ginny12June 23, 2010

In the expanding wildlife preserve my garden is becoming, I have had a fox explosion this year. Foxes are one of the few animals that have been here since we have, tho we saw one only occasionally.

But this year they are postively cavorting around the lawn in mid-day. There are lots in the woods and a neighbor saw a female move her babies from a block away to the woods behind our houses. They are beautiful animals, I must say.

Has anyone else noticed an increased number of foxes recently? Anything I should be aware of re foxes? What do they eat--chipmunks, I hope?

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spedigrees z4VT

Yes we've had families of foxes that cavorted about our meadow in the past, and they do keep the rodent population down. Sadly last year a dog killed their babies and they have not come back to try again. :-( I really miss watching the little ones wrestle and play.

I read about 5 years ago that a virus (not rabies) that used to infect the fox population has disappeared from the scene and foxes are faring better, hence the rise in their numbers in recent times.

You should have no chipmunk problems with the foxes around. (Unfortunately they will sometimes attack and kill cats. Thankfully MY cats have never fallen victim, but my sister's kitty was attacked a few years ago and spent a few days in the vet hospital.)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 6:45PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

ginny, the maxim i have always heard is that if you see a fox out in the open during the day, it is sick, and potentially dangerous (likely rabies). Now, i say that knowing full well that 'never' and 'always' are rarely accurate, but do be careful. I am so envious of being able to watch real kits(not t.v. kits); what a thrill.

idabean did mention on another thread (the 'animal hole' one) that the chipmunk population seems to be up considerably this yr.. If this is indeed the fact, perhaps the fox increase is related to that.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Thanks, Mindy. I know that's often the case but these foxes are young and healthy. I certainly hope they eat chipmunks as my population is way up this year too, after a blessed few years of almost none. They--with voles and mice-- almost destroyed a portion of my garden some years back--the part with stone walls--so beautiful but so inviting to voracious critters.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:37PM
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spedigrees z4VT

The news article that I read several years ago which described the decline of the fox virus addressed this. Wildlife dept here in Vermont were suddenly receiving many calls from people concerned about seeing foxes in the daytime. Their investigation revealed that the plentiful daylight fox sightings are an indicator of the absence of a virus (not rabies) which had adversely affected fox populations for many years, and these animals proved to be in excellent health. Foxes here are thriving for the first time in decades, so the old addage is no longer applicable. If a fox appears healthy in daylight, going about normal activities (ie hunting, moving babies) then it is very unlikely to be afflicted with rabies or any other virus. If it appears disoriented or aggressive to humans, that is another story.

I wish I had a link to this article but I believe it was in the newpaper, not online.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 3:28PM
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treeskate(6a Hartford CT)

This is the first year I have heard and seen foxes in this suburban area. My neighbor across the street watched a Mom and her babies trot across to another area. I was walking down my yard about 3 weeks ago mid afternoon and saw a beautiful red fox just sitting/suning on the weed pile that borders my property with the town woods. We looked at each other calmly and then she just got up and ambled into the woods. Wow!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 5:45PM
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Oh, I wish I could see foxes in my yard! Nothing would make me happier.
There were six little foxes
Who didn't wear soxes
And kept their hankies
In cardboard boxes

Who knows who wrote this?
The thought of foxes makes me regress to childhood


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:04AM
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I Googled it, Marie, and found that it is a poem, "The Three Foxes" by A.A. Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame. Lovely, evocative poem of untroubled childhood.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Three Foxes poem

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:45AM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

yay ginny. yay google! how charming;i have it in my head now!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 4:10PM
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Ya, I knew it AAMilne, but I wondered if anyone else did (w/0 googling)

So if you love that, go back and read Mrs. Tiggywinkle by Beatrix Potter.

Now I am really off topic, tho the link is about anthropomorphizing animals.

I'm glad you liked the ditty. I think it is from "Now We are Six" which is, indeed, about the innocence of childhood.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 10:48PM
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And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky
Now how to amuse them today?

(It's the closing stanza of Measles, also A.A. Milne.)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 10:15AM
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