If you've seen a fox in your yard in the early spring, there's a good reason -- it's denning season, according to Animal Control Officer Chuck McCleary.
Between the end of March and early April, a mother fox will give birth to four of five kits.
A coyote will often find a fox den, dig out the babies and kill them. A mother fox knows this and will frequently choose a den site close to people, away from where coyotes generally go -- like under a porch, shed, garage, barn, or side of a hill, trying to keep her little family safe.
McCleary asks that you offer them a short-term rental because this is not a permanent situation. "If you are lucky enough to see how beautiful an adult fox is, or witness the kits playing (at a distance of course), you will be glad you did!" he said.
It is not uncommon for red foxes to change dens several times during the season, so you may not see them for long. Kits are slow to develop and will not leave the den until they are about a month old. Foxes do not live in a den year-round, only when a mother has babies.
During the summer as the kits grow older, you will see less and less of them, and by September everyone will have packed up and moved on. Please do not call a service to “relocate" them because they will often be killed.
If you see a fox during the day, it does not mean she is rabid. A mother fox works tirelessly to feed her kits and will often be out during daylight hours foraging for food.
Foxes are omnivores, generally feeding on berries, grasses, and small rodents. They are solitary and prefer to be left alone.
"They do not want to hunt and eat your children, mate with your dog, or kill your cat," McCleary said.