【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape

In this series, the transformation of four seasons will be introduced through articles on wild animals that are active in the deep forests, marshes, and ocean as if they were being cradled by “Kamui,” which means deity in the Ainu language. The first installment in the series is the Yezo sika deer of Notsuke Peninsula. (Text and photographs by Tadanobu Shigeru from the Kushiro Branch News Secti

June 7

Special feature

【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (32) The Ezo red fox: an encounter with the unknown

An Ezo red fox cub peers out from between the butterbur, which has begun to grow

Amid the mountains in the town of Shiranuka in eastern Hokkaido, as the greenery becomes denser and the butterbur stems grow higher day by day, I encounter an Ezo red fox cub that was born this spring.

 The fox’s lair seems to have been made in a drainage ditch created alongside a forest road; as I approach, hide and move away, the fox appears and looks my way. It’s about 20 cm long. Confronted with the first human it has seen, it seems to be attempting to ascertain whether I’m a friend or a foe. I move away so as not to surprise the cute, puppy-like fox, pointing the telescopic lens of my camera in its direction.

 Ezo red foxes usually give birth to between 3 and 6 cubs. They are born in April and leave the lair approximately one month later. The cubs are weaned sometime between June and July and eat food provided by their parents. The fox cubs play close to the lair, but the range of their behavior increases as they grow, occasionally resulting in them being involved in road accidents.

 From autumn through winter the cubs become independent from their parents and begin to live separately.
(Words and photo: Shigeru Tadanobu)

Location

Shiranuka Town

Special feature

Propelling its tail fin high in the air, the giant sperm whale begins to dive. Sightseers aboard the boat cheer at the breathtaking sight. I searched for whales on a whale watching sightseeing boa...

While traveling across a scree slope in search of pika rock rabbits halfway up Mt. Tokachidake, I encountered two chipmunks. Many mammals are highly independent and often live alone, except during...

In order to photograph brown bears off the coast of the tip Shiretoko Peninsula, where there are no roads, a boat departs from the Utoro port in the town of Shari. We had received information fr...

To escape the midsummer heat, I climbed up to the base of the approximately one thousand-meter tall Mt. Tokachidake. There, along the steep scree slope with small and large rocks piled atop each ot...

Lying comfortably on its mother’s abdomen is a baby sea otter (pup). As its fur is still soft, it is unable to dive beneath the water.  The pup’s fur is meticulously groomed by the mother otter;...

I’m aboard a dolphin-watching boat as it heads to Funka Bay from the port of Muroran in central Hokkaido. A pod of dolphins with dorsal fins protruding from the surface of the water, swims slowly b...

Sea mist covers the Otanoshike area seashore in Eastern Hokkaido's Kushiro City. Black-browed reed warblers tweet excitedly.

The place, a cliff in the Eastern Hokkaido Tokachi region facing the Pacific Ocean. A peregrine falcon spies a bird flying atop the waves and takes off.

A flock of sandpipers about one hundred birds strong flies along the coast of Rebun Island. These sandpipers are red-necked phalaropes. They are approximately 19-centimeter-long migratory birds tha...

Short-tailed shearwaters migrate from their breeding grounds in southeastern Australia, flying more than 30,000 km per year between the northern and southern hemispheres. They follow shoals of fis...

Daylilies drape yellow color amidst the grasslands of the Sarobetsu Plain that unfolds across the towns of both Horonobe and Toyotomi in Northern Hokkaido's Soya region. A Latham's snipe resting on...

Killer whales swim in the Sea of Okhotsk waters off the coast of the Eastern Hokkaido town of Rausu, and June through July is the best season for spotting them. Family groups called pods can be spo...

The Ural owl chick was born in a tree hollow in May, left the nest after approximately one month, and spends its time hiding in the shadows of the tree until it can fly. As it cannot yet hunt for i...

A spacious-windowed café in the suburbs of Central Hokkaido's Chitose City has a wild bird feeder in its garden, and customers can enjoy watching the flying birds while eating and drinking. Hokkaid...

While enjoying a walk amid a refreshing breeze on a footpath that stretches from residential land in Chuo-ku in the city of Sapporo to the midst of the mountains, I hear the echoes of a black woodp...

 Two bear cubs that were born in the winter hibernation den and are just a few months old, follow their mother. As the length of stride of the mother bear, which weighs over 100 kg, is different, ...

In spring, kingfishers arrive in eastern and other regions of Hokkaido. Apart from a section between the two wings, the backs of the birds are bright blue, and they are known as “the gem of the c...

At peak times, the number of greater white-fronted geese that gather at Miyajima-numa(marsh) – a stopover site for migrating birds – reaches 80,000.

このサイトでは、サイトや広告を改善するためにCookieを利用します。これ以降ページを遷移した場合、Cookieなどの設定や使用に同意したことになります。プライバシーポリシー