Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Screaming Vixens

It's 2 am, and one of my yard foxes is screaming for a mate in the front yard. This is the mating call of the red fox, and when they do it (in late December through early February), their jaws are so wide they seem unhinged, as in the picture at left.

The sound itself sounds a bit like a cat in distress, or a dying rabbit, My fox was next to the tall ornamental grass right outside my study window and in full view, and I have to say I got a real eye full and it was quite thrilling.

To hear what it sounds like (mine was much closer, as he was screaming just 5 feet from where I now type) click here.

Fox generally give birth around here in mid-March, but they have been know to cub or whelp as early as mid February (rare) or as late as April 1st (rare). For the record, fox offspring are called kits, pups, or cubs -- all three terms are proper and fine, and they are born coal-grey and redden off as they get a bit older and start to tumble out of the den (around mid-April).


Retrieverman said...

This squalling didn't launch every terrier in the house, did it?

PBurns said...

I don't think the dogs heard it. They sleep inside, in crates in the laundry room. It's a stone house with some odd accoustic features, and sound does not travel well from some rooms, but migrates half way across the house from others. The laundry room, oddly enough, is in an acoustic dead zone.


Seahorse said...

It made my cat sit straight up and freeze. Then, I had to reassure him it was all just a nasty computer trick. We've both heard this for real before.