Dedicated To The Outdoors

Gray Fox Family

This post has been carried over from our forum which has since been removed from the site. We’ve pulled over the top 10 forum conversation that were not specific to future content areas which we will be posting.

Heres another critter that has been visiting quite often lately. Normally once a day at random times but he’s been here twice in a single day snooping around.

Unlike the bears, just touch your fingernail to the window and this guy is gone in a flash.

Not the greatest picture since it’s through two panes of window but he stopped long enough for a quick pose.

He looks like a cross fox and in nice shape.
Pretty animals arent they?

Nope Sorry Mama that is a gray fox.

One mighty well furred and fat gray fox at that!

Notice how small the head is, more cat than canine like.

We dont have the gray fox here. Can they really climb trees?

From the people I have talked to YES.

Now some say they need and inclined tree, but several old timers insist they have seen them go right up a straight trunk.

The few I have caught are much more cat like that fox like.

That fox was nearly black from its shoulders up in the earlier weeks and then it developed that reddish tinge that you can see in the picture.

To be honest when I first saw this thing walking from a distance I thought it was a raccoon by the way it walked. It walks ‘just like’ a coon but when it takes flight, well thats a different story.

I have a blonde raccoon coming here also that I have seen a few times through the night. I might be able to get a window open for a pic of him. He doesnt seem real scared of anything.

To answer your question or comment mama yes, it is a very nice looking animal. We tend to see more gray foxes here or ones like this guy who has a little of both colors.

Bo D
It’s true they do climb trees. Some of the guys I talk to out in CA run and tree them with their hounds…

Well this fox, hard to tell actually for sure, has come back.

My daughter and I cooked a turkey yesterday, farm raised, and threw the neck out in the yard for a couple of our cats that arent allowed in the cabin. They didnt like it but the fox apparently did. Turned on the yard light a few minutes ago and he was there laying in the grass. He grabbed the treat and took off.

Looks like the same fox but maybe a bit bigger. Sure is nice a nice looking animal. I guess I will be hearing that familiar squaking through the night again this summer.

It’s good that your friend is back. They are a great source of entertainment arent’ they and purty to boot.

I dont doubt the wisdom of people on the board here, most of the time, but the fox climbing a tree has intrigued me this time.

After seeing foxes nearly every day and studying their movements they are more cat-like than anything. I guess no new news there. But this tree-climbing deal kept coming back to me and how I would like to see it ot talk to someone who has seen it directly. I guess I was a bit skeptical.

Anyway I had the Animal Planet channel playing in the background this evening and they have a show called Most Extreme. #10 was the fox. Looked exactly like the one in the photo above. They went on talking about how bird nests arent safe from these guys since they can climb a tree. And no shit, right there on film, the fox went up the tree to the nest.

It wasnt a straight tree but it wasnt like he could just walk up it either. It involved climbing ability. I guess to put it bluntly it’s not something you’d have seen a dog climbing like some do.

Anyway slick as hell and no doubt in my mind any longer.

Thus we have evidence that every once in while, be it ever so seldom, the ol’ t.v. can produce something positive.

Bo D
Wouldn’t believe me huh…

No I wouldnt say I didnt believe anyone. Just one of those things were I really wanted to see it in some form because I just couldnt wrap my brain around the vision.

Tonight I was on the phone with Doc Wild chatting about critters when my daughter heard what she said sounded like a crow followed by a wolf or coyote howl. She turned on the security light and there was a kit with what we assume was the mother. Finally! The baby fox was about half the size of an average domestic cat and it’s tail probably the size of it’s entire body. Cute little critter I must say.

We’ve waited 2 years to see a baby accompany the pair of adults that we have been watching and now, hopefully, we can get some pictures. Only the one parent was around as far as we could tell and only one kit.

I am figuring the crow sound my daughter heard was the fox but not sure about the wolf/coyote sound. I’ve read about the vixen wail and that may be an answer but there is conflicting information about that vocalization. Some say it is used by the female fox to attract a male but obviously this wouldnt be correct in this situation. It’s also been documented that the male fox also uses this vocalization at times so the true purpose is unknown.

Either way they were pretty jumpy and scooted off before too long. Hope to see the pair back, or maybe more of the family, in the future when I can get some pics.

It appears to be pretty evident that we now only have the vixen and the kit hanging around. I imagine that since the early stages or rearing the young is over, the vixen has decided she no longer needs the male and chased him off until next year.

They came around very briefly this afternoon. Not long enough to snap a picture. This evening they have been rooting around the bird feeders for the black sunflower seed. We witnessed a female cat of ours, Whipper – named for her long black whip-like tail, who took a very strong interest in the kit. This female cat is a pure black witch and I say “witch” because she will turn on any animal in a moments notice.

