I've been looking for a Fox den to photograph for several years, and I finally hit the jackpot. It turns out that this one is very well known in the area around the den in North Iowa and easily accessible to take photos from the car. This female Red Fox must be exhausted. I counted at least seven pups (or kits if you prefer) and at one point I thought there might be eight, but they wouldn't stand still long enough for me to count. She would leave for a hour or more and come back with one rodent and be swarmed by the pups all wanting play with the warm food and to all nurse at once. I'm not sure that she had that many feeding stations. The photos were taken from the sun roof window on my car with a 700mm telephoto lens, so as to not disturb the family. They were backlit in the early morning sun, which made it challenging to get the correct exposure, but gave a nice highlight of the fur.
Update April 30:
I had another opportunity to take pictures this evening in the warm evening sunlight. Much better lighting conditions. We only saw three pups on this occasion. The female came back from hunting to nurse them for awhile and then they all wandered off into the nearby woods, perhaps on a hunting expedition.
Another Update: I've just learned that a female Fox is called a "Vixen". Lifelong learning is a wonderful thing. Thanks Don P.
[See more Fox Photos here...]
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- About Me
The migratory birds are gradually showing up at the backyard feeders, along with the regulars like the Cardinals. I'm always excited when the first Brown Thrashers of the spring arrive. I have a lot of favorite birds and Brown Thrashers rank pretty high on the list. We usually have at least one pair nesting nearby. I was thrilled as I slowly slid open the bedroom window and pointed my lens outside that they didn't fly away. It is interesting watching one search for bugs or worms. He will cock his head sideways, putting it close to the ground listening. Then raising his head way up in the air he will plunge his beak down in the the ground - sometimes coming up with a tasty morsel.
I go out about an hour before the first morning light to set up my portable blind to try to take photos of the Wood Ducks. There have been several in the area, but they are very wary, so sitting very still for a long time and being camouflaged is the only way that I have been able to get close to them. With the camera on the tripod and camo netting draped over me I wait and hope. The lighting is tough in this location because the trees behind me don't allow the morning sun to hit the near side of the pond until about an hour after sunrise and by then the Wood Ducks are often gone. So the far side of the pond gets lit up first causing the ducks to be in a bit of a silhouette or a back-lit shadow. If I get lucky a shaft of sunlight will find its way through the trees to a spot where the ducks are swimming. Click, click, click. It seems that I mostly got pictures of the male Wood Ducks this day. The colors are radiant in the sunlight.
[Click the images below to see larger]