I was hiking down the Sanitas Valley Trail today and I brought my telephoto lens to try to capture the black fox that I’ve seen there the past few days. Our Sanitas fox is black except for a small white tip on its tail. It also sports a variable frosting caused by the white tips of its guard hairs. …
I’ve learned that black colored foxes (which are called silver foxes) are actually red foxes with a genetic mutation or “morph” (this coloration stuff gets pretty confusing; sometimes I think the biologists are just playing with us). The black morph results in a beautiful black coat which, unfortunately for the fox, is feared by the superstitious (‘Unlucky’ rare black fox spotted in Britain) and prized by people who still wear fur.
Here are some more facts about this Fox:
-The fox may have been humans first pet!
– The Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a member of the Canidae family and is a part of the order Carnivora within the class of mammals. Members of the family are called ‘canids’ and include dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes, dingoes, jackals and African Wild Dogs.
– A male fox is called a ‘Dog’, a female fox is called a ‘Vixen’, a young fox is called either a ‘Kit’, ‘Pup’ or ‘Cub’. A group of foxes is called a ‘Skulk’
– Breeding occurs between late December and the end of March. Several different males may court a vixen. At that time, in courtship, they may perform a dance. Apparently the ‘fox-trot’ is modeled after it. After a bond is formed, the pair is monogamous. The gestation period last between 51-53 days, with most young being born between March and May.
– Young foxes disperse promptly on maturity (approx. 8–10 months).
– Red Foxes are omnivorous, eating whatever is available.
-Red Foxes are preyed on by coyotes, badgers, mountain lions, eagles, wolves and bears.
– Fox eyes are gold to yellow and have distinctive vertical-slit pupils, similar to those of domestic cats.
– The fox communicates with body language and a variety of vocalizations. Its vocal range is quite large and its noises vary from a distinctive three-yip “lost call” to a shriek reminiscent of a human scream. It also communicates with scent, marking food and territorial boundary lines with urine and faeces.
Here are two more photos that I took yesterday…