What *Does* the Fox Say?

As far as I can tell, there aren’t any foxes on Vancouver Island (correct me if I am wrong). Although we have a pretty good idea of what red foxes look like, we don’t really know what they sound like. But we are willing to guess! Some of our students took a risk and did their best uneducated fox impressions. Take a listen.

So here are actual fox vocalizations. What do you notice?

And here is a fox interacting with a dog. Notice how it moves. What do you think it is trying to communicate?

In your comment, please describe the appearance of the red foxes you see, what their vocalizations are like and how they move. Paint a picture with your words that will help us really visualize Pax.

76 comments

  1. Hi Ms. Smith,
    I think that red foxes are very cool and I like it how we had a breakout based on them. The vibrant color of there fur makes them really cool to watch. The sounds that they make are very cool my favorite one is when they are either playing or fighting. I think that Pax is more of a darker red color with very pointy ears.
    ~Daniel

    1. Hi Daniel,
      I think “vibrant” is a great way to describe a fox. It seems to me they don’t blend into their surroundings very well. I wonder why they have not evolved to have better camouflage. I must be missing something.
      ~Ms. S.

  2. Dear Ms.Smith

    I think the fox on the one video with the dog was wanting to play with the dog.
    I think if the dog interacted they would of played.

    In the video of the fox sounds i am supersized of what kind of sounds they make.
    the won i never thought that the cry sound was actually the cry

    ~Lane

  3. dear Mrs. Smith

    I think that all of the noises that the foxes make is pretty cool. but if I woken up to that noise I would not be very happy. I think that is is cool that the foxes can make all of those different sounds. I wonder how they develop those kind of sounds like do they naturally have they when they are born or when they are a little bit older. I like the sounds that the kids in my class made cause some of the were off. And it was cool when the person taped the video of the fox and what the foxes response was to having the person there taping it. It was also interesting what the dogs response was.

    1. Hi Josh,
      Thank you for your thorough and very thoughtful reply. You are thinking like a scientist: asking great questions and making interesting observations. I too would be initially alarmed by the sound of a fox in the night. I wake up when I hear barred owls in our trees. I really love the sound and am glad they come so close to our house.
      ~Ms. Smith

  4. Hi Ms. Smith,
    I think Pax has long rose red ears with oil black tips. His back and sides are a sunset red color and his stomach a cloud white. His long mystical tail pointing out like a branch from a tree. When he sits he sits up straight and tall. When he runs he strides gracefully zooming away.

    Sincerely,
    Hudson

  5. Hello Ms. Smith,
    These foxes were so cute! (but also very loud) When someone says something about a red fox, I picture a small clearing in the forest, dripping in deadly silence. Then a rustle in the bushes, and out steps a cautious red fox, it’s smooth fur shining in the sunlight. Foxes have always been one of my favorite animals, and probably always will be. I especially love how swift and sneaky they are. In the “What the Fox ACTUALLY Says? (The Scream of the Fox)” video, I loved how fast and playful the fox was! It was almost as if it was saying to the dog “Come play with me!” Anyhow, I feel like that would be the type of fox Pax is. Sneaky, swift and playful, but also loyal and caring.
    ~Lyric

    1. Your description of the “cautious red fox” in the clearing creates a little vignette for me as a reader, Lyric. Thank you for that. I also appreciate your summary of what you imagine Pax to be: “Sneaky, swift and playful, but also loyal and caring.”
      ~Ms. Smith

    2. Hi, Lyric! I think your description of Pax is beautifully detailed, and I most definitely agree. I’ve always thought of foxes as mystical, sneaky creatures. I also think that Pax is very dedicated to Peter, due to the fact that he didn’t want to leave with Bristle until he came. When I think of a fox, I think of a thicket of trees, in an ancient part of the forest, when a small burgundy fox with a tail dipped in dirty white, acorn brown spots covering it’s face and tail slinks out, a small ray of sunshine splayed upon the fox’s middle, its cries echoed through-out the forest.

