Red Fox Den

A friend took me to see an active red fox den off of Trotter Road in my home town of Clarksville, Maryland.

I met the landowner and gained permission to take photos.

Once orientated to the site, my friend left, and I was able to get about 200-feet from the den.

The fox were aware of my presence out at a distance.

As I sat in high grass the fox eventually began to relax and move about. I never saw the lactating mother fox.

The five pups stayed relatively close to the den, which had several mounds and four holes in the estate complex.

I took the bulk of the pictures between 7:30 and 8:00 PM, with storm clouds moving in. The primary activity was napping.

I suspect that they were waiting patiently for Mom to return, and possibly enjoy a family foray once it got dark.

The red fox usually uses a den or burrow only during the period when it is raising pups – a task the male and female fox share together.

Red foxes mate from January through March. After a gestation period of 51 to 53 days, females give birth to a litter averaging 4 or 5 pups in the spring.

Red foxes may dig their own burrows, but they usually improve an abandoned groundhog burrow.

During the remainder of the year, the red fox avoids dens and sleeps in sheltered locations by relying on its thick fur for warmth.

Foxes can be quite vocal, and they make barks, howls, and whines.

The sounds vary from a short, sharp “yap” or bark, followed by a “yap, yap,” to a combination of screeches, yells, and long howls.

While its cousins the wolf and dog are social, the red fox tends to be more solitary except during the breeding season.

The red fox is capable of learning from experience, which has earned it the “cunning” namesake in literature.

They are fast runners that can reach speeds of nearly 30 miles per hour.

Red foxes can also leap more than 6 feet high and usually live from 2 to 5-years.