This May, I found two fox dens in the forest near my home. They are near places I walk by almost every day, protected and hidden.
I went back to the first den with my camera and sat way up on the hill above it for a little bit one afternoon. Soon enough, I had four little sets of eyes peeking out at me. All the photos of the first den are from that one afternoon. I had really nice light for the photos, so am thankful for that.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Eventually just one fox kit decided to stay outside, and I got to watch it as it settled in.
Pretty relaxing except for the flies.
As I left I set up a remote video camera and went back a few days later to retrieve it. I got some fun videos of the foxes running, playing with a Wild Turkey wing left over from dinner the parents had brought in. I did not know foxes could catch a Wild Turkey! Apparently they can! After that I left them alone to grow up. I keep hoping I will see one dart across a path when I am walking, but nothing so far.
This second set of fox kits I ran into when I was out looking for owls. I had heard and seen a pair of Barred Owls on the hill right above where this fox den is located.
I have discovered a lot about myself through my photography- and one thing for sure is that I like to go out quietly by myself. Every once in a while in the nature photography world some bird or animal will be discovered, and before you know it there is a huge crowd of photographers lined up taking photos. I witnessed this in Ottawa a few years ago when the Great Grey Owls showed up in Rockcliffe Park. I also saw it on Amherst Island this winter when 20+ Snowy Owls decided to congregate all in one spot for a few days, and cars were parked all over the sides of the roads.
I know that anytime I am out taking photos of birds or animals I am impacting their behaviour somewhat, no matter how quiet or hidden I try to be. But I think that going back to the same place over and over and getting really close just to get a great shot is not necessary. I saved my money for a big lens, and it helps me keep my distance. I can crop my photos quite a bit without affecting the quality as well. And as far as lining up with a big group of photographers- forget it. I am so grateful that I was able to spend some quiet time observing these little foxes, all by myself.
There were at least four kits in this second den as well. They seemed happy and healthy. I loved watching them snuggle into logs to have a sleep.
I set up a remote camera at the second den too. I love these “spy cams” since I can see what is going on without bugging the animals. This camera captured video of the kits playing, one of the parents, and a BLACK BEAR sniffing around the den! If you are interested in seeing a couple of the videos I will share my dropbox folder with you, just ask for them in the comments below.
I will be keeping my eyes open in my neighbourhood for a glimpse of these little ones as they grow, learn, and expand their territories.
Thanks for visiting my blog, and for your interest in nature.