Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ February 2014

Foxes’ Screams Can Sound Human

By Jacquie Bokow

Heard any short, unearthly screams outside your home at night recently?  It could be a red fox looking for a mate.  I’ve heard the sound, and it can seem nearly human.  Despite its name, “Vixen’s Scream,” the shrill cry is also used by males.

Red foxes look a bit like small dogs but have reddish fur with white underbellies and, at most, weigh no more than 12 pounds.  (Around here, I’ve seen raccoons larger!)  Mainly nocturnal, they are omnivores, eating almost anything edible.  They hunt alone.

If you’ve been bothered by the sound, it’ll probably stop soon.  According to a Brookside Nature Center docent, the fox screams usually stop around February, when they’ve either mated or given up.   ■

   © 2014 NFCCA  [Source:]