January Foxes

I have heard the foxes at night quite a lot recently. They have a short, harsh bark. I have seen them in the garden, swift outlines in grey light. But it has been a while since I have seen them during the day.
At lunchtime, I glanced out of the window. MasterB was in the garden. He likes to sit on the wall. But he wasn’t there.
Instead, two foxes. I reached for my camera and approached the window stealthily. One picture through the glass. But their hearing is acute, and they moved. The smaller fox, who must be the vixen, disappearing into a neighbouring garden. The male tunnelling through the remaining greenery to sit on another part of the wall for a few moments before he too disappeared from sight.

They look fit and healthy. Maybe this year we are in for more cub watching. From a photographic point of view, that’d be great, but it’d be nice if they could keep the noise down and refrain from bringing every discarded takeaway meal into the garden to eat.
I went outside a few moments later, and MasterB came to greet me. The other night he seemed to be playing with a fox. He certainly wasn’t showing any fear. I wonder what he will be like with cubs?

24 thoughts on “January Foxes

  1. This is amazing. I wouldn’t have ever thought that fox would live in central London. We have deer in our neighborhood up north and they are also hard to photograph. I have seen a doe and twin spotted fawns playing and then resting on the ground in our back yard but when I get close to a window to photograph, they are gone. I enjoyed your fox when you posted a few months ago – thanks for more of them.

    • My husband thinks that you have fox in London because they are smart enough not to go into the countryside. I remember a big debate about fox hunting in England. What is happening on that front?

      • Fox hunting is currently banned. It doesn’t really control the fox population as foxes move into a vacancy, and the size of their litters is determined by food supply. But life in the city is much easier than in the country because there’s more food.

    • See Lorely’s comment and my reply. Urban foxes are far more numerous and successful than their country cousins. They are good at controlling rat populations instead of poison too.

  2. I saw more foxes when I lived in London than I had ever seen in my life up until then. There was a vixen who regularly whelped and raised her cubs in a nearby overgrown garden. When the wheelie bins came in, I’m afraid I often used to leave food out for them because I think most urban foxes (and stray dogs and cats) used to rely on the old, lower bins for their food as a mainstay.

    Now I very occasionally see a fox in the orchard early in the morning – they live in the hedgerow at the back of the fields behind our house and I know they regularly patrol the hen house at night. I hope it secure enough! They need to eat, but I’d rather they didn’t eat my hens! (NIMBYism at its worst I fear)
    I’d happily leave food out for them, but that would only encourage them to come closer.

    I do think MasterB is quite brave if he has befriended them. Maybe urban foxes don’t eat cats – cats are probably a familiar part of their rounds, and as you say – there are plenty of left over take-aways for them! I wonder if they have preferences.
    ‘Fancy an Indian tonight, Vix?’
    ‘Nah, fed up with curry. Let’s have a McDonalds.’

    • Growing up in the country, I think I saw a fox once. The food supply is so plentiful in towns, life is easier for them here. I know people who keep chickens and feed foxes in a different part of the garden. I don’t think I’d do that, but it seems to work. The couple in the ground floor flat overlooking our piece of grass work shifts. They say it is very amusing to see the foxes turning up late at night with their dinners and settling down for a picnic under the cherry tree. They like sweet things too, so discarded ice-cream wrappers and other such things often feature in our flower beds. Maybe we could train them to put their rubbish in the bin. They also bring toys to play with; everything from old footballs to socks. And they have a great liking for shoes.

  3. We used to hear the foxes at night but not in the last couple of years….and we never see them during the daylight which was the case when we first moved here. The foxes you capture do look quite healthy and well fed – they obviously have food sources that keep them from bothering the cats. MasterB is making some interesting friends!


    • I was worried about him in 2011. But he seems to have found his feet. Foxes usually leave cats alone, thine they eat bits of them when they road kill, and may take an elderly or very young cat. I am more concerned about the cubs if and when they come, for the same reasons I worried about them with Cat. They are terribly curious. And fight each other for toys.

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