Fox Screams: Just Looking for Love!

It’s mid-January and you wake up at night to the sound of a woman screaming in terror. Or… wait, that’s not a woman, is it? That’s a… bird of some kind? a Bigfoot? a mountain lion? It’s easy for our imaginations to get carried away when we hear that eerie scream in the darkness.

Most of the time, that bizarre scream that sounds like a woman is coming from a red fox. Although foxes can scream at any time of year, you’re most likely to hear this call between late December and mid-February, when vixens are most likely to be in heat.

Foxes will scream to communicate across long distances or claim a territory, but they also frequently scream when they’re trying to attract a mate. Male and female foxes both make this odd vocalization when they’re looking for love.

There’s no need to do anything in particular if you hear foxes screaming. It will probably only last a few nights and it’s not a sign that they’re hurt or in pain (even if it sounds like it to us). It’s all just part of these beautiful creatures’ complex communication as they find mates, raise families, and go about their lives on this planet we all share. 🦊

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