Natural Histories

photograph of a Sunda Pangolin

Gray Fox

Urocyon cinereoargenteus


The gray fox has short, stiff black hairs in its coat, giving a “salt and pepper” appearance. The throat is distinctively white. They can grow to be 31-44 inches in length and 7-13 lbs. The gray fox is more aggressive than the timid red fox.


Old fields bordering forested areas and farmlands may serve as ideal foraging areas. They also inhabit deciduous woodlands, bushy and rocky areas. Gray foxes prefer hollow logs or trees, rocky outputs and thick brush

Feeding Behavior and Diet

Gray foxes are omnivores (eating vegetation and meat) but their diet is mostly of small rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. They also forage for acorns, grapes and apples. Feeding usually occurs at night.


Breeding occurs between mid-January and May. A litter of about 2-7 pups are born in a den about 63 days after breeding (around March or April). While the female stays in the den with the pups, the male gray fox will supply her with food. The pups are weaned at 8-10 weeks.

Months and Times of Activity

Gray foxes are nocturnal mammals, meaning they are most active at night.

Special Features, Stories, Relationships

  • The gray fox can climb trees to avoid predators such as coyotes; the red fox does not have the ability to climb trees.
  • The gray fox is resistant to sarcoptic mange, a mite that causes skin irritation, the loss of hair and death.
  • Native American Legend:
  • Children’s Book: Gray Fox by Jonathon London


"Gray Fox." - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. New York State, 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2013.
"Gray Fox." Ohio Department of Natural Resources, n.d. Web. 25 Jan. 2013.