Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox

I once submitted a photograph of a vixen and cub to a competition. The judge commented that the photo looked too posed to be a ‘natural history’ image and duly penalised it. This struck me as one of the more stupid judgements I had heard (and I have heard a lot of stupid judgements), as we can only dream of getting these beautiful creatures to pose for a camera. I suppose you could say the same for this fox photo of fantastic Mr Fox. “Look left a bit … ears forward … head up slightly … smile … no teeth … hold it!”

Fox Daddy's Home: The Foragers

I’d always thought that the vixen raised its fox cubs by itself. For years, I have only seen a mother fox with its children, and they have always been very skittish. Well I was wrong. Apparently, it’s most common for fox cubs to be raised by monogamous parents, sometimes with the aid of a relative. They all share the same ‘earth’, which, in my case, has usually been a hole in a nearby hill or tree root. The adult foxes always hunt and forage alone. They are not pack animals. Maybe the presence of a daddy fox has enabled the rest of the family to be less skittish lately.

Yawning fox: it's a hard life

For the second year running, the father of the fox family has been on hand. This year’s dad looks healthy and bushy-tailed; whilst Mum looks scrawny and slightly bedraggled (don’t tell her I said that). The fact that Mum seems to do 99% of the work probably has nothing to do it. See, look how tired Dad is! It’s a hard life.

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