Belongs to: carnivores

Fox Vulpes vulpes

Also known as: red fox

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Our native fox, increasingly seen in town as well as country

Habitat: anywhere with an adequate food supply, including cities and villages

The most widely distributed European mammal, occurring from the Arctic to the Mediterranean


Rufous red with a white-tipped tail; body up to 90 cm, tail up to 60 cm

Mostly nocturnal, foraging singly or in pairs; often live in small family groups

Feeds mostly on small animals, also scraps from garbage cans and farm livestock


Breeding site is a hole (or 'earth') excavated in a bank or under tree roots; in towns often under garden sheds

One litter in early spring of usually 4–6 cubs; males leave to fend for themselves by autumn

Young can flatten areas of garden in their play but stop this behaviour as they get older

© Bill Varney