Red Fox

red fox

Genus: Vulpes
Species: vulpes

Description:  Red foxes have adapted well to suburban and rural communities. While other large predators have been pushed away from human development, red foxes took advantage of the changed habitat. They live in parks and woodland edges and red foxes will readily eat whatever is available. Red foxes are solitary, so it is easy for them to hide and escape people

Red foxes prefer rodents and rabbits, but they will also eat birds, amphibians and fruit. Red foxes will also steal food from garbage cans or farms. Their ability to find food, even during the winter, is one reason why red foxes have a reputation for being cunning and smart. 

Red foxes are about 3 feet long and 2 feet tall. They have large, pointy ears, a long snout, and a long, fluffy tail. 

Red foxes have red fur across the face, back, sides and tail. The throat, chin, and belly are grayish-white. Red foxes have black feet and black tipped ears. One of the most noticeable characteristics of the red fox is the white tipped tail. 

Red foxes are often confused with gray foxes, which share a similar habitat and range. This can make identification difficult, because some red foxes can large patches of gray fur and gray foxes have patches of red fur.   Gray foxes are somewhat smaller and have a slightly more-rounded face and shorter snout. 

The surefire way to tell the difference is to look for the color at the tip of the tail. Gray foxes have black-tipped tails, while red fox tails are white. Although they are very similar in name and appearance, the gray fox and the red fox are only distant cousins, belonging to different genera in the family Canidae.

Range: Red foxes can be found throughout the continental United States from Alaska to Florida. The smallest population is in the Southwest, where it is very rare to see a red fox. Red foxes like open areas in woodlands, rural and suburban neighborhoods, wetlands and brushy fields.

  • Fun Fact
    Red foxes have excellent hearing. They can hear low-frequency sounds and rodents digging underground.

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