I live in Bethesda in Montgomery County MD and at least inside the Beltway we are experiencing multiple sightings of red foxes. It is amazing to me how many people know nothing about foxes - at least a lot of people on the local NextDoor neighborhood app. There are questions there like - If you see a fox in the daytime, does that mean that it is rabid? Should I be afraid of it? Will it hurt a human? Will it hurt an animal?
For reasons which I can't begin to explain, I have tried to inject a bit of sanity into the discussion. Foxes are not nocturnal. If you see it in the daytime, enjoy the view! No, you don't need to be afraid of it. It is probably more afraid of you. If it isn't afraid of you, then you probably need to be cautious. It is a wild animal. I wouldn't leave a small dog or a pet rabbit unattended in the back yard. After all that fox is probably hunting for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner - or maybe a good old fashioned British tea!
I can't think of any natural enemies that fox have around here - other than cars. We have lots of bunnies and mice - and other creatures - to keep the fox population well fed. So - it is not a surprise that we have a thriving and healthy fox population.
So - where is this going? We have a beautiful fox in our neighborhood. I have seen it several times as I walk my poodle, Arthur. The fox ignores us and cuts through back yards. I turn away from the fox, dragging Arthur along as he barks at the fox. We walk in a different direction - and see the fox again! He is a very confident and fearless fox.
Last night, we could hear the fox in our side yard - calling to the other foxes in the neighborhood. Maybe there was a fox rumble going on and we weren't invited! Then this morning as Arthur and I walked through the neighborhood watching the sun come up - there went the fox right down the middle of the street. It is a beautiful creature - a lovely russet color - full bushy tail with a white tip - the fox has a healthy coat and he carries his head well - because he is a confident snooty creature out for a morning stroll.
Arthur and I went home and then I headed out to a breakfast meeting. I had only been in the car for about ten minutes and my husband called to tell me that Arthur had sighted the fox from his perch by the front window inside the house. The fox was strolling right down the middle of our street this time. Arthur barked. My husband got to see the fox in its full glory - and the fox kept right on going, ignoring everyone.
This fox sighting was a glorious way to start an awesome day. It really is astonishing how much wildlife is hiding in plain sight in our neighborhoods if we just take the time to watch for it.