Wayne County, IL


Eastern Gray Fox

Picture courtesy of Michael J. Von Gebel

Pictured is an Eastern Gray Fox female who regularly comes down to our bird feeder to eat bird seed, fruit and nuts at our bird feeder.  She started to run off and I told her how pretty she was and she stopped long enough to listen and let me get this picture.

The gray fox is a solitary hunter and eats a wide-variety of foods. A large part of its diet is made up of small mammals like mice, voles and rabbits. It also eats birds; insects; and plants like corn, apples, nuts, berries and grass. In the summer and autumn, grasshoppers and crickets are an important part of its diet.

Mating season is between January and April. About 53 days after mating, the female gives birth to one to seven pups. The male helps feed the pups. They are weaned when they are about three months old and are able to hunt on their own when they are four months old. The pups leave their mother in the autumn. The same males and females usually mate together every year.

The gray fox can climb and will occasionally forage for food or rest in a tree. It makes its den in rocky crevices, caves, hollow logs and trees. They will sometimes enlarge a groundhog burrow and use it as a den. Dens are usually used only during the mating season and when raising young.




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