The Camera Trap Team

The 2017 Camera Trap team consists of 8 freshmen from High Technology High School and is run by our English teacher, Mrs. Gross, and our biology teacher, Mr. Roche.  We went into the woods in Brookdale Community College and found a fox den with a mother, a father, and at least 9 kits!

A fox family, as well as many other animals, have been spotted in the forest.  When we started searching for the foxes, the cameras caught many other animals, including deer that sniff the camera.  One day Ms. Gross saw the fox and followed it to its den, and we have since followed the lives of the baby foxes through the pictures and videos from the cameras set up by their den.

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Top: April 3 – Mostly deer were seen in the forest.

Bottom: April 6 – At night, the cameras also caught raccoons.  A raccoon is pictured in the right edge of the picture.

We think the foxes were born in the past two months, since the father has been seen foraging more often.  For the past few weeks, the mother has been bringing dead animals to the den, since the babies have started to eat solid food.  During the past week, the fox have not been seen as often as before, so we are suspecting that the kits are learning to hunt for their own food, or they have moved to a different den.  Please come back in a few days for more fox posts!

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Fox Kit Development So Far

This is our second week of watching the kits in their den. Pictures below from 4/19 show the mound that forms the den. The kits demonstrate typical playful behavior. They occasionally come out of the den to play-fight and wrestle with each other. Whenever a parent comes, the kits usually come out of the den to take the offering of a dead mouse, rabbit, or squirrel that the parent may have brought and to nurse a little from their mother. So far, the kits have not been weaned, but they’re growing fast.

On the 21st, a strange animal visited the den. It has a pretty bushy tail, as can be seen in the first picture below, while leads me to believe that it’s a groundhog. But no worries! The kits weren’t harmed and are still safe. As can be seen in the night-time photo of the den, foxes are also active during the night because their eyes are adapted to night vision. A layer called the tapetum lucidum is behind the layer of light sensitive eyes, and this layer doubles the intensity of the images that are received by the fox.

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On April 24, the images were all taken during the night, showing that the kits were mainly dormant during the day. Below, in the first picture, there’s a kit exploring, but in the second photo, there appears to be a strange light shining on the foxes. The source of the strange  light is unknown.

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