Posts Tagged ‘territory’

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.

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Feels Right At Home

The groundhog family must feel right at home now. When they first moved under the barn, they stayed close to the den. They got braver and spread around part of the back-back of our yard. The young ones generally stayed closer to the barn. Not any more.

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I looked out the picture window by my computer, and there was an adult … only it was only 20 yards from picture window where I sat.

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I thought it might possibly had been looking for an intruder in his territory.

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It headed south,

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went on the cistern,

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and rested before heading back toward the barn.

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.

A Fox Sign

I had a couple of things to do in the backyard this morning. As usual, Buffy went with me. I started toward the catalpa tree and came to an area that smelled strong like skunk, only not skunk. It was fox. One had marked its territory in our backyard! Luckily, the smell finally dissipated.

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So, obviously, the foxes plan to den under the barn again. The above picture shows Buffy one evening two years ago, waiting for the foxes to appear.

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From that look on her face, it was obvious she wanted me to help her evict them. Red foxes breed late January into February in southern Illinois. Gestation period is 51 days.

It’s looking good so far for the future possibility of little ones running around.

My fingers are crossed.

Last of the Fox Chronicles

I’m sad to say the fox family is no longer living under our barn. I knew this was coming, because they only use dens for raising their young. Here are a few pictures from the few times I saw them last week. I didn’t see them every day, and some times it was so dark, I couldn’t tell how many were out. I start the pictures with one taken before last week, one with good light. It was taken when I was seeing them daily.

A morning romp with mom

She had to hold her hind leg up to nurse the 2

They were active this evening

Like I said, they were ACTIVE that night. Three in the picture.

Look at the size of her tail!

Not wound up yet

Notice the white tip on the one’s tail. One morning 3 of them were tumbling around together. Their tails were wagging all over the place. I kept finding myself watching the white tail tips. They showed more in the low light than they would in brighter. I figured there must be a reason for the white tail tip, like distracting prey while the “business” end gets ready.

Shows size comparison between adult and young.

Another stare

The last picture I took

I knew they would be leaving anytime. I had a repeating image of the whole family together, walking out of our yard with me watching. It didn’t happen. The last time we saw one was when we could barely see a head sticking out from under the barn. Since we’re obviously in their territory, and since they successfully raised young here, I hope they return next year to raise young under our barn.

And I SO enjoyed sharing my fox experience.