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I encountered this little gray fox after a neighbor informed me that a pileated woodpecker which appeared to be injured was taken by two foxes during the few minutes it took me to dash the 50 or so feet to my house to call bird rescue. The neighbor told me the foxes had gone behind a large shop building across the driveway from his house and I peeked around the corner to find one of the foxes (the one pictured) there about 20 ft. away. It started to run when it saw me but, I started speaking to it in a soothing voice -- telling it how pretty I thought it was and how it didn't have anything to fear from me -- and it stopped its retreat, sat down and started grooming itself (licking its paws like a cat) and actually even closing its eyes several times for quite a few seconds each time, seeming to be pretty comfortable with my presence! I dashed back up the driveway to my place to get my camera and, as I hurried back down the driveway to the place I'd seen it, I was amazed to find the little fox had actually followed me most of the way back to my house as though it was curious as to where I'd gone off to! I must've startled it running back with my camera in-hand and it ducked behind a old junkpile of car parts but, I caught this photo before it was out of frame.
Dry hillsides, chaparral and oak woodlands.
We often see the little "foxy woxy family" (as I call them) which, earlier in the year, I'm pretty sure was just "Mama and Papa Fox" but, now, appears to be "Mama and baby fox" as there is a juvenile I've seen a lot at dusk walking with one of the older ones. However, my husband says he's seen all 3 together recently (which, according to what I've read would be sort of unusual with a youngster as large as this one!) I will be posting a photo of the youngest member of the "foxy woxy family" soon!
Spotted on Apr 30, 2011
Submitted on Sep 8, 2011