Our gray fox is a member of the canine, or dog family, but acts like a cat! It weighs about as much as a house cat, 7-13 pounds, and hunts its prey by stalking just like our feline tabbies and kitties do. Gray foxes eat rodents, reptiles, and even berries and fruit. They have excellent hearing and listen for prey rustling under the leaves. When they hear something on the menu, they creep up close and pounce.
With a gray back and white and reddish chest, it looks somewhat like the red fox, but is very special in that it can climb trees – the only member of the canine family that can do that. Gray foxes have long toe nails to help them shimmy up oaks, pines and other trees to rest and watch for food. Defensive of their home range, they may even pair up and drive bobcats away from their territory!
Usually nocturnal (active at night), they may be seen infrequently during the day.
Existing throughout the state, gray foxes grow to approximately 15” tall, and sport a bushy, black-tipped foot-long tail. Gray fox babies are called kits.
Photo by Larry Allan.