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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

My very own Fox & Friend or natural rodent control

Brookfield, Gardening, Nature

May I introduce you to my very own rodent patrol squad: Mr. and Mrs.(?) Red Fox

Yesterday morning, I saw one sunbathing in my backyard and quickly went for the camera to snap a picture. While I was focusing, another fox joined the first! They greeted each other with a nose nuzzle, and then stretched out in the grass to enjoy the sunshine. They stayed there maybe a half an hour then disappeared back into our woods.

Now we have had foxes in our neighborhood for several years-- they have been known to den down the street,  in a backyard near Kinsey Park. In the past, we would see one in or cutting through our yard from time to time. Earlier this week, I saw the first fox of the season streak across our yard, chasing dinner.  But this is the first time I have ever seen 2 full grown foxes in our backyard this early in the year. 

A quick Google informed me that Wisconsin foxes have their litters of "5-6 babies in March", and the pups don't go out on their own until they are about 7 months old. So I am wondering if these are the parents, as both the male and female share in parenting duties, and maybe their den is nearby--not too far from the kiddos? Time will tell.

As a gardener, I appreciate the excellent job they do at keeping the mice and rabbits at bay! Since they have come to our neighborhood, our mouse and rabbit problem has been greatly reduced. They also tidy up the yard under our Mulberry tree during berry season. Foxes eat small rodents, amphibians, and fruit. (Remember Aesops fable, The Fox and the Grapes?) 

But rodent patrol aside, they are just fun to watch, with their red coat, white jabot, and black stockings. So count yourself fortunate if you are able to catch them relaxing. Foxes are one of the joys of living in Brookfield.


 

Though foxes don't form packs and are only the size of a small dog--around 9-12 pounds--do remember they are still wild animals. Give them their space.  If foxes are in your area and you have small children or a small dog, do supervise them when outside.

Wisconsin Red Fox

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