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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of four. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Denning Kit Foxes

It took the codger a while to wade through 850 30-second clips to produce this little video about the den life of a pair of kit foxes.

This is the same den photographed by Randomtruth (RT) with the able assistance of California Fish & Wildlife Biologist Craig (aka "Dr. Fiehlgood") and his assistants.

You will enjoy the graceful foxiness of kit foxes in motion, but to fully savor their colorful beauty and other activities you really have to go to Randontruth's recent blogposts. (His 3 posts are chock full of wonderful photos).

I used two trail cameras for the footage, and RT's camera was set for stills.

The foxes were thoroughly cooperative, but one of my cameras was less than ideally positioned. Craig did the needful and moved it for a better view. (Thank you, once again, Dr Fiehlgood.)

One interesting observation was the foxes' infrequent examination of my cameras.

But when the pup approached the camera at about 6 weeks of age the mother (I presume) picked it up by its scruff and carried it away.

She showed no signs of fear to the camera, but she wasn't taking any chances with her pup.

The footage however wasn't good enough to include in the video.

Hope you enjoy it.


Anonymous said...

Love it!

MsPieway said...

Good work! Loved the bears too.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Yay! RT hinted at the existence of video from you. Are there any thoughts as to why the kit foxes move their dinner around? And, maybe the digging and filling was to air out possible scents?

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks, troops. Moving the dinner .... hmmm .... maybe it stimulates the pup to find the chow by scent??? It would certainly leave a more confusing odor pattern on the den mounds, and an interloper would have to work a little harder to find it. Hard to say, but a good question. Maybe someone out there has another hypothesis. I've seen this in a number of carnivores in captivity. I agree that the digging may homogenize the scent field, and also indicate that the place is occupied. Some canids have digital glands, which could scent mark the site. Just smell your dog's feet and you'll know what I mean. (And BTW, they smell much better than human feet.)

Woody Meristem said...

Superb video; thanks for putting it together and sharing it.

randomtruth said...

Terrific Chris. So glad you put them together. Such a great complement to the stills, too. Find it very interesting that your vids caught so many behaviors the stills couldn't. Such as the digging - I can't really see that in the stills at all. Nor the cute, playful interactions between the male and female, too. But we both caught the Dad with the small cottontail.

And you may have answered a question in my last post - in one series it seems like a k-rat just shows up in the Dad's mouth. I'm thinking now it might have been a stashed kill in one of the burrows.

Top notch!

Camera Trap Codger said...

Thanks RT -- those three cams worked overtime and mined those dusty mounds for all they were worth.

Trailblazer said...

These are great, codger!

I can't for the life of me figure out how to increase the size of my video clips as they display on my blog. How do you get them to be so big and easy to see?

Camera Trap Codger said...

TB, I copy the script from "embed" on YouTube, and paste it in the blog. RT taught me how to do it. Good luck.