Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fox Report, May 26,2009

I am learning fox language. The mom has several growls with specific meanings. Yesterday she caught a glimpse of me as I took these photos through my kitchen window. I heard a low growl that stopped her pups at play. The second growl sent them racing for cover beneath the house.

Then I watched her pull a deer leg from the bushes, probably from a road kill. At first, several pups, still too young to know what to do with meat, began tugging on the bone. The mom was hungry and seemed to have had enough of puppies jumping on her and tugging at her tail. This growl backed them off some distance for quite awhile.

Bath time is always so sweet to watch. Mom grabs a pup as it races by and begins licking and biting at its fur. The puppies seem to love this attention and show it with blissful looks on their faces. The mom is always very alert, however, and frequently looks up startled with ears perked. Puppies don't like this bath interruption and lick her nose until she resumes licking them.

There is a runt in this litter. It looks to be about 10 days younger than the others: smaller and fluffier. This little one makes up for small with feisty energy, however, and can hold its own. This puppy is often the brunt of hard play, with the others ambushing and pouncing on it. The little guy will have nothing to do with being picked on, flattens its ears, and gives a nasty growl. The others back off immediately. When it chooses to do so, however, it jumps right in the middle of the fray.

Here are yesterday's pix.

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