Know your neighbours: the red fox

Whether you live in Sun Peaks, Kamloops or anywhere in between, it’s very likely that you have some kind of wildlife living nearby or passing through your neighbourhood from time to time. How fortunate we are to be able to work and play in such an incredible area so rich in nature. One of the creatures that occasionally makes its home very near to us is the red fox.

For those of us that enjoy taking photographs, having a wild creature living right in your neighbourhood is something very special that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The red fox is a very unique species that many of us have come to love. In some cases, it has adapted very well to living amongst us. This beautiful, charismatic and often comical member of the wild dog family can be found with three basic colour variations in our area that include red, silver and cross. As you might suspect, cross is a mix of the red and silver, and if you’ve ever seen this unique color, you’ll know that it’s very striking.

The red fox sometimes sticks to a routine that is very predictable such as using the same trail to hunt, the same den to raise young and the same safe and secure resting areas. With close observation over time, it’s possible to be in the right location at the right time to take your photographs.

Sometime in April or in May, depending on the elevation, the red fox gives birth to four to five pups after a gestation period of 50 days. When the young are nearly two months old, they’re sometimes moved to another den. Experts say this is likely done for sanitary reasons. From here, they learn the necessary skills of survival. As winter draws near, the young foxes are able to care for themselves and venture out on their own to establish hunting territories.

In general, the red fox makes its home on the edges of wooded areas and open farmland. A den is used only to raise young and is constructed in such a way that there are many escape routes in case of danger.

The red fox is nocturnal, but it’s very common to see them during the day doing just about anything from playing, resting and hunting. They feed on small mammals for the most part, such as mice, voles and hares. Small birds, fruits and berries are also on the menu.

Remember to keep yourself and your wild neighbours safe when looking for that great picture. Treating them with respect, while allowing them the room to roam, will keep them wild and reward you with some great photographs.

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