Field Guide/Mammals/Red Fox
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|Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox)|
Size: Average size: 15in to 16in tall at shoulder
Length: about 3ft Tail: 13inWeight: 8lbs-15lbs
Description: The red fox is a medium size predator and is most common across Minnesota, even in the Twin Cities and suburbs¹. They are cousins to the dog. These red fox have rusty-red coat with white-tipped bushy tail, and black legs, ears and nose. There are also other colors such as nearly solid black, silver-black and red bisected by dark bands that are across the back and shoulder which sometimes this is called a cross fox¹.
Habitat: Red fox live in many ranges of habitat, ranging from forest to open fields and are found throughout Minnesota. They often have den in woodchuck or badger holes found in dense woods¹. Most dens are up to 40 feet and used for nursery because red foxes prefer to sleep in open areas even during the winter time¹.
Diet: They eat rats, mice, rabbits, ground squirrels, birds, snakes, fish, insects, berries nuts, and seeds. Their diet can be flexible from their home habitat². They will also eat fruit, vegetable, fish frogs, and even worms. Among humans, they will mostly eat garbage and pet food. Red fox hide their uneaten food under litter or bury it in holes. They are one of the few predators that actually store food items¹.
Activity: They tend to be solitary animals and will always hunt alone¹. The red fox are active both during the day and night but likely to hunt during twilight and in the evenings.
Reproduction: They mate during the winter, February in particular and 52 days before offspring. Newborns are nurse for ten weeks and will be independent in seven months. At birth, their colors are brown and gray. Then a new coat will grow in toward the end of the first month². Both parents care after their young. These red foxes can reproduce at age one.