I hadn’t seen the very confiding female Fox that has frequented my Barnehurst garden, and spent a lot of time lounging round on the lawn during the summer, since 1st December. Though she had looked in very good condition then, apart from a slightly weepy left eye, I was beginning to think she may have fallen victim to a vehicle collision or been pushed out by a dispersing younger animal. She finally showed up again (in daylight at least) today, though unusually didn’t respond to my presence or whistle. She must have had other things on her mind …..
It began raining, so she curled up on the leeward side of a wall under a large Rhododendron to escape the wet. The face of her skittish partner appeared briefly, but he backed off. Even though I was by now indoors looking out through the window of a darkish room, they still seemed aware that I was there. I went away but came back shortly, by which point he had finally plucked up the courage to join her and had started mating, but they tumbled off a step in the rockery and he wound up getting dragged around backwards by the nether regions. Ouch!
According to the definitive
‘The mating season only lasts a few weeks, and during this period female foxes come into heat once. Her “oestrus” is short, only about three days.’ so I was quite lucky to see this behaviour. Also ‘A male and female fox usually pair for life’.