Denali National Park and Preserve Red Fox

The red fox is abundant, widely distributed over the park, and frequently seen. Color phases other than red occur, sometimes even in the same litters. While the most common color is red, red fox can be black, silver or a cross between red and silver, known as "cross fox". A prominent white-tipped tail is a distinguishing feature for all color phases.

Underground dens are used for the rearing of pups. Dens may be found in the open, in forest, on slopes, or on flat terrain. Most are dug into the soil and may have several entrances. Red fox pups are born in the early part of May. They spend most of the summer in or near the den where they are provided food by the parents.

Small mammals including voles, mice, lemmings, arctic ground squirrels, and hares make up the bulk of the diet for most of the year. Red fox eat berries, especially blueberries and crowberries when they become available in July and sometimes through the winter if other foods are not readily available.

Red foxes hunt by smell, sight, and sound. They have excellent eyesight, a keen sense of smell and acute hearing. Sometimes they wait patiently for the sound of a mouse moving along its path in grass or snow and then pounce; at other times, hearing movement underground, they dig quickly and locate the prey by its scent.

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