Tall Tales From The Field

The Lovable but Predatory Red Fox of Yellowstone

The red fox(Vulpes vulpes) is a mammal of the canid family (Others are wolves and coyotes) that leads a solitary life for the most part. Sounds like my life!  Mostly nocturnal( Sounds like my life), they are rarely seen during the day at Yellowstone National Park except in the winter when I was able to get these shots. All of these images can be purchased as either prints or downloadable files at http://dawn2dawnphotography.com/

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But they have a unique way of hunting for a meal during the winter because heavy snows force their main prey (mice and voles) to live under the snow. So how do you get under the snow? They’ve developed a technique that we call “mousing”  The ability to locate mice and voles under the snow. They use their keen sense of hearing for the sounds that their prey make in the snow tunnels below. Scientists have recently discovered that they have a magnetic compass and use earth’s magnetic field in determining their attack position. Seems like they have much more success when directing their attacks toward the northeast and not so good in other directions.

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Here’s one on the prowl. The red fox tend to hang out in open areas near tree lines, just like this one.

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I like how they erect their ears and cock their heads.

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This one stood there for a few minutes, listening, but wandered off.

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He’s launching!

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He’s definitely on to something. Voles must be shaking in their booties.

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“Help me, I’m stuck”

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They don’t have to eat too many of these. Adult foxes average 9-12 pounds in weight.

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” I can’t stop now, I’m on a roll”

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