An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Red Fox Kits’ Hierarchy Established

red fox kits  IMG_2123An average Red Fox litter consists of five young.  For about three and a half months, an underground den is the center of their universe.  While the first month or so is spent inside the burrow, the kits spend much of the next two to three months above ground in the vicinity of the den.  At about four weeks of age, the young foxes establish hierarchy, which involves much out-of-sight altercation.  By the time they are stepping foot outside their den for the first time and we are setting eyes on them, each kit has its place in the dominance hierarchy and peace has returned to the kingdom.  Aggressiveness has turned into the playfulness and comradery we associate with young foxes.

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8 responses

  1. mariagianferrari

    We have many foxes around here (in N. VA). Last year, I saw a mother fox and one kit and they had made a den under someone’s deck. They’re gorgeous creatures.

    May 4, 2016 at 8:01 am

  2. Kathie Fiveash

    What a sweet picture!

    May 4, 2016 at 12:54 pm

  3. Sweet capture, Mary! The ferns, the lighting from above – perfect!

    May 4, 2016 at 5:50 pm

  4. Alice Pratt

    Looks like Ferdinand! 😍

    May 4, 2016 at 5:55 pm

  5. Hi Mary, I have been off-line for several days now & just catching up. ( Bath remodel at my daughter’s new, old house. ) A beautiful photograph on the fox pups & I wanted to comment on how I think you composed this shot. It appears you center focused on the pup’s eye in the middle and the rest takes care of itself along with some nice light beaming in for a really nice exposure as well…
    I live for these kind of photo opportunities!
    Bill…

    May 8, 2016 at 11:33 am

    • Hi Bill,
      I was lucky to get anything that day — it was raining on and off and awfully dark. The actual image is fairly grainy, I’m afraid, but opportunities like that don’t come along very often, at least for me!

      May 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm

  6. Sandy DeRosa

    This post on red fox kits’ hierarchy was a nice jumping off point for me to introduce the species to my science students. Thanks!

    May 17, 2016 at 2:21 pm

  7. So glad to have seen this photo. We have a fox family living in the woods close to our house in Virginia. They are so healthy and happy. Love watching the kits romp and play.

    June 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm

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