How many sounds do foxes make?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

So, let me tell you about the sounds that foxes make! It’s quite fascinating, really. Red foxes, in particular, are known for their wide range of vocalizations. They have a repertoire of different sounds that they use for various purposes.

First off, let’s talk about the adults. Studies have identified a total of 12 different sounds produced by adult red foxes. These sounds include barks, screams, howls, squeals, and even a unique vocalization called ‘gekkering’. Each of these sounds serves a different function in the fox’s communication.

Barks are commonly used by foxes to communicate with each other. They can range from short, sharp barks to longer, more repetitive barking sequences. These barks are often used to warn other foxes of potential danger or to establish territory boundaries.

Screams, on the other hand, are often associated with mating behavior. During the breeding season, male foxes will emit loud, high-pitched screams to attract females. These screams can be quite eerie and can carry over long distances.

Howls are another vocalization that foxes use. Similar to wolves, foxes can produce long, drawn-out howls. These howls are often used as a means of long-distance communication, allowing foxes to locate each other or signal their presence to other foxes in the area.

Squeals are high-pitched sounds that foxes make when they are in distress or feeling threatened. These sounds are often accompanied by other defensive behaviors such as growling or snarling. They serve as a warning to potential predators or other foxes to stay away.

Now, let’s talk about the sounds made by fox kits, which are the baby foxes. Recent studies have identified a total of 8 different sounds produced by fox kits. These sounds include chirps, whimpers, and even purring-like sounds.

Chirps are soft, bird-like sounds that fox kits make when they are communicating with their mother or siblings. These chirps are often used to indicate hunger or to seek attention from their caretakers.

Whimpers are high-pitched, plaintive sounds made by fox kits when they are distressed or in need of assistance. These sounds are often used as a means of communication with their mother, signaling that they need her attention or help.

Interestingly, fox kits have also been observed to produce purring-like sounds. This purring behavior is thought to be a sign of contentment and is often observed when the kits are being groomed or receiving affection from their mother.

Red foxes are capable of producing a variety of sounds, ranging from barks and screams to howls and squeals. Adults can make a total of 12 different sounds, while fox kits have been observed to make 8 different sounds. Each of these sounds serves a different purpose in the fox’s communication repertoire, allowing them to effectively communicate with each other and their environment.