In virtually every area they are our neighbor. They’re the quiet guy that lives down the street and you know he lives there if not you encounter him.
The majority of North America has at least one kind of fox, with their cleverness and adaptability they live from the frozen tundra, forest, and grasslands to deserts. This is part of why though foxes are in the Canid / Dog Family and that makes them carnivores they’re still opportunistic eaters. There are the things on the typical fox diet; rabbits, snakes, rats, rodents, birds, road kill for instance, but depending on the region all types of”additional foods” will be added. They may include fruits, berries, vegetables, bugs, fish, eggs or whatever else can help fill the belly.
After a gestation period of 50-53 times the kits are born with their eyes closed. Eyes will start in about 2 weeks, and somewhere around 5 weeks they will start to venture out of the den. Mom & Dad will work as a team taking turns hunting to be sure their family stays hydrated. They’re also excellent hoarders for your upcoming lean time. Stashing and burying what they can not eat for another meal. Foxes most often have a second”back up” den. This helps ensure their family always has a den to go to.
With this much thought on their family you’d think a fox would run in packs, like wolves, but that isn’t so. A fox prefers solitary searching and generally if you see them in classes its a family unit with older kids that haven’t left the den yet and are being taught the fine art of making a living.
The Arctic Fox camouflages well with it’s brown coat in the summer & white coat in the winter. They have some of the biggest litters of foxes, likely due to their high mortality rate.
The Swift is a very vocal little fox. Only about 40% of it’s historic range remains. No longer on the Endangered list in the United States but still is listed as Endangered in Canada. The Swift Fox was listed as extinct in Canada before reintroduction programs upped the population. It’s still listed as protected in the US. They like Prairie Dog holes to use as its den, spends most of it is time under ground. The Swift Fox gets it’s name from how it is… faaast! It’s been clocked running at greater than 60 Km per hour.
The Gray Fox enjoys the canyons, open desert, chaparral, mountainous regions and among boulders on the slopes of rocky ridges are some of the places this fox lives. These foxes have a unique trait, they could climb trees as if they were in the cat family.
They have a black tipped tail rather than the white tip the Red Fox has.
Now the Red Fox is one of the most common foxes. This is the one most of us have seen. The Gray and the Red Foxes are one of the largest and the broadest spread. Most of the Pacific countries have a bigger Grey Fox population then Red Fox. The farther east you go the more Red Foxes until on the opposite side of the countries the Red is more widespread. With this said… here in Colorado we see LOTS more Red rather than Gray Foxes.
The Silver Fox is most commonly found in the North Western area of the United States. These pelts were worth a lot and so the bad Silver Fox was nearly hunted and trapped out. Fortunately now under protection they’re making a return.
Then the tiny Kit Fox is listed as endangered in Colorado. It is considered one of the state’s most vulnerable creatures as a result of small population left. Kit foxes like to occupy semi-desert scrubland. They live in tiny groups with many dens and numerous entrances.
So remember when you see that fox… he’s just out trying to make a living.