What noise does a fox male? A question that has been asked time and time again, even asked in the viral video “The Fox” by the Norwegian comedy team Ylvis.
We can promise you that foxes don’t say “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding” or “Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow.” However, foxes do make a noise, of course they do, but what is it?
We often do not hear the noises that foxes make because they are nocturnal, and their noises are a lot harder to distinguish from other nocturnal animals, fox sounds can often be mistaken for dogs, cats, and even owls.
There are also a variety of foxes worldwide, and each will probably sound a little different, but they will be similar to say the least.
So, it is time to ask the age-old question; what does the fox say?
What noises do foxes make?
If you live in a place where foxes dwell, you may likely hear high-pitched screaming noises coming from the woodlands, or nearby shrubberies near your home. These could even be mistaken for the screams of a child sometimes, or a woman screaming, and in the dead of night, it is safe to say that this is quite a haunting sound.
This noise is one that can send shivers down your spine, but it is probably nothing to be worried about, it is probably just the local foxes.
The red fox is known to screen and scream all year long, both males and females of this kind love the sound of their own voices in the dead of night, even if you don’t.
Although this is probably the most notable of fox sounds, it is not the only one. Foxes use many other sounds to communicate with one another. They can actually create up to 12 different sounds that let you and everyone else know they are there. They might howl, squeal, screech, bark, or even make a ‘wow-wow’ sound.
Fox sounds can actually be mistaken for dogs, it might sound like a dog in the distance is howling its head off to be let in, but it is actually just a fox that is yelling at the top of its lungs, so everyone knows it’s there. You won’t realize it is a fox until the screaming starts.
If you want a good idea of what the sound of a fox screaming is like, just pop on a horror movie where someone gets killed, and that should be right on the money.
Why do they scream at night?
So, why do they do this? Don’t they know we are asleep? Well, no they don’t and if they do, they don’t care. A majority of foxes will let out a scream, howl, or shrill screech as a means of protecting their territory, or letting others know that this area is now theirs.
In a sense, it is a way to ward off predators or rival foxes. It can also be used as a means of communication, they have been caught making these noises as a way to call other foxes, or as a mating season when it is time to breed.
One of the other reasons, is probably the best known, it is often a sound of mating, if you hear non-stop rapid screaming in the night, like you are watching a serial killer horror movie with the sound on full, chances are some foxes are having a wild night, attempting to make some baby foxes.
Not only do they scream while they are mating, they also scream to attract a mate too. This only happens in females, and not in males, as the females scream to attract males to them when they are ready to mate.
Both males and females will scream during their mating process, this can last up to 20 minutes, in which time the foxes can actually get entwined together and will scream nearly non-stop. So, if you live near foxes, that is what that awful noise is at night.
Read more about why foxes scream at night here.
Why don’t you hear foxes screaming during the day?
Some people may wonder why they only hear screaming at night, and this is simply because foxes are nocturnal animals, they will only be active at night when they hunt, mate, and play.
It is not uncommon for some foxes to be around during the day, although it is less likely, and if you do happen to see a fox during the day then you are very lucky.
Foxes may be around during the day during the summer when the sun is up for longer, in urban areas foxes will likely rummage through trash and seek out food, and when the sunset is later you might catch one doing so at dusk.
Where will you be likely to hear foxes screaming?
Foxes are found in areas all around the world, and so you can expect to see them not only in your hometown, but also when you travel to other countries.
In the United States you will often find both red and gray foxes in and around forest areas, on farms, and in residential neighborhoods. They go where there is food, and they aren’t going to shy away from the contents of our trash cans, so they can be found in the middle of nowhere, or living around your local neighborhood.
In some cases, foxes can be viewed as dangerous in vastly populated areas. But encounters between humans and foxes are very rare, as foxes are nocturnal and are often scared when they encounter humans, if they do feel threatened they may bite, scratch or claw in order to protect their dens or their young.
They can also carry rabies, so getting bitten is not a good idea.
However, if you simply want to hear their mating calls and all the other weird and wonderful noises they make, simply listen out for them once the sun has set, don’t try to approach them, just soak up the true sound of what the fox says.