It seems I spoke too soon with my last blog post!
You see, after the video where the fox went under the shed, there was this video showing the male bringing her a meal. I felt this was a sure sign the vixen was having kits, because the female stays in the den with her young for the first couple weeks while the male hunts for food. Turn on your sound to hear the two of them “talk”.
But the next couple of days showed only one fox visit, and in it, he brings a meal, but leaves with it right away. No calls. No lingering.
I feared I had chased them off unwittingly, after all.
The next couple of videos brought us back to squirrels and birds. But not as many as before . . . so I still hoped the foxes were around.
And then suddenly, all in one night, there were six videos showing a porcupine coming and going from the entrance to the den under the shed. I suspected it was the climbing the young pine tree next to it, eating. This is the last video of the night . . .
It went inside! That showed us two things, one, I was right about the female fox not being inside with kits. Perhaps I scared them into moving to their backup den, or perhaps they hadn’t had the kits yet, after all.
But this brought up a new question, did the porcupine have a porcupette under there? (They typically have only one – two is very rare) It is breeding season for them as well, after all.
That’s it, I thought. We’d be documenting porcupines this spring. They’re cute. And interesting! This could be fun!
Then the next night, after a video or two of the porcupine hanging out, the fox returned to check on what was probably now their “back up” den.
Doesn’t he look a little surprised????
And the next day, I pulled the memory card again . . .
Did you see the porcupine move toward the den opening to protect it? That’s the fastest I’ve seen it move yet! The other behavior I noticed right away was how it slapped it tail in a “I mean it” way. I was glad to see the fox take the movement seriously, so it didn’t get hurt.
So now I’m not sure who will end up claiming the den!
Stay tuned . . . I don’t think this is over yet . . .