Posts Tagged ‘kits’

Backyard Perch

The pair of groundhogs raised a family of four under our barn. I’m not seeing all of them now, so I’m wondering if the young ones have dispersed?

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This was the first time I’ve seen a groundhog on the

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“platform” the red foxes used regularly when they lived under the barn late last winter.

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The groundhogs raised four this summer.

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The vixen and four kits usually stayed outside and near the barn; the male hunted for food.

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Buffy took a dim view of any others living in her territory!

It will be interesting to see who lives where next year.

Fingers Crossed

Today is Thursday, April 16. Last weekend had such nice weather, every neighbor was out mowing their yard, including us.

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My last pictures of the foxes were taken Friday, April 10. I can’t see them going nocturnal with 6 kits running around.

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I thought if we all crossed our fingers and asked politely that, maybe, the foxes would return.

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DARN!

I looked out after supper and saw …

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This groundhog sure didn’t waste any time moving in. Buffy knows it’s here and it knows Buffy’s here.

I’m still crossing my fingers for the foxes’ return.

There ARE Five!

Recent weather has been wet and cold, with strong storms last night. I didn’t seen the foxes for days. I even thought they’d moved somewhere else.

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 I fixed my lunch, started for the living room and there were the foxes!

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This picture definitely shows that there are five kits. They sure match the colors of the shaded rocks.

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They were an active little bunch, investigating, playing, a lot of practice pouncing.

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There didn’t seem to be any sibling rivalry.

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I’m not sure, but I think this was a young groundhog. I couldn’t think of anything else that would be that color.

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The little one could smell what had just been brought in for “lunch.”

They played for an hour and a half before going back under the barn, probably for a nap.

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Early evening play.

Obviously, the light is better for pictures later in the day.

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Usually the parent checks out the yard for any possible problems/intruders before the young come out.

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And then there are six! (Four on the left and two on the right.)

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“CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Fox Celebration

As of now, I work my daily activities around the presence of the foxes. I took pictures this morning, early afternoon and then this series little after 5.

Timing is everything.

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She caught me.

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What was probably procrastinating, had her resting on their lookout,

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AND THEN down she went. Out came a little one! There also a little furry “mound” behind the long rock.

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AND THEN this picture shows three kits. The one on the left looks funny from the movement. The one under her looks like one of the rocks and the third one’s by her tail! And here I thought they were born recently or were about to be born. Apparently they were born earlier than my mammal book said.

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She checked her territory out again before going under the barn.

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The male headed to the corner of our backyard where he can get under the fence and on to find their next meal.

Looks Promising

Things are looking promising for the fox family to den under our barn this year.

I’d been working in the yard this afternoon and sat down to rest. Orange movement in the shrubby corner of the back corner of our 2-acre yard caught my attention. About the same time my presence caught its attention. It went back the way it came. At first it looked like a cat we have in the neighborhood.

It wasn’t long before it headed back toward the barn under more shrubby cover.

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The pair raised 4 kits in their den under our barn last summer. With them being so aware and on alert at all times, I had to take all my pictures through the picture window in my computer room. They would even see me in the house.

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Three were nursing here and the other one … maybe it was already full.

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I couldn’t fool them, even when in the house. She came to the water garden for a drink and let me know she knew I was watching her.

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Buffy knew they were under there,

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and wanted me to help get them out of her territory.

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I took pictures of the family from May 9-24 last year.  According to my Mammals of Illinois book, foxes breed late January and in February.  Gestation period is 51 days, and the young are born in late March or in April. Since we live in southern Illinois, I figure they breed toward the end of March.

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  I sat down at the computer yesterday afternoon, looked out the window and there was a fox coming up from the back corner of our yard! I managed, in all my excitement, to get 3 pictures. It’s cautious actions before going under the barn let me know it sensed me.