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Dawn at the Den

Dawn at the Den
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-05-31
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon Eos 300D Digital Rebel, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-16 8:02
Viewed: 3263
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 55
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Red Fox pup seems to be wondering what the orange ball is coming over the hill is he crouches down to stay out of the early morning light.
Red Fox
Vulpes vulpes
General Description

By Gustave J. Yaki
The Red Fox is one of the most widely distributed mammals in the world. They occurs naturally throughout all of Europe, Asia, northern Africa and North America. They were also introduced to Australia and are now widespread there. In North America they range from northern Mexico to some of the high arctic islands -- which they have been colonizing since 1918. In Alberta, they occur throughout the province.

The Red Fox, in its normal pelage, is instantly recognized by most. It resembles a small, slender dog with a long, bushy white-tipped tail. Its face is pointed, as are its ears. The footpads are furred. The long, thick underfur is grey at the base but buffy towards the tip.

In the wild, three distinct colour morphs occur. The most common is the familiar orangy-red form, with white lips, throat and undersides. The back of the ears and the legs and feet are dark. A few black guard hairs may run along the centre-line of the back and these are quite prominent in the tail. Overall, this colour form represents at least 80 per cent of the population.

The second morph is known as the 'cross fox'. Its pelage is an ochraceous or grey-brown. The dense, black guard hairs run in a broad band over the back and down across the shoulders, forming a solid cross. In some areas this form may account for about 20 per cent of the species.

The third morph, the least common, is the 'silver fox'. It is totally black except for the white-tipped tail and a variable frosting caused by the white tips of the guard hairs. It usually accounts for only about two per cent of the population.

In captive breeding, a number of other pelages such as 'platinum' have been created.

Adult male Red Foxes range in body length from 900 to 1117 mm (3 to 4.8 ft), with the tail accounting for 350 to 420 mm (14 to 17 in) of that. They weigh between 3.6 to 6.8 kg (8 to 12 lb). As is the case with most mammals, the females are slightly smaller.

Red Foxes are omnivorous, eating whatever is available. Meat is the main component during the winter, mainly small mammals. Species eaten includes shrews, moles, voles, muskats, squirrels, cottontails and Snowshoe Hares. Birds may account for up to 20 per cent of their diet. This includes grouse, pheasants, quail, ducks and other ground-nesting birds. In summer, invertebrates such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, caterpillars and crayfish make up to 25 per cent of their diet while vegetable matter such as acorns, berries, fruits and grasses amount to 16 per cent. In turn, foxes are the victims of Bobcats and Coyotes. When Coyotes numbers are high, Red Foxes numbers are low and vice versa

During the autumn and early winter, Red Foxes are solitary. They tend to be shy and mostly nocturnal, but frequently are seen in the early morning and late afternoon -- rarely at mid-day. They may cover 8 km (5 mi) during there night-time foraging sessions, preferring semi-open country. They are only infrequently found in dense forests.

Breeding occurs between late December and the end of March. Several different males may court a vixen. At that time, in courtship, they may perform a dance. Apparently the 'fox-trot' is modeled after it. After a bond is formed, the pair is monogamous. The gestation period last between 51-53 days, with most young being born between March and May. A litter of one to ten (average five) is normal, but there is a record of sixteen pups in one den. Their birthweight is about 100 g (3.5 oz). Born blind, their eyes open at about ten days, and they make their way to the den mouth when about one month old, at which time they are also weaned. They are then brought animal matter -- mice, rabbits and birds as growth food, and are also moved to another den. After a brief training period, they disperse when about 15 weeks of age. They reach sexually maturity at ten months of age.

pvs, geterdone, vanderschelden, jaycee, lee, Evelynn, jmp, MommaMiaX3, lovenature, Luis52, SkyF, Debz, peter_stoeckl, bettinamarie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2007-04-16 8:23]

Hi Rick,
great shot with a perfect lightning, great POV.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-04-16 8:26]

Hi Rick,

A nice capture of this fox in his ready to take off position,well captured with good colors and sharpness,the size looks like you can post a LP version of it as well if you want,


hello Rick,

the perfect photo of a pretty nice animal. the light is very interesting, and that's great you stay a space before the fox on the photo.


yes yes yes

the note the picture ( with just sun on the head)
the composition the moment

aleks ;)

2 points ( it s not often that i give 2points!!)

Perfect shot. I like the light on the grass and on the pup's head.

