A short story. At least one, mostly likely two foxes often spend time in the railroad yard seen from the floodwall. Yesterday morning I spotted one with a rough-looking tail. Unfortunately, the lack of fur probably means mange which can be fatal but this fox wasn’t showing severe symptoms. More information on mange can be found here. Shortly thereafter a herd of six deer came onto the scene. For at least a half hour the two groups happily co-existed on a small hill. The fox dined on what I’m assuming was a squirrel or rat and the deer enjoyed their normal vegetarian fare. Eventually, the deer chased (chased might be too strong ambled towards is probably more accurate) the fox from where they wanted to graze. Eventually they all went their respective ways. No foxes or deer were hurt in this encounter. Fox and deer facts after the photos.
Information courtesy of Virginia DWR
Scientific Name:Vulpes vulpes fulva
Classification:Mammalia, Order Carnivora, Family Canidae
Distribution:The red fox is found in all areas of Virginia except for the extreme southeast corner. It prefers diverse habitat, in less populated areas, like farmland.
The red fox is the size of a small dog, with a total length of 39-41 inches and a weight of 9-12 pounds. It has prominent, erect ears, a pointed nose, and a long, bushy tail with white tip. The fur is long, soft, with the upper part reddish-yellow, black-tipped on the shoulders. The breeding season is from December to February, with a peak in late January. A litter of 4-7 pups is born in a den in late March or early April. The male may bring food to the den until the female can leave the pups a short time, then they both hunt. They remain with the pups until dispersal. . They are generally nocturnal and non-migratory, and usually use the same area for life. The fox is known as sly because it has many sophisticated tricks for losing predators like backtracking and running on fence poles to confuse or eliminate tracks. Longevity is about 5 years.
Scientific Name:Odocoileus virginianus
Classification:Mammalia, Order Artiodactyla, Family Cervidae
Distribution:The white-tailed deer is common throughout the state. The preferred habitat is mixed forest of moderate age, croplands adjacent to forested areas, and early forest successional stages near mature forest. They occur in many habitats from the swamps of the Eastern Shore to the mountains in the west.
The height at the shoulders is 90-105 cm, length 134-206 cm, and weight (M) 90-135 kg (F) 67-112 kg. They are tan or reddish brown in the summer and grayish brown in the winter. The underside and throat are white, the tail brown above and white below. The males have antlers with main beam forward and several unbranched tines. Fawns are reddish brown and white spotted. The breeding season is from late September through February, and concentrated in the last two weeks of November and they usually produce1-3 fawns each year. They are most active during periods of subdued light. From February through August bucks are generally in small groups, during other times, bucks are generally solitary and in the fall, bucks, with hardened antlers, challenge each other for control of a harem of does. Predation is mainly in the form of harassment by dogs. Fawns may be taken by bobcat. Mortality factors include hunting, motor vehicles, poaching, depredation, dogs, fences, cripples, and trains respectively.
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