wild Maine fox extended range into Bradford, Maine

Wild Maine Fox: Videos of Red Fox vs. Gray Fox

There are two wild Maine fox: red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Foxes have keen eyesight and hearing, and are very agile, jumping up to six feet high. Gray fox are the only member in the canid family in North America that can climb trees.

This gray fox in the video was recorded in Bradford, Maine. I was overjoyed to have such a fun video of a gray fox in Maine, especially so north of their usual range. I left a corn cob out for the wildlife, which is what she’s rolling in. I say she with confidence due to her squatting to urinate and, if you look closely, her underside has developed three distinctive rows of nipples to feed her young which are surely denned nearby.

According to Maine biologists, gray fox are found primarily in southern and mid-coast Maine, and expanding into western and central parts of the state. Not only has the overall climate warmed, our last few winters have been quite mild. This is common for Maine to go through cycles of harsh and mild winters.

Video of a gray fox vixen near her den in Bradford, Maine

Video of a red fox on the hunt in Bucksport, Maine

The red fox is abundant and widespread, occurring in all counties in Maine. Here is a video of a red fox passing through our land in Bucksport, Maine. The fox is likely looking for voles in the matted down grass in early spring.

Wild Maine fox: are found in diverse habitats and are surprisingly comfortable living near people, which is thought to keep them safe from the more human-shy coyote, a predator of the fox. Foxes prefer a mix of evergreen forest and fields—especially areas where the forest meets a field, lake, or river.

Tracks of Maine foxes can be found along the edges of fields and forest. A fox print is about 1.5 to 2 inches long with hair marks often visible between the toes. Foxes walk in a straight, purposeful line. The front paw is always next to the rear paw print.

The Irish word for fox, sionnach, translates to “shenanigans”

Fox are mainly diurnal and nocturnal meaning that both red and gray fox are active during dawn and dusk, but still commonly seen in daylight. In winter, given the need for additional calories to stay warm and the decreased amount of available food they expand their home range.

Males generally disperse twice the distance of females after leaving their mothers. They travel as much as 40 miles before settling down na claiming their own territories. Female offspring remain close to or share their mother’s territoriy. Related females tolerate each other’s presence, but territories of unrelated females to not overlap.

Diet and hunting practices of wild Maine fox:

Foxes are omnivores and eat a wide variety of seasonal plants and animals. Small birds and mammals are common pray, including mice, voles, rats, rabbits, and bird eggs. Foxes also eat insects, snakes, berries, apples, seeds, and nuts. They can be found digging up frozen apples or heading into dense conifers to stalk snowshoe hare which are also diurnal. Red foxes have a special method of hunting with impressive pounces on prey hidden under the snow in winter. They can hear a mouse squeak up to 150 yards away.

Breeding habits of wild Maine fox:

Gray fox breed with a lifelong companion, whereas red fox do not. Breeding usually occurs in late winter. Gray and red foxes do not interbreed. Female foxes, called vixen, give birth to a litter of three to eight pups in an underground den each spring. Young are often vocal, making surprisingly high-pitched chirps, yips, and screams. The lifespan of a fox is two to four years in Maine’s challenging seasonal climate and rugged terrain. Both parents provide food and care for their pups for three months, in addition to extensive hunting lessons. I believe this to be the father of the gray fox pups in the nearby den hunting at night while the mother curls up with the pups by night.

Video of a gray fox on the hunt near his den in Bradford, Maine

The Wabanaki people say a fox howling near a home is a sign of death.

Size and appearance of wild Maine fox:

Adult red foxes weigh 7-15 pounds, and gray fox only reach around 10 pounds. Red fox are a brilliant orange, with a bright white chest, black legs, and bushy white-tipped tail.

Silver or cross foxes are a melanistic form of the red fox. These majestic wild Maine fox appear black, silver, some with a combination of red and are quite rare to spot. Gray foxes have a hint of red on the neck, ears, and lower legs, and a black stripe down their tail. The thick, brushy tail helps them keep their balance, and also serves as a warm cover in cold weather and as a signal flag to communicate with other foxes.

wild Maine fox an red fox in Bucksport, Maine
A red fox passing by a trail cam in a quick blur in Bucksport, Maine.