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Gray Fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus
Photo © Copyright 2005 by Jim Jung and licensors. All rights reserved.

Gray Foxes

Urocyon cinereoargenteus

Should you be out some frosty night in the first weeks of the new year you might, if you're quiet and very lucky, hear the yipping of courting Gray Foxes.

The Gray Fox is the smaller of the two Fox species inhabiting our region. More inclined to a vegetarian diet than the larger Red Fox it nevertheless eats any small rodent it happens to encounter while on its nocturnal hunts. Unlike the Red Fox it never attacks poultry and is so shy that it's rarely even seen. Of the two species the Gray Fox is more catlike, both in its movements and in its habits, and surprisingly for a fox is often found in trees where it preys on birds' eggs and arboreal insects.

Once the courtship is over and mating occurs the male departs and the female will give birth in early spring - usually in a hollow log or rock pile den if available - to three to eight kits depending on her age and health. Look for Gray Foxes on the borders of floodplain forests and, of course, in the trees.

  • Canid Specialist Group Grey Fox Page
  • John's Hopkins University, Walker's Mammals of the World Online Gray Foxes
  • More about climbing behaviour of the "Tree Fox"
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The information on this page is tailored to Southern Illinois, Southwest Indiana, Western Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri

Copyright © 2005 Jim Jung. All rights reserved.
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