Life near their den in Paradise Valley, Montana is busy for this red fox mother and her 13 babies. There’s nursing and playing to be done. The video above, filmed by Judy Lehmberg of Environmental Science Labs, captures two and a half quiet minutes watching their activities in the grass. From NPS.gov:
Foxes are not often seen because they are nocturnal, usually forage alone, and travel along edges of meadows and forests. During winter, foxes may increase their activity around dawn and dusk, and even sometimes in broad daylight. In late April and May, when females are nursing kits at their dens, they are sometimes more visible during daylight hours, foraging busily to get enough food for their growing offspring.
And when 11 of the red fox babies want to nurse, “the babies are so pushy they actually rotate her.” Their competitive nature makes sense; they’re all trying to latch onto eight teats. Lehmberg captures four minutes of her care below.
Next, watch curious arctic fox kits discover (and destroy) a motion-sensor camera, Saving the Island Fox, and the Earth’s magnetic field helps foxes target mice in the snow.