If you pick up just about any book on Red Fox behavior, you will read that as a general rule they do not seek shelter when they sleep, even during cold winter nights. They are more apt to sleep in an open, exposed area unless the wind is blowing hard, in which case they will find a protected spot such as their den (see inset). In most winter conditions they typically choose a slightly elevated patch of ground, curl up in a ball, tuck their noses under their tails and sleep with nothing more between them and the elements than a dense coat of hair.
When they sleep, foxes only do so for 15 – 25 seconds at a time, waking up and looking around before going back to sleep. In dense cover, a fox allows itself to go into a deeper sleep, waking every hour or so to look and listen for potential danger. (Photos: Red Fox bed at base of tree; (inset) Red Fox den, revisited after the first winter storm.)
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