As of yesterday I assumed that the red foxes in my yard were three kits that were already living independently from their parents. Today I discovered that assumption might not be true.
I heard an animal noise in the morning that required immediate investigation. It wasn't barking; it wasn't whining; but I guess I would say it was a combination of the two. Hard to describe.
When I looked out the window overlooking the driveway, I discovered that an adult red fox had made the noise. I believe it was the mother calling her kits to her. Two were there greeting her and sniffing her and generally looking very happy to see her. She, in turn, was grooming them and sniffing them. I felt very lucky to get to watch this sweet family reunion.
These photos were all taken through a screen window, but there is no way I would have any record of this family at all if I had tried to go outside.
It's easy to see in these two photos that the mother is quite a bit darker than her kits.
So....now I assume that there are only two kits. They must still be under seven months old, and the mother is the third fox!
What still confuses me is the video from the other day, where the three foxes were wrestling and playing like puppies. I would not have expected a mother fox to do that.....but maybe I am wrong. Or maybe there is a third kit who just didn't show up today when the mother fox called?
I hope I get the chance to learn more about this little wild family.