      P.S. I go to challenge too.

      Sarah

  6. Hello Everybody

    These fox sounds were very different than I thought they would be. In the video at the bottom it looked like the fox was very curious until the dog walked onto the porch. Then it looked very aggravated because the dog just left him. The call seemed like the alarm call. The Gekkering was very interesting. Also the cry call. This was very fun.

    -James

    1. I agree with you, James: the foxes’ calls really surprised me with their variety and complexity. I wonder if there are other canids that gekker or make similar alarm calls.
      ~Ms. Smith

  7. Hi Ms. Smith,
    In London I heard foxes quite often and they are very timid and strategic.
    They seem to come out more at nighttime and stay barely visible despite their nearly sunset orange fur it hides them. That would be one of Pax’s defense mechanism .Their hind quarters are a bronze copper colour going grey-black at the tail and then to a linen white colour at the tip.
    Foxes are very wary with cougars and coyotes to fear which makes them alert also when distressed they make a yip/ cry; in Pax he made a cry when he was alone and scared.
    When I watched the video I was intrigued by the sounds and screams especially “The vixen’s scream” the other interesting sound was the gekkering a dolphin like sound when fighting, sparring or playing.
    ~Martin

    1. Hi Martin, I understand from videos I have seen that there is quite a love/hate relationship with foxes in the UK. They are common and can cause difficulty for farmers. Some people take part in mounted hunts. I wonder what you will be able to add to the conversation when you are in London. Can you get a copy of Pax and read along with us?
      ~Ms. Smith

  8. Hi Ms. Smith,

    I think that that red foxes are very interesting to watch. The colour of them is so beautiful. The noises that they make are like little yells and screams. My favourite noise was the alarmed scream. The way they move is like little bursts of energy in zig zaged motions. My favourite part of foxes are the bushy tails

    ~Kayley

    1. Hi Kayley, I am surprised at how the fox holds its tail. I was expecting it to hold it up like a dog, but in the photos and videos it seems to go straight out. I also was surprised to see how its ears turn backwards when it screams.
      ~Ms. Smith

  9. Hello Ms. Smith
    A couple times I saw red foxes in zoos. They looked really happy. Red foxes have a red back a white stomach, white on the inside of their ears. Once I saw one with a little bit of black on its paws. And they have a little bit of Grey are there behind. Red foxes sometimes sound like a little girl shrieking at the top of her lungs. But other times it’s like a dog barking. Fox sounds really interesting but that’s the two I hear a lot when I’m off the island. Also red foxes move very quickly mostly they run a lot to get away from hunters or to catch their prey. They run with their tails straight. And sometimes with their ears down, I think Pax has a little bit of brown on his behind and a little bit of black on his paw tips. I thought the video of our class making what they think fox noises are was really funny.
    Sincerely Kaya

    1. I really enjoyed putting together the fox sounds from our class. I think your classmates were brave to take a risk like that. In the videos I most surprised to see the fox turn its ears backwards when it barks. Why do you think it does that? You sound like you know more about foxes and have seen more of them than anyone else in our class. How does it feel to be our expert?
      ~Ms. Smith

      1. Hi Ms. Smith,
        I don’t that I am an expert I just a little bit about foxes. My uncle Delmer had a fox come to his backyard wen he went out side in the morning’s, he would give the fox food and water it was kind of like a pet to him like Pax in the book. I don’t now why
        foxes put there ears I think is so they can open there mouth bigger but that is just what I think it might not be right.
        Sincerely, Kaya

  10. Hi Ms. Smith
    I think that I will have a better picture of Pax now. I think that the fox was trying to play with the dog. I really like the noises of a fox they’re sort of funny. I think the dog liked the fox and wasn’t scare but didn’t want to play. When I look at the foxes I see like a red coat with white spots on the face and stomach. I hope to see more fox stuff in the future.
    –Briana

    1. Dear Briana

      I real liked how you described Pax. I thought if the fox and the dog meet better they could have made a bond like Pax and the boy. How I would describe the fox in the video is; brown ish gold fur with a wight tail. Before the people who made the song what dose the fox say the should of looked at this blog if they could time travel, it would make the song way cooler.

