In the middle of the night, have you ever heard high-pitched screaming coming from the woods? Sounds that can send shivers down your spine, or simple stop you from sleeping. Many of you may already know that this noise is actually being made by none other than the Red Fox. It is a sound that can be heard throughout the year and, although made by both sexes, is usually made by the female fox, otherwise known as the Vixen.
Foxes make various noises for different reasons, but the scream is usually made around the breeding season. Screams are used to confirm territory between rival foxes. The females also make this screaming call around the time of and during mating.
To our ears it can sound like a painful call, particularly as foxes breed in the same way that dogs do. Mating can last for up to 20 minutes during which the two animals effectively become ‘locked together’. Unless disturbed this is not normally painful and the ‘screaming’ can be considered as the fox’s love song.
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Take care and remember, stay on the wild side!