Hi Rick,
Nice shot of the fox. The crop works very well here, good composition and details. Beautiful lighting and colors. I kinda like the bit of grass partly covering the hind end...nice touch, adds depth. Very nice detailed image. TFS! Lyndon

Hi Rick,
Very lovely image due to the subject, the beautiful Red Fox and the soft light from the orange ball...
No idea though what this orange ball could be:-)?

Hello Rick,
What a priceless capture again! This action caught is wonderful and so are details, exposure, composition and this low POV. This is such a fine animal! I like those sun rays on its head, Beautiful! TFS,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-04-16 11:23]

Hi Rick,

I love the position of the Fox. His face is wonderful. He certainly looks as if he is hiding from something in that grass. Wonderful natural shot.


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-04-16 11:36]

Hi Rick

Fantastic light and great composition. Wonderful shot.



  • Great 
  • lee Silver Star Critiquer [C: 38 W: 0 N: 23] (84)
  • [2007-04-16 11:37]

Hi Rick, a cute one indeed. Looks like he's curious and in the sneeking up pose. Lighting helps in the mood of the picture. Nice colors overall. Greengrass assists in appearence of the fox. Good dof. Good composition. Thanks.


The light in this shot is fantastic. So how did you come across this shot... in your back yard I suppose?!! My husband is green with envy.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-16 16:28]

Hi Rick,
Excellent norming light, great details and a great pose. The shot has a very nice atmosphere.
TFS, Josť M.

OH what a great photo, This fox certainly has her eyes on something interesting! Love it! Great sharp photo and beautiful color. TFS

Thanks for your comments on my photo " Getting Ready To Fly! " :o)

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-16 21:39]

Hello Rick

A beautiful moment captured.This little one crouching looks like a hunter.The morning rays are just starting to illuminate it's ears.Wonderful lighting and composition.TFS


Hello Mr, Price! :)

Okay how many times do I have to tell you, You're the man!? This is Awesome, what a beautiful fox pup, the sharpness and colours are superb! Love seeing him in this crouched position, he seems a little nervous at the impeding rise. Very well done, take care and have a great night.


Hi Rick
You've captured a great pose of this young fox. The morning light enhances the colour of his coat were it touches him. Great colours and composition.
TFS Janice

  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-04-16 23:10]

Hola Rick.- Bella foto. La Zorra parece estar al cazando alguna presa. Gran nitidez y hermosa pose.
Luis52. PT.

Did you stay up late for this one Rick, or did you rise early?
The light here is special. Low and soft. Makes for a special mood. Looks to me as if this fox is waiting for that mole to move. Tfs, Jay

Red fox pup pictures are often seen, but this one is outstanding because of the wonderfull light. Great

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-04-17 8:03]

Hi Rick,
what a cuty and you captured him while he is hunting. Seems to be ready to pounce on somthing. Lovely lighting and the colors are nice. Very well composed, the panorama format works very well.

Great shot, this animal on a picture is merveillous. Belle composition.

Beautiful pose of a beautiful animal.
The horizontal light is beautiful.
A must-see.
Nice tones (I find that too many TN members are overusing the sharpening and contrast tools)

Hi Rick,
I really love the stalking mode you were able to capture. It looks like he didn't know you were there or just didn't care. The soft morning light illuminated the ears and the grass beautifully and gave the entire photo the wonderful intimate mood. A wonderful sharp image with a very beautiful expression on the face of the pup.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-04-18 13:16]

Hi Rick, a beautiul shot, you must have been out early. Lovely cub with is pristine red coat. I love the POV, the lighting is great and the fox nice and sharp. Great work.

Hi Rick,
excellent capture! You show as a touching and very appealing portrait of this lovable hunter in tension.
Wonderful to see the first rays of sunlight touching ears and forehead.
Excellent sharpness, perfect handling of light, superb composition, and the action frozen in the perfect moment.
Great! Thank you.
With best regards,

hello RIck

great picture with a lovely warm light ( it is a pity th elight does not illuminate all the fox)
the fox is in a very nice position
sharpness is perfect



Good shot...
Adorei a foto por se tratar de uma raposa...

I hug...

Hello Rick,
Now how cute is this little guy! I am jealous that you see these cute little creatures and can take such wonderful photos of them. Beautiful composition, color and clarity! He is just too cute! hahahaha! Thank you for the smile....sometimes people get to serious on here....nice to see you have a "cute" side!

Take care,
Bettina Marie =0)

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