Monday, October 4, 2010

Gray Fox

Really just a gratuitous post of more Gray Fox pictures from Friday afternoon.

I first spotted a single fox as it lay in what appeared to be the prime spot in the sun. I just saw the eyes and a light colored face in the sunlight and had my heart skip a beat as I briefly thought I had spotted a bob-cat. I was no less excited as I continued to watch and eventually saw four foxes as they alternately rested and played. At the time I had no idea what type of fox species they were. I see red foxes with a bit of regularity, but these were the first Grays that I had the chance to observe.

I had just emerged from some scrub Oak when I saw them, and was able to stay there to watch them until the sun had moved and they departed from their spot, (twenty minutes). They kept an eye on me, but weren't overly cautious - often flopping down to yawn or stretch. I had come upon their sun spot just after the trail split, and twice walkers headed down the other path, speaking as they went. That would get a moment's attention from the family, before they dismissed the potential threat and went back about their business.

Important activities like sneak attacks and play harassment are the leisure sports of the fox. Those practiced actions will be important for the youngsters as they head out on their own in the coming months.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to watch these wild dogs interact with one another. It is fun to see how much of their behavior when at rest is similar to that of the domestic dogs so many of us share our homes with.

The bit of detail I noticed as I looked through pictures of this family was the difference in eye color. At first I wondered if like birds, young foxes may have lighter eyes that changed as they matured. It seems though, that foxes like other mammals, just have a variety of eye colors that are possible. That makes sense, and seems to be upheld through a number of random hits for Gray Fox eye color on Google.

Of course now that I have seen them once I will be on the lookout for more!

1 comment:

  1. What great pictures! I've never seen a gray fox - I don't think they live around here, but there are quite a few red foxes. You are so lucky to get to observe them like that!