Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) can be found in every county in Michigan but are especially common in areas with meadows, bushy fence lines, streams and low shrubby woods. They might also be found in suburban areas where food is available readily.
Their fluffy fur makes them look heavier than they are actually. Red foxes weigh 4 to 31 lb, with vixens (females) weighing typically 15–20% less than males. They resemble small dogs around two feet long with a long, bushy tail around 15 inches. Their upper parts are reddish and they have a white, ashy underside. The lower part of their legs is usually black and their tail has a white tip.
Courtship usually occurs during the winter months when a female may be followed by one or more courting males and selects a single male with which she makes a firm bond. Then the pair works together to prepare a nursery den where the female gives birth after 51 - 53 days to a litter of an average of five pups. Just before and for a time after giving birth the female remains in or around the den. The male partner will provide food for his mate but does not go into the maternity den.
At about 10 days the pups open their eyes, at 20 days they venture from the den, and at 60 days they are weaned. At this time, the adults bring food to the den for the pups. The pups are nearly full-grown and are actively hunting on their own at 4 months.
Male pups begin to venture further from the den site first and disperse into new territory in the fall and winter, typically October to January. The pups are fully grown by winter and are able to mate and reproduce but young females may choose to postpone their leaving mom for another year.
Adult Red foxes are solitary animals and do not form packs like wolves. Individual home ranges vary in size depending on the quality of the habitat. In good areas ranges may be between 3 to 8 miles. Red foxes have been known to live 10 to 12 years in captivity but live on average 3 years in the wild.