Red Fox redux — or why I miss the foxes in my backyard

The Red Fox kits seem to be thriving well in the Minneapolis backyard.  The Minneapolis paper ran an article on foxes in urban backyards the same day I published their photos on this blog!  Some city residents appreciate seeing “wild” creatures come into their backyards — others abhor nature and shoot foxes, even within the city limits.  So sad.

The following set of photos was kindly forwarded by a friend who lives quite near the fox den where we took the first set of pictures, and it illustrates very well why I (and some others) enjoy having foxes patrol the backyard and keep the rodent/rabbit population under control.

red fox kit with rabbit

Got that rabbit!  One of the red fox kits makes a kill.  Photo by Debbie Reynolds

red fox kit with rabbit-

Shake it up, make sure it’s dead.  Photo by Debbie Reynolds

red fox kit with rabbit-

Enjoying a delicious meal!  Photo by Debbie Reynolds

As I look out my porch window on the backyard this evening, here is why I miss the foxes in my backyard.  We haven’t seen rabbits here for the last few years; either the Great Horned Owls or the foxes were taking care of them.  Now I see that the rabbits have quite enjoyed the herb garden, polishing off most of the cilantro and the dill and have now started in on the cardinal flower and other tender shoots in the wildflower garden.

rabbits in the garden-

They look like pretty easy targets to me, even with their big, widely spaced eyes trained on what’s around them.

eastern cottontail rabbit eating garden wildflowers-

Well, help yourself to a few of my flowers, then.

eastern cottontail rabbit-

Did you know that the placement of the eyes on a rabbit’s head enables them to see almost 360 degrees around their head, as well as above and below their head? They have about 30 degrees of binocular vision in front, 10 degrees of binocular vision behind their head!, and almost 180 degrees of lateral monocular vision from each eye. No wonder they are so hard to sneak up on.

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