Fox Trot

By Heidi Stonehill
Oct 13, 2016
Small Fox

a small fox

Cecelia Ryan


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I love wildlife, but I don’t see as much now that I’ve moved from the country to a small town. So, you can imagine my glee (and my cat’s chagrin) when I saw a red fox trot into my back yard one morning.

He had a pale reddish coat with blackish legs and a very dapper, bushy tail. A few weeks later, I saw him pass through my yard again, at dusk. Could it be that he is attracted to the bird feeder, or is my yard on some sort of trail?

A number of foxes do eat wild birds, and it is true that they can go after chickens and other domestic avians, as the tales say. But it isn’t their only fare. They also dine on mice, rabbits, voles, fish, insects, and carrion, or enjoy a bunch of berries now and then. Foxes are opportunistic feeders; one fox might have a totally different diet from another one in a different location—it just depends on what’s available.

I’m not worried about my wild birds—they’re smart and always on the lookout. Plus, my feeder is high off the ground on an inaccessible metal pole and close enough to sheltering bushes (but not too close for an ambush), so my feathered friends should be safe there. Even people have to be careful around foxes, however, as they can carry rabies. But this little guy seems healthy and to be acting normally.

I was surprised to learn that foxes like birdseed. Perhaps my fluffy-tailed visitor is taking advantage of the seed that falls to the ground (though as yet, I haven’t caught him munching).

I’m hoping that he’ll visit more often, and that he’ll live a long, healthy life.

Do you have fox friend? Share your story below.

Reader Comments

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About 5 yrs. ago, foxes moved into our neighborhood. I thought the "red stray with the bushy tail" I noted one night was a particularly pretty dog until my collie told me otherwise. Her bark took him across our yard on a run, and once in better light, I saw he was a fox. Since then, all the neighborhood has seen his progeny and we are careful to keep smaller animals inside now. When the collies howl in the middle of the night, I know our fox pals are tip-toeing through the back yard.

Fox on the porch

Living in NW NJ, on the edge of wooded area and the South Branch of the Raritan River. We have an indoor/outdoor cat. Sometimes if we are going out for the day we may leave his bowl of dry food on the back porch so he can get a snack. For a while last winter a fox began visiting - he had apparently discovered the bowl one day, and must have taken some. He had no fear just walking right up on the porch at the back door to see if it was there,whether we were looking at him through the window or not. Sometimes would just stand in the yard a few feet away.

One morning last winter I was out jogging and stopped on the path near the local school to do some stretches. It was morning twilight, so still a bit dark. I realized that someone was watching me. Turned to see the same fox about 3 yards away just standing staring at me. We looked at each other for about a minute, then he calmly turned tail and walked off into the woods. Of course I did not have my cell camera with me.

Haven't seen him lately....

Red Fox

I live in Florida and was amazed one day to look out and see a red fox in my backyard. He/she was looking into the underbrush, probably for some mice or other small animals. We just moved into this mobile home and droppings were found inside the skirting that looked like a dog had been living there. We now think it was the fox. We have a ditch next to the house and there are two piles of dirt/sand that looks like it might be a den. One day we saw kids running down the road chasing the fox and shortly after that we saw a large bird - went so fast we don't know what it was - chasing the fox back up the street. The fox headed for the mounds in the ditch and we haven't seen it since. That was a couple months ago. I have a picture but don't see anyplace to upload one.

submitting photos

Hi there, you can submit your photos to our e-card gallery here: Look for the link at the top of the page that says "submit". Thanks for sharing!

Mama fox and kits

I just recently became aware of a fox den under our garage. This is the first time we've experienced this here in an urban part of Maine. I saw Mama and her kits playing in the grass on a warm sunny day recently - they were beautiful.

Mama and her babies look healthy; however, we worry about the safety of the neighborhood cats and small dogs, wondering if they could be the next meal for this vixen and her kits. Will the vixen and her kits move on once the kits are a little bigger? My husband's concern is that the tunnel/s to her den will affect the foundation support of the garage, so we are at odds as to what to do about them.

We love nature and enjoy watching this beautiful vixen and her kits, but we're also waiting for them to move on so we can fill the hole and put chicken wire around the foundation to prevent any more tunneling under the foundation of the garage.

Any ideas as to what is best to do would be appreciated.

Thank you.

I have had a family of foxes

I have had a family of foxes They eat the trail mix or dry dog/cat food)for the last 2 years, as well as racoons,(they eat the same as the foxes)squirrels and 2 abandoned cats that all seem to do fine and have their nuts or dry food they eat everyday. The greenbelt behind our home is their home. I went as far as taking pictures to show they eat at the same time without problems.

Fox in the city

I live in the Bay Area in California and this past weekend my husband and I saw a small (I think baby) fox in the nature garden in Tilden Park in Berkeley. Tilden Park has acres of natural trees and chapparal and this little fox was nibbling on a wildflower. My phone camera was all I had so I didn't get much of a picture but it was great to see that little fox kit.

Daily fox visits

We also have a fox that goes through our property daily, usually in the mornings. I believe it is a decendant of another older fox that must have died. This new fox is much younger and sometimes we see his siblings traveling with him. They move pretty fast and will come up to the house occassionally to see if any rabbits are hiding. The older fox, when he was around, must have had a bad case of mange. We found him lying down near our home a few years back with a nasty bloody rash on his haunches. There was snow on the ground and where ever he laid down it would get red. We took pictures of him and I believe that may have been our last sighting of him. We get very excited when we see the fox and both my husband and I will run to different windows to steal looks at him as he runs through. We always yell "Fox" and we run to the windows. I love to see nature in my backyard.


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