Fox stalking

Fox Stalk

One of these days I'll get a good photo.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

I've become a bit obsessed with staring at my backyard.

It all started when I noticed paw prints in the snow a few months ago. They were about the size of a dog's, but in an area of the yard where Henry, our 50-pound-mutt doesn't go.

Then a few weeks later I saw movement on the top of a brush-laiden hill near the house. I couldn't quite figure out what was moving until I caught a glimpse of its burnt orange fur.

It was a pair of red fox.

Since then I do my work near the window, plan my schedule so I'm home around noon (when the two fox are usually out) and keep my camera by me at all times.

I keep looking out the window wondering if they'll frolic with my dog, a la The Fox and The Hound.

As it turns out, they're no fisher but they're pretty fantastic, those fox. And while they probably won't play with my dog -- they're not likely to hurt him either.

Here are a few quick fox facts...

Fox Stalk 2

Facts About Fox

+ They are said to be in every county in New York state and are the most widely distributed carnivore in the world.

+ They're about 3 feet long and usually weigh no more than 20 lbs. If they encounter a dog they'll get scared and run away.

+Seven fox tested positive in the Capital Region last year.

+ Fox live in dens. Often, they expand abandoned woodchuck or other small mammal burrows to suit their needs.

+ They're monogamous and they breed this time of year (December through April with a peak in January and February). Females usually give birth 51-53 days after conception and males stay with the family and help raise the young.

+ They eat rabbits, mice, squirrels, some birds and some fruit.

+ Their predators are hunters, trappers our cars, coyote and occasionally fisher, weasel and bobcat though they can run up to 30mph, so they're usually hard to catch.

+ They have a territory that they mark with urine and scat. If there are any territory disputes with other fox, they're usually not violent: chasing, torment and harassment are pretty common though.

+ The red fox aren't the only in our area. Gray fox (they're primarily nocturnal), also know as tree fox are also scattered around New York.

+ They're primarily active during twilight at dawn and dusk and night. However, it's not rare to see them sunning themselves or looking for prey during the day.

* Thanks to Jackie Cintriniti, an environmental educator at the Albany Pine Bush.

Comments

Also awesome: they were man's (former) BFF.

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/19/133898499/mans-first-best-friend-might-have-been-a-fox?ft=1&f=1001

That is very cool! I love backyard wildlife encounters. We saw a fox cross our front yard once, but we've never seen a pair of them.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of summer

Ducky. Just ducky.... (more)

Eminent domain possibility in downtown Albany parcels

Mike DeMasi reports that the Albany IDA and Capitalize Albany are looking at the possibility of using eminent domain to acquire a bunch of parcels... (more)

CapSci workshop on talking about science with the public

The local org CapSci has a workshop August 25 at Siena that's focused on helping people become better communicators of science. Blurbage: As scientists, how... (more)

Old-school cooking and ice cream at Crailo

The Crailo State Historic Site in Rensselaer is hosting two food/cooking-themed events over the next two months: July 21: Summer Seasonals: Dutch hearth cooking and... (more)

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: tipping, brunch on the farm, DMB weekend, local ice cream history,... (more)

Recent Comments

... Locally, I'd recommend, Truly Rhe in Troy, Ten Thousand Villages, and Sweater Venturer. TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target also have a good selection.

Morning Blend for Jul 18

...has 2 comments, most recently from EMB

Gawking at the renovation of the long-vacant buildings on Broadway in Albany near the railroad overpass

...has 3 comments, most recently from EMB

Unicorn bikes for the bike share, a few ridership numbers for this season so far

...has 3 comments, most recently from Cait

What's up in the Neighborhood

...has 1 comment, most recently from Chuck Miller

Ghosts on a street that no longer exists

...has 6 comments, most recently from Paula