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Sick Kits

Posted on Dec 30, 2015

Last spring I was able to enjoy watching a Red Fox family growing up, up close! I posted photos and videos of them in a bunch of posts this past April and May including:

At some point in the early summer the kits all left the den, exploring more and more on their own, staying in different locations and occasionally popping in and out of the area. By the end of the summer they were not being seen anymore, having gone out to find their own life and place in the world. Mom and dad were spotted from time to time, and this fall they were seen more frequently, making a new den and likely preparing to have another family. They look to be healthy, feeding regularly, and without any major disease or injuries.

Unfortunately, the late fall and winter season are very difficult for the young of the world, not knowing how to properly care for themselves with nature’s reserves dropping dramatically. Many birds often die in their first year even if they successfully left the nest – from migratory perils including window strikes, predation by other birds or cats, or in the case of many raptors, starving to death. Two of what certainly must be “our” kits returned one day and were sleeping on the grass in the sunshine outside of their old den, perhaps looking to mom and dad for some help and guidance. They did not look very healthy, with rough fur and some mange.

Red Fox Kits Sick-2323

Red Fox Kits Sick-2332

Red Fox Kits Sick-2350

Red Fox Kits Sick-2359

Red Fox Kit Sick-2374

They watched me from afar and did not really care that I was there, which is not so good in itself. The photo of one on a sidewalk was taken through a window, and it had been eating some bird seed as the omnivorous and opportunistic species is known to do. I have not seen the kits since these couple of sightings, but I wish them the best in hopefully surviving the winter and what will be better lives in 2016.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator