Sunday, June 15, 2008

An Odd Fact about Foxes

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The Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes, may sometimes be gray and the Gray Fox, Urocyn cinereoargenteus, is sometimes tinged with red.

A general identifying characteristic is the white tip on the tail of the Red Fox, whereas the Gray fox has a black tip on the tail.

Native Red Fox

(Click on the photos for a better look at the fur)

A nice look at that innocent face


We photographed this fox by the Yukon River near Carmacks, Yukon Terr., Canada. This Red Fox is a native of North America as are all Red Foxes in boreal North America down to the Rocky Mountains. The Red Foxes in the Southern US were imported to the Southeast from England somewhere between 1750 to 1800, for fox hunts, and were later taken to California for the fur trade.

This Red fox was in its short summer coat. Notice some of the long hairs which it has not yet shed and you can see why people usually think of the fox as having short legs and a big bushy tail. In the winter, this fox would have a tail probably 3 times as big and would look like a short dumpy little fellow with all of that long hair. Nearing winter, it will put on some weight and they do store extra food in caches for the winter. They also have been known to clean out a hen house in a night, however its typical diet includes rodents, rabbits, birds, insects, fruit, earthworms, reptiles, and carrion.

The Gray Fox is the only North American wild dog that regularly climbs trees. Even though the Gray Fox is found over most of N.A., it usually avoids farmlands favored by the Red Fox.

See the Arctic Fox in the post below.

These odd posts all started over at Katney's.



Troy and Martha

28 comments:

Sherry said...

These are great photos, and very interesting info. I didn't know the Gray Fox could climb trees!

We have so many of the red fox here, and although I see them in the woods quite often, I've never been able to get a clear photo of one. One of them actually chased one of my cats out of the woods and right down into the edge of the yard a week or so ago. The cat ran up a tree, and the fox ran away when I went outside.

They are pretty with their red fur and bushy tails, but are quite an annoyance here. There are far too many of them, and they kill the rabbits and songbirds.

Your photos are superb!

Louis la Vache said...

Here's another fox. (on the right).
:-)

SPECIAL EDITION FOR CHUCK PEFLEY!

quinttarantino said...

That fox can climb trees?
Isn´t this one a little skinny?

kjpweb said...

Great shots - he really looks, as if he could use an entire henhouse right about now.!
Cheers, Klaus

The Texican said...

They are much larger looking and prettier when they have their full winter coats on. Nice series of photos.

fishing guy said...

Troy: Boy that fox looked like it had a hard winter. It needs to start to fatten up for sure.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Very nice photos and wonderful information!

nonizamboni said...

Wonderful shots--that guy is built for balance with that tail!
Thanks for sharing the info too.
Happy Monday!

Daryl said...

Great photos .. I was going to feel sorry for that poor pup but then I read the post ..

:-Daryl

Jim said...

I watched a red fox once carrying the hind end of what looked like a large housecat in its jaws, head tilted back to keep the meal from dragging on the ground. I was very impressed with it's strength.

We've got a couple running around near our home, but they're far prettier in their winter coats.

BTW, I've added your blog to my list--I am going to enjoy watching you develop this one.

Jim

granmal said...

Nice picture but he looks kinda slim - out looking for food!

TSannie said...

Well, you've cleared up one thing for me - I certainly didn't know foxes shed a heavy coat each summer, nor that their legs were that long. Thank you!

Marvin said...

Thanks for these Odd Shots of the Red Fox. Having only seen photos of them in their winter coat, I never realized how lean and lanky they actually were.

We have foxes here in the Ozarks, but I've never seen one in the wild. (Road kill doesn't count.) I don't know if they are gray foxes or some of those transplanted reds.

Sharon said...

Love these photos! I don't guess I've seen a picture of one without it's winter coat because the first thing I thought was "Its legs are awfully long." :)

Live and learn!

babooshka said...

Beautiful post form strat to finish. Gorgeous images an so much learnt.

Kim said...

Thank you for all of the interesting facts about foxes. We saw a fox dart across the rode late in the afternoon a couple of weeks ago. I had never seen one in the city before (we saw them occasionally in the country).

Great photos, and thanks for sharing :)

ArneA said...

The red fox is used to make fine fur coats. But my wife has only minks and wolf fur.
I have none, but some years ago I was very close to buy a great wolf. However with my bodyshape I would have looked as HULK so I dropped it.

JC said...

They can sure look cute but they are fierce animals... especially if hungry. Excellent photos and a very informative post!

cedrorum said...

Great post. It brings back memories. I did telemetry work with gray foxes in California when I graduated from college there.

archiearchive said...

Great story. We only have red foxes here in Oz. Imported and a big worry for our indigenous wild-life.
If we had the grey foxes, they would spend their time climbing our asparagus plants [wink]

Shellmo said...

Liked learning about the foxes today - thank you!

Stacey Huston said...

Beautiful.. I know that most people think that fox are more feline than doglike.. thanks Troy and Martha.

diXymiss said...

Great piX and fascinating eXplanation of foX(es). This cute fellow is indeed leaner and has longer legs than I would have eXpected.

mrsnesbitt said...

What fantastic photos...the fox looked rather thin...is this the breed or was she looking for food.

Chris said...

Oh I love, love, LOVE foxes! I only saw one real one in my life, walking through a subdivision...he was as skinny as yours is!
Great picture of this cute little guy!
:)

Andrée said...

Wow, that little guy is skinny. Our foxes are so fat, year long. I am glad you told me the difference in the tails because I never could figure it out!

Petrus said...

I did not realise that there were two types of fox - we only have the red fox in the UK

They are frequent visitors to our garden and we often see them on the local roads .

Good photos - especially like the rotten tree trunk - it looks a bit like a huge lizard.

Max-e said...

Interesting post and great pics. I like the wild dogs.