In almost every neighborhood they are our neighbor. They’re the quiet guy that lives down the road and you know he lives there whether or not you run into him.
Most of North America has at least one type 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 normal fox diet; rabbits, snakes, rats, rodents, birds, road kill for example, but depending on the region all types of”extra foods” will be added. They may include fruits, vegetables, berries, bugs, fish, eggs or anything else helps 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 months they will start to venture out of the den. Mom & Dad will work as a team taking turns hunting to be certain their family stays fed. They are also excellent hoarders for the upcoming lean time. Stashing and burying what they can not eat for another meal.
With so much thought on their family you would think a fox would run in packs, like wolves, but this isn’t so. A fox prefers solitary searching and generally if you see them in groups its a family unit with older kids that haven’t left the den yet and are being taught the fine art of earning 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 all foxes, likely due to their high mortality rate. Litters average 7 but have been recorded having as many as 15!
The Swift is a really vocal little fox. Only about 40 percent of it’s historic range remains. The Swift Fox was listed as extinct in Canada before reintroduction programs upped the population. It is still listed as protected in the US. They enjoy Prairie Dog holes to use as its den, spends most of it’s 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, wooded areas and among boulders on the slopes of rocky ridges are a few of the places this fox lives. Now these foxes have a special trait, they could climb trees as though they were in the cat family.
They have a black tipped tail instead of the white tip that 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 among the largest and the broadest spread. The majority of the Pacific countries have a larger 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 prevalent. With this said… here in Colorado we see LOTS more Crimson instead of Gray Foxes.
The Silver Fox is most commonly found in the North Western area of the US. These pelts were worth a lot and so the poor Silver Fox was nearly hunted and trapped outside. Fortunately now under protection they are making a come back.
Then the small Kit Fox is listed as endangered in Colorado. It is considered one of the nation’s most vulnerable animals as a result of small population left. Kit foxes like to occupy semi-desert scrubland. They are one of the smallest of the foxes and like to spend most of they’re time underground. They live in tiny groups with many dens and numerous entrances.
So remember when you see that fox… he is just out trying to make a living.