An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Red Fox Scent Marking

Red foxes (and other animals) communicate in a number of ways, one of which is to scent mark with urine.  These “sign posts,” along with scat, advertise the fox’s presence, its dominance and sexual status to all other red foxes that pass by.  In addition, foxes mark their cached prey to indicate whether any food remains to be eaten.  Foxes leave scent marks along the boundary of their territory, as well as within it.  Often you will find both urine and scat placed strategically on elevated objects, such as rocks, stumps and vegetation emerging from snow as well as at the intersection of two trails.  Both male and female foxes leave scent marks. Researchers have found that when foxes are looking for food, they mark up to 70 times an hour!  When just traveling and not  hunting, they do not mark as frequently.  During their breeding season, which peaks in February, male fox urine takes on a strong skunk-like odor. Only during the past week have I begun to notice this scent where foxes have marked.

2 responses

  1. I’ve been smelling it too, this week; wondered if I was imagining things. Thanks for this post!

    January 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

  2. Brenda

    Im writing a project about red foxes and what they leave behind so this really helped, thank you! 😛

    December 2, 2014 at 3:42 am

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