      I hope you make more blogs about foxes

      From Quinn bibbana

  11. Hello Ms Smith,

    I think the video is quite funny about the dog and the fox playing with each other.
    The red fox with a little bit of grey on it’s tail, was trying to get up to the deck to play with the golden coloured, long haired dog. The fox sounded like a lady screaming at the top of her lungs because he wanted to play with the dog some more.
    I have a couple questions for you. Why did you pick the fox as the animal for the break out? Why are foxes the only ones in the dog family that can climb trees? Are there foxes on Vancouver Island?

    Yours Truly Cypress

    1. Hi Cypress, I really love your description of the fox on the edge of the deck: “like a lady screaming at the top of her lungs because he wanted to play with the dog some more”. I picked foxes for the breakout because their is a fox in our novel, Pax. I am not sure I can answer your other two questions–I think we might have to ask an expert.
      ~Ms. Smith

  12. Hello Ms. Smith,
    Foxes are very stealthy but playful. Their noises sound like yips, yaps and screams but my favorite was the howl. They move in a very sneaky way with their tail out in a zig zag pattern. The fur on the red fox is very color and they usually have black on their ears, legs and tails, sometimes they even have wight patches on their fur sometimes. When I thought of Pax I thought of a brown fox. How fast is a fox at top speed?
    ~Andrea

  13. Dear Ms. Smith
    Red foxes have bronze fur and white on their belly. There eyes shine brown and have whiskers like a cat and they look a lot like one too. I like foxes they are interesting and secretive, they remind of owls just that walk on all fours and cant fly. Their ears are big and triangle shaped. Foxes are thought of as sneaky in stories but really act like lots of other animals I have never seen a fox but I want to one day. It’s hard to picture pax since he s from a story book but he probably looks like a small red wolf.
    Elijah

    1. Elijah,
      This description and comparison, “they are interesting and secretive, they remind me of owls, just ones that walk on all fours and can’t fly” is very insightful. You are right, they are as alert as owls and there is more mystery to them than I first imagined. By what you’ve written, I think you can visualize Pax better than you think.
      Ms. Smith

  14. Hello Mrs. Smith

    I am very surprised listening to what fox’s sound like. They are very fast and quiet but when they make there noise it is very weird sounding and a little disturbing. Like when something is painfully dying. I think fox’s look like the sun on a blistering hot day orange and red like flowers and peaches.

    1. Hi Ethan, I also find the scream a bit disturbing. I imagine it would be pretty difficult to sleep with that racket going on outside my window. This is a delicious description: “orange and red like flowers and peaches.” Nice!
      ~Ms. Smith

  15. Hello Ms. Smith
    I have always wondered what sound the fox makes . just yesterday in Pax I heard that Pax will give a little cry when he is left alone by himself. I also looked it up yesterday because I was very curious on the sound of the fox, It said they give a small but high pitch bark.
    When we watched the video I wasn’t to surprised, it made almost the exact sound I thought it would make. It was cool seeing the movement of the fox, he was always moving and when the dog turned around he would jolt the other way super fast.
    ~Carson

  16. Hi Mrs. Smith,

    Well most of the foxes in the video look red-ish and reasonably fluffy, with a really poofy orange and white tail. The fox in the dog video sounded really weird, sort of like somebody hung a cat in a harness from the ceiling and let a dog jump at it. Imagine all those noises combined that’s what I think it sounds like.

    1. “…sort of like somebody hung a cat in a harness from the ceiling and let a dog jump at it.” Arielle, you really have captured the odd, almost disturbing scream of the fox.
      Thanks for taking a risk with your writing.
      ~Ms. Smith

  17. Hello Ms. Smith,

    The appearance of a red fox is when you’re walking in the forest, leaves crunching, the crisp Autumn wind blowing, and you think “what a wonderful day.” Then you see it, the red fur blending in with the fallen leaves. The ears sticking up as he listens to everything around. The nose twitching as he smells a new scent, you! His run, he runs like the cool Autumn wind, if you try to get away, he’ll find you. He’ll hear you and smell you, you can’t escape the red fox.

