A hike at dusk might reveal more than just a beautiful sunset. Surprisingly, you might also spot a Gray fox in Arkansas.
Gray foxes are difficult to spot because they are skittish and will hide from you if they hear you coming. However, that does not mean they are rare in Arkansas.
In fact, Gray foxes have been spotted in almost every county in Arkansas.
Gray fox fact: The species name of the Gray fox cinereoargenteus means “ashen silver.”
What does a Gray fox look like?
Many people easily confuse a Gray fox with a coyote due to it’s “ashen silver” coloring.
However, Gray foxes and coyotes are very different in appearance. Plus, coyotes are more than twice the size of a Gray fox.
Gray foxes are quite small. In fact, a Gray fox is not much larger than a house cat. The tips of their pointed ears are generally orange and the tips of their tails are almost always black.
(In contrast, Red foxes generally have white tipped tails.)
The gray fox is mainly distinguished from most other canids by its grizzled upper parts, black stripe down its tail and strong neck, ending in a black-tipped tail, while the skull can be easily distinguished from all other North American canids by its widely separated temporal ridges that form a ‘U’-shape. Like other canids, the fox’s ears and muzzle are angular and pointed. source
Don’t miss this: Arkansas Foxes: The Red, The Gray and The Skittish
Where do Gray foxes live in Arkansas?
Gray foxes live all over Arkansas but they prefer dense woods. The Ozark mountains are the most popular place to spot Gray foxes in Arkansas.
The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), or grey fox, is an omnivorous mammal of the family Canidae, widespread throughout North America and Central America. source
Gray fox fact: Gray foxes can climb trees!
Gray foxes will sometimes nest in a tree as high up as 30 feet on a broad limb or in a hollow trunk or abandoned owl’s nest. source
What sound does a Gray fox make?
Generally, Gray foxes are quiet animals. They prefer to stay out of sight and live a quiet life. However, if you do hear them, they can sometimes sound like a dog!
A Gray fox makes a barking noise that sounds much like a dog but that’s not the only sound they make.
Young gray foxes sometimes make whimper or squeak sounds like a puppy.
During mating season, Gray foxes will sometimes make a series of sharp barks or yips to attract a mate.
To further confuse those who are listening to them, Gray foxes also make growling noises, screeches and even squeals.
To some, the sound of a Gray fox is like a Red fox but more “hoarse.”
Don’t miss this: Are Gray Fox Rare?
Are Gray foxes related to dogs?
Recently, I read a comment online that said foxes are related to cats. This is simply not true.
Foxes are part of the Canidae family that includes coyotes, wolves, jackals, foxes, and domestic dogs.
Some people believe they are related to cats because of their size and ability to climb trees.
But, as much as you’d like to believe that Kitty and a Gray fox are related, Gray foxes are not cats!
Want a pet fox? Read this: Are Pet Foxes Legal In Arkansas?