An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Gray Fox

The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), although peppery gray on top, has reddish-brown fur on its sides, chest and the back of its head, which explains why it is sometimes mistaken for a red fox.  Its tail has a distinct black stripe along the top, and a black tip (red fox tails have a white tip).  Gray foxes are shier and more secretive than red foxes, and are seen much less frequently.  Probably the characteristic for which the gray fox is best known is its ability to climb trees.  The claws of the gray fox’s front feet are more curved than those of the red fox – an adaptation for climbing. They are very skillful climbers, and once a gray fox has shinnied up the trunk of a tree to a limb, it will jump from branch to branch in pursuit of prey, such as squirrels.

4 responses

  1. Great catch! I was fortunate to photograph one a few years ago in Western Massachusetts while waiting for Pileated Woodpeckers to show up. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen one. Here’s a photograph;

    October 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    • Your photograph is much more impressive than mine! Outstanding shot!

      October 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

  2. Nice image! Mary.

    October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

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