    Sincerely
    Eli
    http://huzzah.edublogs.org

  18. Hello,

    My name is Tyler, I was one of the people in the fox noises video at the top I wasn’t quite sure what a real red foxes sounds like. What I thought is that they look like a smaller dog so I heard what a smaller dog sound like so I made more of a high pitch sound so I tried to do it but it was pretty different then I thought. It was deep and some of the noises that were high.
    What did you think? -Tyler

    1. Hi Tyler,
      I actually was most fascinated by the way the fox’s ears went backwards as he sounded the scream. I am wondering why they do that. Is it because the noise is so loud when they scream? What do you think, Tyler?
      ~Ms. Smith

  19. Hello Ms. Smith.
    I think they look like a sun on a hot summer pool day when people are joining in
    With the fun. I have a pretty good idea of what a fox looks like. I think it sounds like a dog barking in pain or in the wild.
    I think that foxes have a nice little white spot on there chest.
    Sincerely , Connel

  20. Hello Mrs. Smith,
    That video was so cool, I did not think a fox would sound like that. I was thinking at first, it was going to sound more like and wolf, so I actually learned a lot from just hearing the noises that a fox makes.

    ~Brooklyn

  21. Hey there Ms Smith!
    When I think of a fox, I think of an adorable dog-like creature that’s mostly orange, but its “Underbelly” is white, its paws are black, and it has a good old white-tipped tail. I’ve always imagined them being Playful yet mysterious, bubbly yet sneaky, all that jazz. I always thought they made a yipping noise and some sort of yip/howl all in one. Instead of a big wolf, I thought they’re more like a dachshund with taller legs.
    But still, foxes are so cute!
    ~Kimberly

  22. Hi Mrs Smith, it’s Blake. The other day I was in Lunenburg Nova Scotia. There are lots of foxs there. The type of fox that you see most often is the red fox. The red fox is not really red it is more of a light brown. It has black around the ears, nose and paws. It also has little black on the tail.
    Though I did not see any foxes in Lunenburg, I still had a great time.

    1. Hi Blake, we are really looking forward to having you back at school! I am glad you got to go to Lunenburg. Did you notice the fancy doors I told you about? Nova Scotia is very beautiful this time of year.
      See you soon,
      Ms. Smith

  23. I LOVE all of your comments about foxes and the way you have described them. The video of the fox playing with the dog made me think of my dog Charlotte and made me wonder if she would want to play with a fox if it came on our lawn. I was surprised by the sounds the fox made, but they also showed me how the fox was feeling – excited, impatient, and a little worried all in one. I hope he comes back to play with the dog!

    1. Hi Mrs. Heselgrave,

      I think that my dog would definitely try and play with a fox that just showed up in my backyard. I was really surprised that the fox made that noise as well! I think that the dog was very confused that the fox was right there in front of him.
      Have great day,
      ~Kayley

  24. `Hi, Mrs Smith! Once I saw a red fox in person, with my Dad, and I remember it had the tip of its tail a dirty white, almost as if it was dipped in paint. It’s coat was a burgundy color with light to medium brown spots on its face and back, with it’s tiny nose an oil black. Also, it kind of looked like it was wearing boots, because it had dirty white paws.

    P.S. I loved Lyric’s description of Pax especially.

    Sarah

  25. hi ms. smith its ocean i think foxes are beautiful and there fur looks so soft i have never seen a fox before i really want to before i saw that video i thought that the fox would howl but it does not it is kinda shaped like a wolf but does not sound like one. i like the red fox because its colour is so beautiful i have learned alot just from a week.

