My mother - who lives five miles from the center of Dublin - has a red fox Vulpes vulpes living at the end of her garden (much to the delight of her grandchildren). On the day these photos were taken, the little blighter emerged from the hedges around 9 am and stayed out sunning himself until six in the evening. According to my mother, he lets her enter the garden and walk about halfway down before he ups and leaves.
When I was in my teens I remember seeing foxes at the end of our road (where there was the River Dodder) and used to go out and watch them forage in the evening. They have only in the past four or five years moved up the road and other neighbors are reporting guests.
More photos below the fold.
I've long maintained that Vulpes vulpes is my favorite scientific name, earning high marks for simplicity and enjoyment of pronouncing.
And you think that I have too much time on my hands?
I live not far from the dodder myself and have noticed a lot more foxes around lately, even during the daytime. My parents have taken to feeding one that hangs around outside our house at night, though I ask them not to!
Now doesn't he look quite the comfy one? Thanks for sharing!
That is the cutest thing I have ever seen on ScienceBlogs. I want one in my backyard.
Here in Churchtown (also on the Dodder, youse culchies & fardners) we have several families of them that pretty much own the place. They sometimes start barking at night, which is a truly strange sound which freaks the bejasus out of the dogs for miles around. Still, they keep rats down.
I saw someplace that the density of foxes in British cities is much higher than their density in the contryside. My daughter lives in a suburb of Chicago and sees a fox quite often.
Foxes are turning into a quite urban species (that's the tendency over the last fifteen years). The thing is that cities provide with a lot of resources and are safer (foxes are still shot down by hunters in the countryside), so here's natural selection at work on a behavioural trait.
I've heard not so long ago you get 8 euros for a fox tail (in France). The most striking is that you have people complaining about mice damaging crops! That's even not a way to speak about trade offs, since people still prefer save a few chickens over their crop. Sometimes it's hard to change old prejudices about foxes...