection and special noms. Is it remotely possible that the mother fox learned this behaviour?!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          I’m pretty sure she stole the ball that’s for sure.

  18. Posted December 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Cute kit!

    I understand that there are actually feral foxes living within the city limits of Tempe, Arizona, but damned few people have ever seen them. I’m not sure I quite believe it, but the sources I’ve heard this from have been reputable….

    b&

  19. Posted December 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got some fox photos from around the side of my house… about 10 years ago. Not good enough, though. I did manage to help a fox family survive before I had to haul the elm carnage off my property, removing their cover.

    It was pretty cool for a while.

  20. Ronaldo
    Posted December 3, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Since nobody posted this yet…

    http://www.dogheirs.com/george/posts/1632-man-rescues-fox-and-finds-his-new-best-friend-video

    • merilee
      Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Wonderful!!!!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 3, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Lovely! I want my own fox!

      • Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, that’s likely about as impractical as a pet bobcat, and for almost all of the same reasons. Even if you and the animal develop a deep and lasting bond — entirely possible — there’s still all the animal’s habits that make it unsuited for being an indoors pet, the serious consequences (likely lethal) should it escape its enclosure, the challenge of giving it enough attention…not to mention all the legal permits (even assuming such are available in your jurisdiction), finding a vet wiling to care for it (and what happens when said vet retires?), and so on.

        Unless you can afford your own exotic supercar or live in certain rural areas, chances are slim that an exotic animal is a viable companion.

        …and, yeah, I’m sure I’d get a kick out of a pet fox, too….

        b&

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          Yeah I know but it was a fantasy devoid of a practicality. Even having guinea pigs was a hassle as they are considered exotics!

          • Posted December 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            Guinea pigs? Exotic?

            Ignoring their popularity in the lab…well, in the Andes — and amongst Andean migrants — they’re a staple. And I’m sure I’ve seen them in mall pet shops, even if it’s been years since I set foot in a mall….

            b&

    • Posted December 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant!

      Mike also said that a fox looks like a dog but purrs like a cat. :D


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