Tuesday 1 April 2008

Mr and Mrs?

Yesterday, late afternoon. I had been watching Halftail in the afternoon, scratching and trying to rest. So scratchy did it look that I ran to supply some bread and honey well sprinkled with mange drops, and containing homoeopathic pills as well.
By half-past six there were two foxes sleeping about 10 feet apart.
One was Halftail, and I had a good stare trying to verify sex. Little to see but there is a lot of fluffed-up, tufty fur around the base of tail, (from all the scratching no doubt) so I could have been mistaken in thinking it was male. No genitalia and no nipples to be seen; but I'm starting to think female.
The other was equally hard to spot; except for tail-tag which was not a nice white half-moon but a pointed,scraggy end. Sleeping near the vixen in March is strongly suggestive of a dog fox. So, who's the little one with the pretty tail? The aunties are often rather shy and retiring.
Sometimes I don't get the relationships in a fox family group sorted out at all!
For now, though, I'm going to assume Halftail, vixen, probably mother: Ragtip, the dad, perhaps formerly Bigboy tho' tail seems wrong. And lastly, Roisin, from her deep red colour and modest size.
Now I must go back and compare these with last year's foxes to see who survived the winter.

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