The red fox favors both forest and open country and is very versatile, adaptable animal with a reputation for intelligence and cunning. Although it has traditionally preferred areas of mixed habitat, such as regions where woodland, grassland, and agricultural land combine, it has also become quite urbanized in some areas, living completely within citiies, raiding garbage dumps and hunting rodents in city parks.
An almost cosmopolitan animal, the red fox is probably the most widely distributed carnivore, living throughout the Holarctic Zoogeographic Region which encompasses the whole of Eurasia (excluding Southeast Asia), North Africa, and North America, yet across this vast range is considered to be a single species. Its coat is an unmistakable reddish-brown, with white belly and black legs and feet, plus the distinctive reddish-black bushy tail with a white tip.
Though fairly common, red fox is shy, secretive, nocturnal and cunning which makes him difficult to observe. He will elude competitors by circling and backtracking rather than fighting. He can run at 26 mph.
Red fox is beneficial, as are other foxes, in rodent control. A reduction of vegetation can reduce red fox populations due to a reduction in his rodent prey. He can displace gray fox and is prey to coyote.
The red fox is primarily nocturnal in nature, meaning they are most active at night. They are most commonly observed during early morning or late evening, but can also be observed during the day, especially in open areas. Foxes are often misidentified as cats due to their sleek physique, especially by those that are unfamiliar with them or if viewed from a distance.
Foxes, like most members of the Canidae (dog) family, are opportunistic and will eat nearly anything available. Foxes are usually solitary hunters as adults and are highly mobile, foraging in an extensive area
Foxes are classified as carnivores, but they do eat some plant material. Depending on availability, they feed on rabbits, mice, and voles. They will also eat insects, bird eggs and nestlings, and fruit during the summer season.
Red foxes are monogamous and both sexes help care for the young, called kits. Breeding takes place in January through early February. Gestation is 49 to 56 days, and the kits are born in late March to April.
The average size of an adult fox is 15 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder. It is about 3 feet in length, with a 13-inch tail.
This reddish-colored animal is a cousin to the dog. Foxes live in ground dens or brush piles and are particularly active at night.