Our garden foxes...

Welcome to the Garden Fox Watch blog, detailing the life and times of the family of foxes that are growing up in our back garden.

Urban foxes “diverging from their country cousins”

Posted By on June 3, 2020

According to an article on the BBC here, new research shows that urban foxes are tending to have smaller brains and a differently-shaped snout to their country cousins — smaller brains because they do not need to pursue so many different types of prey, different snout as an adaptation for urban foraging. We haven’t been out to measure the skulls of our local foxes just yet but, judging by the state of our lawn this morning, they’re still quite capable of taking down pigeons…

The published paper is here. Interestingly, the specimens on which the researchers were basing their analysis had been collected between 1971 and 1973; back then there were considerably fewer urban foxes than there are now (at least in the part of London where Foxy Lady grew up — and yes, sadly she is old enough to remember that era…) so it would be interesting to see a comparative study done with more recently-collected skulls.

Lovely foxes on the BBC

Posted By on May 27, 2020

For those of you with access to BBC Iplayer, you should take a look at yesterday’s edition. There is a lovely article starting at about 48:30 into the program talking to Mark Mason Gardner, who enjoys watching the foxes in his London garden from a purpose-built hide accessible to his wheelchair. His resident vixen is apparently raising seven cubs this year; makes our vixen’s four look positively restful…

(Yes, more photos/videos soon! There are plenty ;))

Pushing the light….

Posted By on May 11, 2020

Good thing the camera can cope acceptably with low light if you ask it nicely….! Mum and two of the cubs decided to come out and check out the food, but first the cubs decided they weren’t weaned just yet!

Cubs in the sun

Posted By on May 10, 2020

It was a nice sunny day on Friday (which is more than can be said around Fox Towers today, at least). And the cubs decided to come out and show themselves in the sunshine. We have at least four — I wouldn’t be surprised if there was at least one more waiting to show itself, since Mrs Vixen still seems to be taking food off for feeding elsewhere. And they are VERY bouncy!

2020 cub debut!

Posted By on May 6, 2020

It’s a strange world you’re coming into, kid, but welcome anyhow…

Doors are tricky things…

Posted By on January 13, 2019

One of our local foxes decided to come and investigate the house the other evening. Sitting on the back doorstep, they looked as though they were considering whether it would be warmer inside and possibly also have food — but the door was of course closed. One of our cats came over to investigate and proved that she isn’t quite as daft as we sometimes think she is; she can tell the difference between another cat and a fox, even if they are on the other side of the door. (She’d have been hissing and yowling had the interloper been feline.)

Please excuse the somewhat shonky photo quality; low light, and I couldn’t easily move to get a better view as the fox would almost certainly have left if I had…

2018’s cubs, at last

Posted By on June 23, 2018

It feels like these little guys are a bit later than usual making an appearance. We weren’t sure whether there were cubs at all this year; we’d seen the local adults around quite a bit, but it wasn’t until a couple of days ago that we saw a cub with them — at a point where the light was not going to work for taking pictures, naturally! — and then not until this evening that it became clear that there were actually at least two cubs jumping around and playing with their parents.

Yes, the garden is exceptionally grassy at the moment. The weather earlier on this year was excellent for growing things… grass, weeds, and the like… and you’ve all already figured out that we are not keen gardeners, right? But trying to persuade the camera to focus on the foxes and not the surrounding vegetation can be a challenge, especially with a long lens.

Anyway, hopefully we will be able to get some more photos in the next week or two. One of the cubs was brave enough to venture onto the patio already; now they just need to do that at the other end, nearer the camera…

(The first picture in the gallery is one of the cubs; the second is one of the adult foxes. We think it’s their mother but it might be one of the teenagers from last year; I have seen her (assumed “her”, anyhow) grooming one of the cubs.)

Accidental fox cubs…

Posted By on April 20, 2018

“Mark Bucknell says he found the animals about a month ago abandoned behind some straw bales in a shed at his farm near Newquay, Cornwall.

He took them inside thinking they were his spaniel Ruby’s puppies as she had already started producing milk and mothering them.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-43843863

Sunbathing

Posted By on February 7, 2018

Although it’s been quite chilly here the past few days, it has been sunny for much of the time. With the sun come the foxes — well, they come out from their dens, anyhow — and they seem to find the roof of our shed a good place to sunbathe. Possibly the tar-paper covering it retains the heat of the sun. We have had up to three taking the rays at the same time in the last week, but today there are two snuggled up together on the shed.

The shed has its uses

Posted By on December 18, 2017

It is, by this point, a fairly old and knackered shed. (I won’t be surprised to find the foxes living in, rather than under, it one of these years.) But its tar-papered roof still provides a handy sun-trap and vantage point for the foxes at this time of year.