January is the peak fox breeding month
January is the peak month of the foxes’ mating season. There is much barking and screaming during evenings on the marsh this month. Throughout last year, I have photographed the marsh foxes hunting as a pair: one worked to keep their prey’s attention, while the other crept-up from behind and made the kill – it is a very effective strategy.
The vixen is cautious and timid; the dog fox is brash and not at all skittish. I place a handful of peanuts nuts a few meters from the camera lenses. The dog fox stands there, brazen, and gobbles 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 foxes’ world. The fights for the right to mate are over. Most of last year’s juveniles have dispersed. A young female might be allowed to stay within the adult foxes’ territory to help rear and look after the cubs at night when mum is away hunting. The young female will act as auntie, and will also hunt food for the cubs.
It’s the dominant vixen that usually gets the chance to mate; if successful, she will earth during February. This year’s cubs will be born in March.