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Red Fox

(Vulpes vulpes)

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The red fox is equipped with an elongated snout, pointed ears and a long, bushy tail which is carried horizontally. It has an orange-red coat with black feet, white underside and the back of the ears are black. Red foxes will always have a white tipped tail, which can help differentiate them from the black tipped tail of a Gray Fox. Other color patterns are uncommon but include silver, black and a cross, always with a white-tipped tail and dark feet.

Red foxes are omnivorous and will consume whatever they can find or catch (dead or alive), mice being their favorite meal.

The red fox inhabits over most of North America from Baffin Island, Canada and Alaska to the southern United States, except for coastal regions of western Canada, Oregon and California, the great plains, the southwestern desert and the extreme southeastern United States. Red fox are commonly sighted because they prefer open habitats and are not strictly nocturnal; Therefore, it's not unusual to see a red fox during the daytime.

The red fox will breed from January through March. After a gestation period of 51 to 53 days, the vixen (female) gives birth to a litter of usually four or five pups. The red fox may dig its own burrow but usually improves an abandoned woodchuck burrow. Most foxes have an emergency den and will readily move their young if disturbed. The pups stay in the den until about four to five weeks of age, after which they emerge and begin to play outside the den entrance. Both adults take part in caring for the young by bringing food and guarding the den site. At about 12 weeks, the pups are weaned and join the adults on hunting forays, learning to catch food on their own.

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