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Red den

Started by 1snafu, July 13, 2022, 07:40:00 AM

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1snafu

I have observed many Red dens over my yrs. What a hoot to watch them play.


1snafu

This female used a (dry) field drive culvert tube. Too raise her litter.

1snafu

Another den site; Lower right kit is sitting next to the entrance hole. Female was killed on a nearby highway. So the male took over her duties. Kits are weaned at 5wks old. When she was killed, the kits were 5+ wks old.


1snafu

Another culvert tube den site.


1snafu

Another culvert tube den site.


1snafu

Most kits I've seen in 1 litter was 14. Some "experts" claim such a large litter is from 2 females. Well I don't buy that theory. Unless someone can prove it via DNA testing. Most single litters I've observed were 2-5 kits. I have seen only 1x. An old female & 2 young females all their den sites were within 1/2 mile of each other. Old female had 5 kits, both young females only had 2 kits. I only seen 1 male on that territory that encompassed all 3 den sites. Sooooo if I were to speculate/theorize. I would consider him to be the breeder of all 3 females. Of course, that would be 100% speculation on my part.

Don't get me started on the infamous "nanny Red Fox".  :iroll: 

1snafu

1 behavior I've found interesting about the Reds. Fresh kills would be dropped off at the entrance hole vs any exit hole. More pondering why that is.

Another behavior I've seen. When a female is rearing her kits. They feed heavily on domestic cats. When the den is near a town or farmsted.  Otherwise, I've never found cat remnants at a Red den site.

Okanagan

Cute critters. Great pics!

Never lived anyplace with very many foxes, so haven't observed them much.  Interesting info.  In Saskatchewan for two springtimes in a row I watched a den along the highway between Tisdale and Saskatoon.  A pair of red foxes had a den in the south face of a highway cut, right beside traffic, though there wasn't a lot of traffic on that two lane highway.  Most times I drove past, one or both of the grown foxes and/or some little ones were outside.

Watched another den of foxes on a friend's ranch in Wyoming when we were there for a few days several years ago.  That den had several entrances in the dirt bank of a borrow pit.  I enjoyed watching the mother and little ones.

And then, there was the time elk hunting in the Kootenays when I came on a fresh fox track in an inch of fresh snow at dawn.  I tracked the fox to a den under the roots of a big stump, tracks going in, none coming out. No second entrance that I could find in the open ground nearby.  To this day I can't recall my logic, but I crawled into the straight hole up past my hips and lay there letting my eyes adjust to the dim light.  Could see nothing and began to wonder what to do if the fox escorted me out, so I crawled backward and left. 




1snafu

While observing at close range a few of the above active dens. I would make varying noises to see which they dismissed or alerted too. It was an interesting experience. Because the ones they dismissed were deep based sounds. They would have a (reflex reaction) to the noise. But not even look my way. However, when I made high pitched squeaks. They would turn & look right at me. I reckon for any movement of that sound? Fact is it would draw their attention. One thing I realized early on stalking a sleeper Red on loud snow. Was they tended to dismiss deep based foot noises as I was closing the gap between them & I. Not all of them but some of them.

Conversely, as for any self-respecting coyote. A hunter would not likely/never get away with making a noise closing the gap. As the coyotes pay attention to all sounds.