Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Animal of the week: Red Fox


Our local red foxes are out and about this time of year looking for love. Foxes usually mate during the winter and females will have pups in the early spring. They are a nice reddish brown on top and have white bellies. Every description I've read, and pretty pictures like those above, say foxes have darker brown  legs, but I haven't really seen that in the wild in this area.

Foxes are omnivorous, like we are. This means they eat all kinds of things including large bugs, small rodents and berries. They love snow because they can hear the mice in tunnels under the snow.

Most of the time, foxes are active at night but they do like to be out just before sunset and can sometimes be see out in the early morning.

When I've been out in the woods near where I live in central Massachusetts, I've come across fox tracks, scat (also known as poop) and their scent far more often than I've seen them. They have a strong musky scent that reminds me of a far away skunk but is very localized on a trail. That means that I take one step and I can smell it and by the time I take a second step, the smell is gone.

Photo from NHPTV.org

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