The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

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This title phrase is typically used to show all 26 letters of the English language. There is no dog in this video, but there is a pair of beautiful red foxes! Thank you to Dennis Money for this contribution.

According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the red fox (vulpes vulpes) have a year-round red coat that is typically much more striking during the winter months; a washed out orange to cherry red. The red portions cover the head, shoulders and back, and the rump may be either red or a light gray. Jet black marks the legs and ears and the chest and throat are typically a light gray to white. Their tails are typically very bushy and cylindrical in shape, and they occur in variety in colors, blacks and reds predominating, with a characteristically white tip.

Distribution and Habitat

Red fox are the most widely distributed carnivore in the world, and are known to occur in nearly every county of New York State. Preference is given to open country, with an aversion to open landscapes devoid of vegetative cover or deep forests. Lands with a mixture of old fields, forest edges, and farmlands may all serve as prime red fox habitat, as a mixed landscape provides ample foraging opportunities and cover from would-be predators.

Food and Feeding

As with most of New York's predators, the red fox has a variable diet, likely coinciding with local prey populations and seasonal availability of small mammals and birds. Small mammals such as mice, squirrels, woodchucks, and rabbits comprise the majority of their mammalian diet, while birds such as grouse, nesting waterfowl, and other ground-nesting birds and their eggs are the most important avian food items in their diet.


The core of red fox social structure is the family unit, as this species is monogamous and actively defends their territories from other red fox. Territorial disputes are seldom marked by violent encounters and usually consist of antagonistic displays, chasing, and harassment. Territories are maintained year round.

Predators, Parasites and Disease

Most predators whose distribution overlaps that of the red fox have been known to kill this species as either prey or as competition for food resources. In New York, coyotes have been thought to have a significant impact on red fox populations, and although general distributions may overlap, red fox tend to avoid coyote territories completely or reside on the periphery of established coyote territories. Bobcat and domestic dogs may also contribute to red fox mortality.

Learn more about the red fox by clicking here.

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