The first time I noticed the foxes, I was making lunch with the windows open. I heard a soft khuuu-khuuu-khuuuu sound just outside. Not a bird call that I recognized. I couldn’t see anyone out the window, so I went to the front door, which has sidelight windows. A baby fox was looking through the window at the metal lizard on the sill! He was telling his mother that he wanted to get past the force field. She was just behind him, insisting that this was not a good idea. Not a good idea at all.

After a minute of begging, he followed her into the backyard. Daddy joined them as they trotted along the rain-garden path, down to the thicket below. Notice how the mother turns back to make sure the kit is coming.

These are gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), according to iNaturalist, smaller than the more common red fox. I was comforted to find this:

Generally, there‚Äôs not anything to worry about when foxes choose to live in our yards.

World Wildlife Federation: What to do When Foxes Move In

For the next week, we saw the two adult foxes and their four kits fairly regularly. So adorable! They drink from the stream, mostly in the middle of the night, but seem to live somewhere else. We’ve seen them, or similar foxes, within a five-block radius. After the foxes arrived, we saw fewer rabbits. Plants that the rabbits usually ate to the ground grew well. It’s the cycle of life!

Fox family visiting the stream, day and night, as seen from a wildlife camera