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Yours truly

Grey  Fox

(Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

     This handsome fellow is standing on the leaning trunk of a California liveoak that grew in our back yard. The two-by-four in the foreground is the railing of our deck. He appeared out of  no-where one day and proceeded to charm us for an entire season with his tree-climbing skills and generally laid-back life style. This occurred during the '90s and the fox population apparently peaked that year. Sadly, the boom-and-bust life cycles common to many wild animals caught up with our friend the following winter and we never saw him again.

     The grey fox is one of the few canids at home in trees and we observed "our" fox asleep in tree branches as high as 40 feet above the ground. Foxes eat birds, birds' eggs, rodents, insects, fish, and just about anything else they can lay paws on. Foxes normally form family groups of male, female, and, in the spring, 2 to 8 kits. They are territorial, and mark copiously with urine, feces, and a pungent musk. Although foxes yap, howl, and bark, I was never aware of any sounds from this fellow. For more information about grey foxes, see: http://www.primenet.com/~brendel/fox.html