- The gray fox looks much like the red fox. However, the gray fox is slightly smaller and grayish in color. Its tail is tipped with black. The feet and legs are reddish-tan.
- The yapping bark of a gray fox is louder than that of the red fox and is given four or five times in a row. The gray fox also squeals and growls. When threatened, the animal can emit a strong odor from its scent glands, which are located near the base of the tail.
- Unlike the red fox, the gray fox often climbs trees. It does so to get away from dogs (one of its few natural enemies) or to sun itself. The gray fox lacks the intelligence of the red fox and provides less challenge for hunters.
- Wooded areas and rather open brushland are home to the gray fox. Its den is usually in a hollow tree, hollow log, slash pile, or rock pile. Sometimes the den is underground. The gray fox is typically found in warm climates.
- Pups remain in or near the den until about three months old. Then they begin hunting with their parents. The family breaks up in late summer. The young breed the following spring.
Gray Fox Facts
- Mating: monogamous.
- Breeding period: February and early March.
- Gestation period: average 53 days.
- Birth period: April and May.
- Litters per year: 1. Number of young: usually 3 to 5 per litter.
- Age females can breed: before 1 year old.
- Adult weight: 5 to 14 pounds.
- Life expectancy: 6 to 8 years.
- Feeding time: principally during night hours, but somewhat during the day.
- Movement: home range 1 to 2 miles.
- Typical foods: mice, rabbits, rats, other small mammals, and wild birds comprise approximately 80% of the diet; also some insects and plant material.