Red and Black (really Red) Fox Kits
One spring event that I really look forward to as a photographer is the birth of red fox kits. Fox pairs den up in late winter and a female will give birth in April. Late April and May is a great time to watch and photograph these cute critters as they romp, play and learn how to cope in the urban “wilderness”.
In Summit County, Colorado, we are fortunate to have an abundance of red foxes. In one three block area in Silverthorne, there were three dens with a total if 10 kits. Two dens were so close to each other that one was never sure which kit belonged to which den. I watched and photographed the kits over a two-week period in early May.
One morning the kits awoke to a new wonder – snow:
After an hour or two of rough play, they would exhaust themselves and either retire to the den or just collapse and take a nap.
Refreshed and full of energy they would resume their fun and games.
Red foxes, while mostly reddish, have been sighted as blond, gray and black. Black is relatively rare, but we have an abundance in Summit County. My understanding is that formerly a breeder in our area raised black foxes for their beautiful fur, which is highly prized. Unfortunately the business failed and the foxes were released to the wild. They easily made their home in Summit County. We often catch a glimpse of a black fox with its white tipped tail trotting through the neighborhood.
Mother fox keeps a watchful eye on her kits and is often seen bringing dinner to the table.
They are cute and fun to watch, but one must maintain a respectful distance. Also, never feed wildlife. They can become dependent on humans for food and it decreases their ability to survive in the wild.
I hope that you have had the good fortune to witness this spring time event.