more-icon Back to Species Spied...

Species Spied: Red fox

Overview

Species: Red fox

Pair of foxes caught on camera trapScientific Name: Vulpes vulpes

Family: Canidae (dogs)

Instantly recognisable, foxes are one of Britain’s most charismatic wild mammals. They can be very entertaining to watch and are hugely resourceful.

However, they can also cause controversy; whether it be their hunting being discussed in parliament or by a chicken keeper who just lost some chickens…

Click on the tabs above to find out more and see NatureSpy photos and videos of this species

Posts with foxes...

Identification & behaviour

How to identify

Foxes are instantly recognisable with their reddish fur, white underparts and brush like tail.

Behaviours you may see

Foxes are territorial animals and use scent marking to demarcate their territories to other foxes. Scent marks also give a fox information about other foxes — watch it here.

They are carnivores (meat eaters) but as opportunists their diet is broad and includes small mammals, invertebrates, birds, fruit and items scavenged from dustbins, bird tables and compost heaps. Watch a fox with its chicken dinner here.

Cubs venture outside the den after four weeks and begin to moult from black fur into a reddish colour Watch a curious young fox here.

Camera trap tips

Where to find foxes

Fox and moon camera trapFoxes have a broad diet and are able to adapt to different habitats meaning they are found throughout the UK, including in many urban areas.

While you will usually see a fox on its own, they are not always solitary animals. Often the dominant pair are monogamous (mate for life) and will meet up to play or groom. Watch a pair of foxes here.

Settings & timers

Foxes are active all year round. You may see foxes during the day in quiet areas but they are mainly crepuscular (active at dusk) or nocturnal (active at night) animals, so make sure your cameras are set to come on a these times.

Foxes can have territories of up to 5km², so it can take a week or so for them to turn up. Patience is key when looking for foxes.

Field edges are great places to capture them on camera traps - they generally like to move along natural boundaries in the landscape, looking for prey.

If you capture a fox marking the ground, then it is likely it will return to that spot in the future to mark it again.

Following trails...

Fox tracks are very similar to cat and dog tracks, but if you can draw a cross diagonally through the print then you have found a fox and not your local moggie! Their scat (droppings) usually contains a lot of fur and perhaps bone and fruit pips, they are about 10cm long and tapered in shape.

Foxes are mostly silent animals and don't howl but they do have a wide range of 28 difference sounds. If foxes are in your area, you may here barks and screams which are used as warning calls and to locate other foxes.

Foxes are on average only a little bigger than a pet cat so don't set your camera trap too high.

Photos

Fox camera trap photos


Videos

Fox camera trap videos


References and more information:

Fox – The Mammal Society

The Fox Website