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Meet: North American Red Fox

These fluffy little canines grace many a fabric pattern and artists love to depict them. While fluffy and cute in many a fall photo or creative painting, red foxes are truly cunning little predators. They have a reputation for cunning and trickery and perhaps it is well deserved.

Red foxes in North America are a native canine weighing about 10 pounds, sometimes a little more. While we often think of them as living in forested environments, they are most at home in edge environments. Edge environments are where two environments meet with a transition. So the edges of forests and farm fields, the edges of suburbs and cities, the edges of grasslands and swamps, etc. This adaptability to edges makes them common in suburban and sometimes even urban environments. You're as likely to see a red fox living in an uncultivated area bordering a city park as you are along the riverbank in the forest.

Red foxes are also generalists when it comes to their diet. They are carnivores and adept at hunting rabbits, mice, songbirds, game birds and waterfowl but also equally at home visiting outdoor pet food bowls, garbage bins and sometimes even birdfeeders. Red foxes will eat berries, grubs, grasshoppers and even amphibians. They travel alone, mating in the winter and giving birth to kits in the spring. They raise their young in burrows underground and then young leave the mother in the late summer each year.

Red foxes are often seen at dusk and dawn and hunt and travel nocturnally as well. If you see one, it will usually be a fleeting glance as they are shy and tend to be very cautious around humans. They do have a close cousin, in North America, the Grey Fox. Grey foxes can have a lot of red in their fur and Red Foxes can have quite a bit of grey in their fur so it can be tough to tell them apart. There is an easy way to tell them apart though; the Red Fox has a tailed tipped in white fur and the Grey Fox's tail is tipped in black.

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