As she tried to hide in the shadows we could tell she was really keyed-in on the baby fox and, when the baby darted off a short distance, Whipper went for it. Not sure what she would have done but it didnt matter. The vixen came in like a rocket and backed the cat right down. It was extremely fast as the cat tucked itself close to the ground, the fox paused, then darted to it’s baby. Interesting.

My daughter and I discussed it and what we could do if the fox attacked the cat. My input was we couldnt protect the cat every minute of the day and with that cats temperment it’s probably a matter of time before she meets her demise. If it happens, it happens but we would try to scare one or the other away if possible.

Anyway I dont really think the kit understood what happened. A minute later it was rolling around on the ground and the mother was back to rooting up seeds like nothing ever took place. Quite possibly, in animal terms, nothing had happened but it was interesting from an observers standpoint.

Hopefully we can capture them on film during daylight hours before too long.

Yesterday we saw the return of the male fox and saw all three family members together at one time. The kit seems more interested in playing than anything. Throughout the evening we noticed the kit and the male fox returning pretty regularly and noticed the absence of the female.

Somewhere around 3 a.m. I heard this pretty much unidentified ruckus out in the yard. In the distance it sounded like a duck scolding her ducklings but as the sound moved closer, within a few feet of the open window, it sounded like a monkey going nuts. As strange as that sounds thats as close as I could make a comparison. A monkey, chimpanzee, going spaz in a cage.

I grabbed a flashlight and saw the kit sitting about 3 feet away from two cats flipping it’s head around like crazy just letting out what looked like a good tounge-lashing to the two cats. It was quite comical.

The one cat that will attack nearly anything slinked away while the other sat there defiant or maybe just confused as all hell by the verbal assault. I couldnt help but laugh out loud and that little guy just kept yacking away.

What else I found interesting is the male was in the front yard at the time and he didnt pay the racket a bit of attention. To me thats curious because when the female is around, and that little kit squaks about anything, she’s there in a flash to see whats happening.

About a half hour later I heard another round of the same monkey talk I had heard earlier in the night except this time I could tell he was darting around the yard. The sound was definately being made as he moved quite quickly from one end of the yard to the other. I envisioned a cat chasing him but couldnt confirm anything besides the father, still in the front yard, seemingly not worried in the least as he picked through the grass for more sunflower seed.

Tonight we had a small fox, kit, in the yard that had what seemed to be two injured back legs. It hopped like a rabbit and couldnt move too quickly as he dug around for sunflower seeds buried in the grass. Hard to tell if it was in pain or what the problem was but he wandered under an old car I have and stayed there. Still there for all we know.

A little bit later the female fox came along with her kit which I hadnt seen in a while and he has grown quite well. Wehere this new baby came from is unknown and I was hoping to see the three meet and view the reaction. No luck but from the looks of things it doesnt appear this little guy is going to have much of a chance.

So this is not a kit from your pair?
Definitely would be another opportunity to see just was the vixen will do?
Hope she finds him and takes him home, but in reality it could go either way I suppose.
Kind of a shame, wonder if he was hit by a vehicle or what happened to the little guy.

Not sure Mama. This morning at sunrise there were 4 foxes in the yard. The vixen was there, another much larger fox which was probably the same male we have been seeing, a mid-size fox that we saw the other day which was constantly kept away by the vixen, and a kit that had no visible injuries. In fact the kit that was with them took off like a shot while the one we saw yesterday only seemed to be able to hop like a rabbit.

Thought I had a clue what was going on here until this morning. I was figuring the mid-size fox was the vixens kit but I cant say for sure any more. It’s definately a juvenile and the kit that was here yesterday is definately smaller than the kit that was here this morning. Ah hell it’s more confusing than anything.

Wondered if we would ever see more than the pair for a long time now we have a community of foxes it seems.

Found a kit about 200 yards from the cabin flattened on the road yesterday so thats one less fox in the area. Glad we were able to get some pics when he visited.

Once we sort through the photos we want to save we will upload some here of several different foxes. Probably use some linked thumbnail images to keep the topic loading quickly and allow for adding a number of pics all at once.

I waited by the window a couple days ago to ‘try’ and get a pic of the vixen snapping at the youngster and that pic turned out blurry. Thats about the 6th try with that but we’ll get it. She’s alright with the juvenile being around as long as it isnt too close while she’s looking for seeds. About once a day we see her get after the young fox and he lets out a few good yelps when she connects, usually on the rear leg.

Finally got a few of these pics loaded to my pc. In this photo set you can see the crippled kit that was hanging around before he got hit by a vehicle. You can see it’s leg and back look disfigured. It was very pronounced when he moved although he didnt appear to be in pain from what we could tell. The second pic was taken through the livingroom window so it’s a tad blurry.

How cute was that little one. You can tell his hind leg was buggered up though. Those are wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing those with us. Those are/were a very beautiful family of foxes.

1 Comment

  1. Karen
    April 6, 2011    

    I came here to hear the fox yelling sound and got to see these pics too so thank u for putting these on the site for everyone.