Red fox Vulpes vulpes
The red fox is often regarded as sly, cunning, and devious but it is actually quite reserved, timid, and intelligent. Found coast-to-coast, the red fox is one of the most prevalent mammals in Canada. It belongs to the Canidae family, the family that includes domestic dogs, wolves, and coyotes. Although called red fox, the species occurs in a number of colours including black, silver, and a cross phase that consists of a darker area across the shoulders and down the center of the back. Despite these colour variations, the red fox is typically an orangish-red with black markings on its feet, legs, and the back of its ears. It has a white belly and a bushy tail that ends with a white tip.
The eating habits red foxes vary seasonally. In fall and winter, they feed primarily on small mammals including moles, mice, squirrels, and rabbits. In spring and summer, they switch to berries and invertebrates such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, crayfish, and beetles. Primarily nocturnal in their habits, it is not uncommon to see them out in daylight hours.
Red foxes have excellent senses of sight, sound, and smell that they use for avoiding enemies and for hunting. These animals can detect the slightest movement of prey — for example, a twitch of an ear. They can hear the sound of small mammals digging underground and the squeal of a mouse from 150 yards away. They can also smell young prey in nests that are hidden by vegetation.