  26. I think that this hole Fox thing is amazing! my class hasn’t skyped yet but I think it will be pretty cool. Sunset red back and a cold white belly and coal black paws and a sunset tail with a little cold white on the end is how I see Pax. I think the sounds are really cool and are really interesting. I think the fox that was playing the dog was really funny because to see a fox in the back yard was unusual. I think the fox wanted to play with the dog. I liked Hudsons’ post because he made me picture a fox.

  27. hi

    This is Olivia here and I just want to say that I thought all of your students comments were awesome. I think personal the fox has white ears on the in side, and on the outer side they are bright red. The back of the fox is mars red and the end of the tail is a cloudy white. Some of the sound that the fox actually makes make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up! I thought that the video of the fox and the dog was some cute. I felt bad for the fox who (in my opinion) just wanted to play. By the way, I thought that Hudson’s comment was great. He used so many detailed words that made me able to really picture a fox.

  28. Hi,
    I think the video of the fox and dog is funny the fox looks like it is wanting to play.The noise of the fox is amazing i didn’t know that they made this noise.I think the fox is very interesting.The colour is like a fire red on Pax.

    ~ Kassidy

  29. Mrs.Smith

    I think that Pax would be a dark orange and a tiny bit gray on his stomach but mostly white, his ears would be like a dogs but up and not droopy but as we get into the book more I will see him different. in the video I think that the fox was saying to the dog when he left COME PLAY WITH ME!!!

    ~~~~:-)Mason:-)

  30. hi Ms Smith

    When I think of fox`s I think of orange white and black unique animals that like to run and play. When i herd the fox`s noises I was surprised because i had no idea that is what they sound like. In Pax i think that Pax is a very playful but strategic fox.

    ~chloe

  31. Hi Ms. Smith,
    I thought that Hudson’s and James comments were awesome because the words they used helped me see the fox. I liked watching the videos and realized that I already knew quite a bit already about foxes.

    Jake

  32. Ms. Smith
    Kaya I liked that you had lots of detail in your comment. I never knew the foxes make such a squeaking noise. I like the book Pax, my class is on on chapter 9. Our class did not break out but we are still happy. I had a picture in my mind that Pax looks dark orange kind of a red with white and has black pointy ears. The bunnies ate the flowers in the book. At my old house the deer ate all our flowers.

    From Annika.

  33. i think that pax is orange red black pointy nose and ears i love the video of the fox and the dog in it. i think that the fox calls are music to me it sounds like a dog or a wolf in a way.
    i love foxes the male and female fox call sound different in so many way too.

  34. Hi Ms. Smith

    I think that pax would be a red orange color with a black nose and a white tipped tail.
    his white under belly would fade into an orange color near the top of his chest.

    i was surprised by how loud and unique the fox cry was i also liked how in the video that the fox wanted to play with the dog. I like how the fox wasn’t nervous around the people
    he just wanted to play

    -Lukas

  35. Dear Mrs Smith

    I think it is very cool that foxes are able to make different sounds. I think that Pax is a sunset orange coat with a white belly and a little bit black on his tail.
    when I watched the video of what the fox really says I thought that the fox wanted to play with the dog until it went up onto the deck.

    From Justin

  36. hi Mrs smith

    I think that pax has a fluffy white belly,pumpkin colored fur on his back,a black tip on his tale and snow white paws.
    i think that foxes are super cute.They are my one of my favorite types of animal!
    my favorite video is the dog and fox video even do i kind of feel bad for the fox that the dog left him.I also thought the video where your class tried to make fox noises is funny!

  37. hi

    This is Braxton i did not that fox have a high pitch bark and the different types of barks they have.there fur reminds me of the maple trees in fall . I did not think that foxes were the size of the one in the video. I would wan’t a fox but I would get tired of there screech . so far I like the book pax and hope to read more

  38. Hi Ms. Smith

    I liked Hudsons description of what a fox looks like. I think the noise the fox makes in the video with the dog is funny, I did not know they made a sound like that, it sounds like a scream. When I picture Pax he is little compared to other foxes he is a bright orange with a bushy tail that has a stripe of grey and black. He has a shorter snout with a bit of grey and black and a white cloud on his belly.

