Gray Fox Facts: Lesson for Kids

Gray foxes are medium-sized foxes that are found in both North and South America. This lesson will teach you about the gray fox, where these types of foxes live, what they like to eat, and some other neat facts about this animal.

What are Gray Foxes?

Imagine being a small mouse in a forest full of trees. You scamper around on the ground, looking for food, unaware that you are being watched. You spot a tasty-looking seed on the ground and dash over to get it. Just as you’re about to chow down, you slowly look up to see a pair of golden eyes looking down at you. You’ve just been caught by a gray fox!

A gray fox is a medium-sized fox with short legs, a mix of white, black, gray, and red fur, and retractable claws that can be pulled in and pushed out. They also have a thin black line of fur that goes from the outside of their eye to the side of their head, like they’re wearing eyeliner.

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Gray fox
Gray fox

Male foxes are bigger than females, and the biggest gray foxes weigh almost 20 pounds. That’s a little more than 2 gallons of milk.

Gray foxes usually hang out alone, except during the winter when a mom and dad fox are taking care of their babies. These foxes usually live to be about 6 to 8 years old in the wild, though a few live to be a little older.

Gray fox family
Gray fox family

Foxes are also usually nocturnal, or most active at night, even though they also come out during the day from time to time.

Where do Gray Foxes Live?

In the wild, gray foxes can be found in both North and South America all the way from southern Canada down through Venezuela and northern Colombia. They are found in many places in the United States, but you won’t see them in the mountains of the Northwest or the Great Plains since they don’t live there.

Gray foxes in bushy woodland areas and like to hang out in forests where the trees lose their leaves every fall. They also like to live near water since they can’t get a drink out of the faucet like you do.

Your idea of a good house is probably different from a gray fox’s. When they are raising babies, foxes make their dens in places like burrows in the ground, gaps under big rocks, and hollowed-out logs or tree holes.

Foxes are cousins to animals like dogs, coyotes, jackals, wolves, and other foxes. Of all of these creatures, gray foxes are the only ones who can climb trees. Because of this special skill, they sometimes make their dens in limbs and hollow tree trunks up where the leaves grow.

What do Gray Foxes Eat?

Gray foxes are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. While you probably have dinner with your family, they like to hunt alone.

Gray fox hiding and hunting
Gray fox hiding and hunting

Gray foxes go out looking for tasty snacks like mice, rats, rabbits, birds, insects, nuts, corn, fruits, grass, and berries. They will also eat animals that are already dead.

If they have too much food, gray foxes save it by digging a hole and burying it under the dirt so they can come back and eat it later when they’re hungry. It’s kind of like how you use your pantry, except theirs is in the ground.

Lesson Summary

Gray foxes are medium-sized foxes that can climb trees and have short legs, retractable claws and black, white, gray, and red fur. They are usually nocturnal but will come out during the day sometimes. They live in both North and South America and are omnivores that eat things like rats, rabbits, fruits, insects, and berries.

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