What Does the Fox Say?

by
posted on May 5, 2014
fox.jpg

It's a puzzle. While most animals on Old MacDonald's farm, or critters in the woods, have one vocalization, the fox has a repertoire of noises with which to communicate. Whether it's a "yip," "bark," "chatter," "howl" or "Joff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoff!"  this small member of the dog family is known for its inquisitive nature and superior  intelligence. The fox has been used as a symbol for cunning in folklore. In Aesop's Fables, a fox that couldn't reach a bunch of grapes surmised that they wouldn't taste good-so they were not even worth having-is where our scornful use of the phrase "sour grapes" came from.

The red fox is the largest of the true foxes and has the widest distribution of any land mammal except humans. They can found be across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America and Asia. They prefer mixed habitat landscapes and eat a variety of foods including frogs, mice, voles, rabbits, eggs, fruit, birds, sunflower seeds, grain, and even carrion, garbage and pet food.

The name for a female fox is a "vixen," the male is "reynard," "dog fox" or "tod," a baby one is called a "kit," "cub" or "pup." Together in a group you would refer to them as a "skulk" or a "leash." Mating takes place in the wintertime, and an average of five young are born in a litter. The young remain in the den about five weeks, cared for by both parents. They stay in a family group through the summer, and the cubs become self-sufficient adults in the fall.

FAST FACTS:

  • The "common fox" has a red coat, but some foxes are black, white or yellowish brown.  There is a South American gray fox and an Arctic blue fox.
  • A family lives in a "den" (usually another animal's burrow that has been enlarged by the fox parents).
  • Adults are usually 36-42 inches long with a long, bushy tail and weigh about 10 to15 pounds.  Their ears are pointed and they have narrow snouts.
  • Fox hunting is an equestrian sport. Fox populations are often regulated near game and poultry producing areas; they are trapped for their pelts and also raised on farms for their fur.
  •  Annually, it is estimated that red foxes kill close to a million wild ducks on the prairie of North America.

Latest

Unusual Holsters Boots
Unusual Holsters Boots

Element of Surprise: 4 Unique CCW Holsters

What if we told you that your gun doesn't have to depend from (or on) a concealed-carry belt?

Giving Tuesday with MidwayUSA Foundation: 200K for Youth Shooting Sports!

It's that time of year when your donation dollars do double-duty directly, courtesy of the legendary retailer.

All About Long Gun Stocks

Here's what your favorite gun reviews are talking about when they talk stocks.

How-To: Winter Concealed-Carry

It may be easier to conceal this time of year, but can you realistically unholster?

Ohio Teen Is CMP's 1st Distinguished Air Rifle Badge Holder

“When I heard about it, I knew I wanted to earn that badge,” Demerle said.

Doctor's Rx To Fix Your Gun Stock's Fit

Is your long gun bringing you up short? Here's what to do.

Interests



Get the best of NRA Family delivered to your inbox.