    -Isaac

  39. hi Mrs smith

    I liked the fox and dog video. i think that the fox was just trying to play. if the dog gave in they would of played.

    I like pax. My class is on chapter nine . I think pax is a reddish orange.

  40. hi Ms.Smith
    i was wonder in what a fox did sound like never thought they would sound like the way they do. i think pax is a more faded red. I see him as a littler fox with green eyes and a jet black nose. I liked Blake’s comment because he tells you that he was in Nova Scotia and sees the foxes and tells you how he sees different foxes.

  41. hi miss smith i think foxes have some red on there back and on there chest it is white and when i was camping in vernen i could here the foxes howling at night it was cool and i saw red lighting maybe that’s a simbulle of more foxes howling and from the video i didnt think they sounded like that thanks for sharing that o and i like the one when fighting bark one any way

  42. Hi Mrs.Smith

    I think fox’s are super cute. Some of the noises fox’s make are creepy.
    The video was cool! At first I thought the dog was lunch. Before I didnt
    know what a fox sonded like.

    – Jenny

  43. Dear Ms. Smith,

    I loved Arielle’s discription of a fox sound. It was so creative and made a great image in my head. I thought that a fox would sound like a wolf howl or just a yip of some sort.

    When Mrs. Heselgrave reads us Pax, I picture him a little bit bigger than the size of a puppy with bright orange fur that fades into a red, leaving the tail a rich cherry colour.

    Sincerely,

    Gabrielle

  44. Dear Ms. Smith,

    Thank you for the videos! Our class had watched “Fox Calls” beforehand, but I am glad to have viewed it again, to refresh my memory. I especially enjoyed the foxes screaming, but not just for the humor. I noticed the strange posture of the fox, as if it were cautious and alert.

    I would love to talk more about the videos, but I should give you a description of Pax.

    Pax is a remarkably caring and loyal fox who loves to play. Nonetheless, he never gets carried away with games and starts getting rough. He is kind to everyone, even if he doesn’t receive a similar response. Pax’s back fur is a reddish-brown color, and his belly is as white as snow. His ears are fluffy as a Samoyed, and his nose is as black as coal.

    To wrap this up, I would like to credit your students on making those wacky fox noises!

    Sincerely,

    Ivo

  45. Dear Ms. Smith and Class,

    We really liked watching your fox videos. The prediction your class made when guessing the sounds the foxes make was interesting. Some of us in our class think we have heard a fox before, but we wonder if it was a coyote instead. We learned a lot from the videos such as how they howl and how they move. We also learned that their howls can mean different things.
    In the book Pax, are there different foxes beside Pax? We are thinking of reading this book next in our class!
    Thanks for sharing those videos. We hope you visit our blog, too.

    Mrs. Sullivan and her Gr.3/4 class
    learningin21.edublogs.org

    1. Hi Mrs. Sullivan and learners in 21!
      (Sorry I just found you comment hidden in a spam trap!)
      There are indeed other foxes in Pax. Some are friends, others foes. The author, Sara Pennypacker does a brilliant job of helping readers see and hear their interactions. The book is excellent but also deals with some tough subjects like war and loss. I’d recommend reading it first before sharing with your class.
      Best wishes,
      Ms. Jan Smith

  46. Hi, I’m Lauren. I loved your Creative Commons video about foxes. I have never encountered a fox, but for all I know, your depictions of their voices were completely accurate. If I ever do see a fox, I will definitely think of your video!

  47. Hello! My name is Sophie! I am from Mrs. Kriese’s class in Texas! I am also part of #16stubc. I really like the videos you put along with your post, it gave the whole thing a completed feel. I have never heard a fox noise before this video, and it gave me a new outlook on foxes!

    If you want to visit my blog, you can click on the link below!
    http://edublogs.eanesisd.net/sophie8482022/

    Thanks! -Sophie

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