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

Red Fox Scent Posts

Every track you see in this photograph was made by a red fox.  Coming from every direction, they all lead to the tree stump. This stump is to foxes what our general stores, post offices and libraries are to us – a place to catch up on all the local news.   Red foxes have these “bulletin boards” scattered throughout their territories. By marking a stump, they convey information such as their age, sex, availability, and much more to every other fox that passes by. Foxes will revisit these posts regularly in order to refresh their scent and update the information they’ve left. They also mark the boundaries of their territory to keep other foxes out.  To save themselves unnecessary hunting, they mark spots where they have previously searched for  prey or cached prey and eaten it, as a signal not to bother to investigate that area. During mating season, which we are in the height of, the fox also uses a scent from a gland on its tail to mark objects. At this time of year the combination of fox urine and glandular secretions create a skunk-like fragrance discernible by the human nose. 

One response

  1. To me, the scent of fox always marks the mid-point of winter. I kind of like the musky scent, and usually catch wind of it when out for a walk/ski this time of year. Some year I’d like to see a family of young fox kits wrestling near their den…

    February 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

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