Friday, August 14, 2009

Red Fox

As the wolf population has increased in Yellowstone over the years so has the population of its smaller cousin the red fox. This is probably due to the fact that the wolves will often kill coyotes in the area because they compete for some of the same prey as the wolves. Because of the decreased coyote population the fox have been much more successful, coyotes kill fox for the same reason that wolves kill coyote.
Over the years we have photographed red fox on many of our trips to Yellowstone but this year we got a real treat. For the first time we got to photograph a fox den with pups. We got word from some other photographers about a den that was located just outside the east entrance of the park. So we decided to head over and see what we could find.
The east entrance is a long drive, around 40 miles from the Grand Loop, which is why we don't usually head out that way but we decided that it would be worth the trip if we could find the den. The information that we got was sketchy. Other then it was outside the east entrance the only other info we got was that the den was by an old building and near a tee pee.
We passed out of the east entrance and all that we spotted was a small cabin style resort with a restaurant and gift shop so we continued down the road. After we went about 10 miles we decided to turn back. I decided to try and stop at the gift shop because I noticed that it had the words tee pee in the name. As we were pulling in I noticed a guy setting up a camera and tripod near one of the buildings. So we headed over that way and while we were parking we spotted mom.
I grabbed my camera, jumped out of the car and began taking her picture. With in about 10 minutes the head of a little pup popped out between the stairs of the building in which she was standing near. The pup was followed by three other pups who came out and began to explore and play while mom stood guard. They did not seem to mind us there taking pics, they must have been habituated to people which is a problem with wildlife in Yellowstone, and only stopped their play when a horse near by neighed which started them. After about 15 to 20 minutes mom decided that it was time to hunt so she disappeared around the building. The pups new that play time was over so the slinked back under the stairs to the protection of their den. Since it was it was getting late and we were on the opposite side of the park we decided that it was time to head back to our hotel but we left very excited to have had this marvelous opportunity.

44 comments:

Martha in PA said...

So beautiful (and cute too) thanks for sharing. My CC will be up later, I'm still trying to visit Skywatch photos!


Photo Blog

Lin said...

What beautiful pups! I had a rare fox sighting in my yard last fall and blogged about it. I was able to shoot lots of pictures because he stayed for about 20 minutes while he ate his rabbit for lunch. If you'd like to see, check here-> http://ups-and-downs-with-anastasia.blogspot.com/2008/11/fox-sighting.html

madcobug said...

Great shots of some cute babies and their Mom. Thanks for sharing. Helen

Chris said...

Wow, fantastic moment you got there. Well capture and the eyes of these youngsters are wonderful. Let's hope life will be nice with them!!

Janie said...

Beautiful! This was a great find. We always look for spotter scopes when going through NE Yellowstone. In June, they're usually looking at wolves. I've never seen fox there. Interesting that decreased coyote population has helped them. Makes sense, but I wouldn't have thought of it.

storyteller at Small Reflections said...

What a marvelous happenstance! I enjoyed your wonderful photos and appreciate you sharing your experience with us.
Hugs and blessings,

Snap said...

What a wonderful adventure! Look at those adorable babies! Thanks for sharing with us. Too cool! :D :D

Jedediah said...

I've never seen a fox with such a mane. Great photos.

Babooshka said...

Another on the list of animals I miss from the UK we don't get here on the island. So sweet to see a whole family.

Misty Dawn said...

Oh WOWWWWWWWW! This is SO awesome! What a truly fantastic experience and exceptional photos!

Carla said...

Foxes are just now making a come back in our area. GREAT photos!

Cezar and Léia said...

What a neat post, I just loved the fox's eyes, so adorable!
Happy Camera Critters
Luna

i beati said...

this guy ate every duck in our pond

Mara said...

How brilliant to be able to see a litter of foxes! Beautiful animals and beautiful photos.

Ladynred said...

What a beautiful red foxes and the pups are soo cute!

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

They are adorable, how nice to see them that close.

Lovely shots. :-)

Larry D said...

Nice work! We have a heard of a den near us over in a cemetery after seeing your great photos, Im thinking of spending more time looking for it.

Sally in WA said...

Thanks for sharing this fabulous shots.

guild-rez said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures and information about the foxes.
We live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario and see foxes quite often in our village.
There is a new species evolving called Coywolf. Highly adaptle animal, bigger than a coyote, hunting in packs and kills sheep.

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