Red Fox

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is found throughout Alaska and inhabits the tundra but no in the abundance that they do in other areas. The red fox is 22 – 32 inches long with the tail being an additional 14-16 inches long. It is well known for its reddish coat, but other color phases exist such as the cross, silver and black. The cross fox has a black or brown cross on the back and shoulders. All color phases of red fox have a white-tipped tail. The fox in this video is shedding his winter coat and looks very scruffy. In comparison, the fox in the photo is in his prime winter coat.

Red Fox
Click photo by Kirsty Knittel, www.NaturalAlaska.net

The red fox breeds in February and March. The pups are born inside a den that the parents made themselves or in an abandoned den that they have taken over. Inside the den is a grass-lined nest where the blind and well-furred kits are born. The gestation period is 53 days. The kits weigh about 4 ounces at birth and open their eyes 8-1- days later. Both parents care for the young and by 3 months the young are learning how to hunt. The family stays together until fall, when they all disperse and each fox heads out alone.

The red fox is omnivorous. Prey includes muskrats, squirrels, hares, birds, eggs, insects, vegetation, carrion and voles. Foxes cache food items when hunting is good and have been known to seek out caches that wolves leave behind as well.

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