Sunrise hikers often see animals and animal behaviour that isn’t easily seen during the day. When I still lived in Newfoundland I went out on sunrise hikes all the time, and on many occasions I would run into inquisitive foxes.

Fox at sunrise – Signal Hill

Curious by nature, these foxes would often come over to check me out, weary at first but soon confident enough to walk right up to me. Depending on my response a fox would then either continue on its way or it would join me, follow in my footsteps, or quietly sit down beside me as I set up my tripod to photograph the morning landscape:

Dawn companion – Signal Hill

These ‘dawn companions’ were usually solitary but one time they joined me as a pair, playing a game of tag as they jumped up and down and ran circles around me, probably still young foxes. On occasion I’d follow a fox around in return, together stalking prey along the trail, their nose to the ground, their head tilting this way and that, to better pick up sounds underground and in the forest. Foxes are cool!

Never feed wildlife

The fox in the pictures above was a particularly friendly fox that lived near Signal Hill. Well aware of the human habit of having a Tim Hortons breakfast while watching the sunrise, this fox would often approach vehicles and ‘beg’ for scraps. If you’re ever approached by a fox like that, please don’t feed it. These foxes know perfectly well how to hunt and take care of themselves, but if they get fed every morning they may eventually forget some of their tricks, which is bad news when winter comes around again and Signal Hill no longer provides a free breakfast every morning…