Grey Foxes of the Hill Country

The grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is native to the southern half of North America.  They are opportunistic omnivores, feeding on bugs, rabbits, small rodents, birds, and fruit.  They have been observed eating the leaves of a texas oxeye.

They will also get into your compost.

Grey foxes are loosely crepuscular (active in dim light) though they have been observed at many other times of day. They weigh between 8 and 12 pounds.

Like dogs, Grey foxes mark their territory. Unlike dogs, they are prodigious tree climbers. They have hooked claws and have been known to climb vertical trunks up to 18 meters in height.  They have further been observed chasing squirrels from the branches of one tree to another.

Grey foxes mate for life.  Mating season in Texas is around January. The gestation period for newborn foxes or kits is 53 days.  They have litters of up to 7 kits at a time, with an average of about 4.

The kits stay with the parents until they are mature, typically around 7 months.  The male kits will then move up to 52 miles away while the female kits will move around 2 miles from home and then will return to visit from time to time.  If you’re lucky enough to have a pair of foxes with their den near your property you will likely see them and a new set of kits every year as the parent foxes return to the same area every year to raise their kits.

Grey foxes may make their den in the ground, in hollow trees, among tree branches, and even in abandoned hawk nests.

Grey foxes live for 12-16 years in the wild and for up to 20 in captivity.

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