Monday, June 18, 2007

fox kits update

For those of you who have been asking about 'Tippy' and the rest of the fox family, I went over to the home where they have taken over the back deck and captured a few images on June 12th. Mother and kits are still calling the space under the deck home, romping, grooming, and hunting in the area. My friends may not be using their deck much this summer! When I arrived, the morning rain had ended and I was able to photograph the kits in that beautiful after-the-rain light when it's seems even the air is full of color.
The first image is the little runt Tippy, the only kit my friends have named, with the small crooked nose. The first I saw when I was setting up to shoot. Mother fox ran by and dropped a live mouse in front of Tippy who swallowed it quickly. Here is Tippy with one paw on an edge of the multi-level deck shot at 1/200 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400, focal length 300 mm.

Often, foxes will move the kits from one den to another. This family seems content to stay under this low deck where we know they have been staying for at least several weeks. And why not? The large deck affords shelter and safety from predators. The kits can retreat far under the deck and have three or four outlets for escape.

The 2nd image is one of Tippy's siblings whose tail is already getting the white tip characteristic of adult red foxes. Image captured at 1/125 second at f/7.1, ISO 400, focal length 200mm. This kit has mostly black legs and I believe is the largest of the three.

The black legged kit is also in the 3rd image play fighting with the mother. There was a lot of this going on that morning, but the action was mostly behind the trees and I was only able to catch glimpses of it. Here, the kit with ears layed back goes after the mother's neck while her open mouth moves toward the kit's leg. I suppose a good mother must teach her children to defend themselves. Image captured at 1/200 second at f/7.1, focal lenth 300mm and ISO 400.

I've read that these kits may stay with the mother until September when the family will split up and go their separate ways. If they continue to use my friends' deck as a base camp throughout the summer and I am able to photograph them, I shall post another update when they get a bit bigger.

This final image was captured at 1/125 second at f/5.6, ISO 400, 300mm.


Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Oh, my, Con. That first image is priceless! They all are. They make me miss our kits so much. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...


I love your pictures.