Gray Foxes, the less common and more secretive cousins of Red Foxes, are considered an enigma to even some of the most experienced naturalists, many of whom have never seen one. But in the area around Otter View Park around Middlebury and Weybridge they may be more common thanRed Foxes. I have personally had dozens of encounters with them around that location. I once saw one engaged their unique canine behavior of climbing a tree from the park’s boardwalk, and on another occasion nearby, I had one bark at me in annoyance when it realized the squeaking noise it was hearing was coming from my mouth.

One thing I’ve never managed to do with a Gray Fox, though, is capture one on camera, but thanks to the OCAS trail camera, now I have.

Though the video is black and white, you can tell this is a Gray Fox by its black tail top and tip. It also has a shorter snout than a Red Fox giving it a more cat-like face. A Red Fox would have a white tail tip and Black on its legs giving it the appearance of wearing stockings. These cues are the best things to look for even in daylight since both Red and Gray Foxes can have variable amounts of red and gray fur.

The trail camera used to take this video is part of OCAS’s lending library of equipment available for use by Addison County classrooms. Educators can contact us to learn more.

– Ron Payne

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