Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
I saw a red fox trotting across the lawn. I was at work walking down the hall and happened to glance outside. A skinny, rusty-colored young fox ducked beneath a set of concrete stairs.
At this time of year, young red foxes often strike out to find their own territories away from their siblings and parents. They need space to hunt and feed and too many individuals in a small area often won’t find enough to eat.
For awhile scientists and naturalists thought that the red foxes here in eastern North America were the descendants of imported English red foxes. Apparently, Americans wanting to emulate the English landed aristocracy imported red foxes to use as prey in fox hunts.
Genetic studies confirm that the red foxes in the east are not the same strain as European red foxes. The imported red foxes died out without a trace. All the red foxes you see on the east coast are indigenous.
Common name: Red fox
Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes
This is the time of the year when I often see red foxes, swiftly jaywalking across busy urban/suburban streets or unfortunately dead beside the road. I have an affection for them. It is something about their intelligence and super powers. They have extremely sharp senses of sight, smell and hearing (they can hear a mouse squeal 150 feet away).
I think if any animal would make a cool super hero, red foxes would be it.
A great book I used for information was Behavior of North American Mammals (Peterson Reference Guides) by Mark Elbroch and Kurt Rinehart.