The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is one of two foxes found throughout Maryland; the other is the more common red fox.
Gray fox have a grayish coat with a black tip on its tail. They range in size from 8 – 20 pounds with little difference in size between the male and female. The gray fox belongs to the most primitive order of canines (Urocyon) along with the Asian raccoon dog and Island Fox, all of which have the ability to climb.
The gray fox is more “cat like” in appearance than other canines with a long slender body, thick neck, and strong hooked claws. The claws are used to climb trees, dig and hunt. The gray fox is an omnivore; it will consume both plant and animals.
Foxes eat mostly rabbits, shrews, moles, birds, fruit, nuts, and herbaceous plants. Gray fox are mostly nocturnal, with most of their activity occurring at night or early morning hours. This animal prefers deciduous forest and shrubby old field habitats. Coyotes, dogs, and bear are the main predators of gray fox. Where the habitats overlap, the gray fox has a more aggressive nature to ward off the red fox encroachment.
Article by FCFCDB
Nature Notes for 3/15/2015