Readers’ wildlife photos

We have a new contributor who sent some lovely photos of fox kits. There are too many to post, even with the selection Steve sent, so I’ll pick some of my favorites. His notes are indented;

My name is Steve Adams and I’ve been a long time reader of your website and of your books. I very much enjoy seeing the wildlife photos sent in by your readers and thought I could contribute some of my own. My wife and I live just south of Rochester, NY on about 8 acres of land. Our backyard is an open area that is surrounded on three sides by woods with our house being along the 4th side. Back in March of this year, we noticed a red fox, (Vulpes vulpes), hanging around the edge of the backyard. We hoped it was a vixen looking for a place to den as we’ve had foxes den there in the past. Our hopes were rewarded this past May when we saw she had given birth to 4 healthy kits!

I’ve attached a file that contains some of the images I captured of the kits over the course of about a month. They made their debut to the outside world around the 1st week of May. They’ve provided my wife and I with endless amounts of entertainment as we’ve watched them grow, play, and learn to be foxes. Sadly, the family has moved on now and we haven’t seen them together for about the last 3 weeks. Although, one kit seems to have an affinity for its old stomping grounds and has made occasional visits to the backyard.

I hope I haven’t sent too many images. These are some of my favorites I’ve culled from a larger set. I also have wildlife images from various parks around Western NY and from our trips to the Galapagos and Tanzania. When I have more time, I’ll put together a selection of these.


28 Comments

  1. Randy schenck
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Nice photos. We had a similar experience at the place we use to live. Unfortunately, I did not even have a camera at that time to save any of it.

  2. rickflick
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Squee! I’d love to have those little guys in my yard. Send some soon! 😎

  3. Debbie Coplan
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Not too many photos for me…so joyful!

  4. David Coxill
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I thought young Foxes were called cubs ,not Kits ?.

    • Steve Adams
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen them referred to as “cubs”, “pups”, and “kits”. I went with kits in deference to our host.

  5. darrelle
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Beautiful pics! Nearly too cute to handle.

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    That fifth photo is the classic child “I’m up, but I’m not awake.”

  7. Merilee
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Delightful foxes, Steve. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Love this. Thank you, Steve. We have gray and red here in northern Vermont. I have always worried about them because of my cats. Lore here says they eat them. I don’t know if that’s true.

    • Steve Adams
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I really don’t know how much of a threat they are to cats. They certainly would be capable of killing one. Based on the carcasses and bones I’ve seen around the den, it seems to be mostly mice, squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional bird.

      A neighbor has a couple of “barn cats” that occasionally wonder into the yard and they are still, happily, with us!

      I would imagine that if prey became scarce enough they’d look to other sources.

      • Posted July 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        that’s what we’ve figured; local lore being what it is and all. Thank you for responding.

    • Mary L
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      They will come after cats. One night, one bit through our porch screen to get to our cat. (We used to allow day and night access.) We found some fur and the screen repairer said the bite marks were done by a fox. The cat was not happy that the porch door was closed at night after that incident.

      • Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        oh, no. Scary story. I’m glad the cat was fine.

        • Mary L
          Posted July 20, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, Andree. He was frightened, but avoided injuries.

  9. Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    That made my day. And it is still morning. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve. These are excellent!

  11. GregZ
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Too cute!

  12. alexandra Moffat
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    marvelous pictures – we had similar some years ago, within several hundred feet of my house, on my trail, and I have dogs. I watched at a distance not wanting to get them used to people. The pups wanted to come closer -I resisted. My photos not nearly as good as yours. Thank you.

    • Steve Adams
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      I worried as well that they not become too accustomed to human presence. I tried to maintain a respectful distance and used my longest lens to capture them at play. There were several times they became curious and tried to approach me, but I never let them. It was very hard to resist!

      Our neighbors are very good about keeping their dogs inside or on a leash, so I didn’t worry too much about a bad encounter. The biggest danger for the babies are cars. Several years ago, two babies out of a litter of 5, were killed when they wandered too close to the road.

  13. Mark R.
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Adorable kits! Could you tell them apart? If I could, I’d probably end up naming them. 🙂

    • Steve Adams
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t easily tell them apart except for one. It had slightly darker coloring than the other 3 and also seemed slightly less willing to engage in the play fighting with the others.

      We didn’t name any from this litter, but there was one from a past litter that we named “Braveheart”. It was always the last one to scurry back to the den and it was usually in the lead when pushing new boundaries in the yard.

  14. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    What a gorgeous lot of pics! Most enjoyable! I’d love to see the aftermath of the one where one kit was about to get landed on by another. 😀

    • Steve Adams
      Posted July 20, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Thank you! I wish I could have captured the aftermath but, unfortunately, I was too slow and missed it. As I recall it resulted in a long bout of nipping and tussling.

  15. claudia baker
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    So cute!!

  16. Karen Bartelt
    Posted July 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    These are so lovely. I hope they all do well.

  17. Posted July 21, 2017 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Those are great.. thanks.

  18. Greg Mills
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Great photos. Thanks.

  19. cruzrad
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Very cute! Thanks!


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