Barking and screaming in the night.
27th January 2012: January is the peak month of the foxes’ mating season. There has been much fox barking and screaming during evenings on the marsh this month. Throughout last year, I have seen and photographed the marsh foxes hunting as a pair: one worked to keep their prey’s attention, whilst the other crept-up from behind and made the kill – it is a very effective strategy.
My camera traps have snapped a vixen every night this week: thirty short videos clips, but only a few stills. I think it’s a vixen, because it is a timid fox; the marsh dog fox is brash and not at all skittish. I leave a small handful of lamb flavoured rice nuts a few meters from the camera lenses. The dog fox just stands there and eats all the nuts in one go; the vixen rushes in and out, grabbing a nut or two at a time.
February is a quiet month in the fox’s world. The fights for the right to mate are over. Most of last year’s juveniles have been chased away. Some juveniles might be allowed to stay within the adult foxes’ territory, usually females who will rear and look after the cubs at night when mum is away hunting. The young females will act as aunties, also hunting food for the cubs.
Usually, only the dominant vixen is allowed to mate; she will be confined to her earth during February. This year’s cubs will be born in March.
In the slide-show shows are a few of this week’s images from my Fox Cam. It’s not only the foxes that are dining on rice nuts. The field mouse rushed in many times to grab a nut: