Red fox with in forest backlight having open mouth and lick it self when looking up

What Sound Does a Fox Make?

The enigmatic and fascinating fox has captured the attention of people around the world for centuries. With their sleek bodies, bushy tails, and piercing eyes, these cunning creatures have become symbols of intelligence and adaptability.

But despite their widespread popularity, the noise of foxes remains a mystery to many. Let’s explore the different noises foxes make and how they communicate with their surroundings.

Key Pest Points:

• They have diverse fox sounds, including screams, barks, whines, growls, chirps, and yelps.

• The sound a fox makes serves several purposes, such as territorial marking, mating calls, social communication, and warning signals.

• In addition to vocalizations, foxes use physical cues like body movements, facial expressions, and scent marking to communicate with each other and their environment.

Common Fox Sounds at Night 

Foxes are very vocal animals, making a range of different sounds. They have a wide repertoire of voices that they use to communicate with each other and the environment around them. Here are some of the most common noises they make:

  • Fox scream or bark: The spine-tingling scream or bark is perhaps the most known when it comes to fox vocalizations. It is a high-pitched, piercing call that resonates through the night, often associated with vixens (female foxes) during mating season. This sound can be haunting due to its similarity to a human scream.
  • Whining and whimpering: Foxes are not always fierce and bold; they also have their softer side. Whining and whimpering sounds are shared among foxes, especially during social interactions. These gentle vocalizations communicate within the fox family, conveying emotions such as submission, affection, or seeking attention.
  • Guttural growls and snarls: When protecting their territory or defending their young, foxes can unleash a range of intimidating sounds. Deep growls and snarls, accompanied by low rumbling noises, demonstrate their aggressive nature. These vocalizations warn potential intruders, conveying the fox’s readiness to defend what is theirs.

These are just a few of the many sounds that noisy foxes make. Whether it’s a loud bark to ward off predators or a gentle whine for social bonding, fox vocalizations provide an insight into their complex world.

The Purpose of Fox Vocalizations

There are various reasons why foxes use vocalizations, including territorial and social communication. The purpose of each sound depends on the context and the situation.

  • Defining territories: Foxes are territorial creatures whose vocalizations are crucial in marking and defending their territories. They announce their presence and deter potential intruders through screams, barks, and growls. These vocal signals are a clear boundary marker, ensuring other foxes understand the established territorial boundaries.
  • Mating calls and courtship rituals: The fox’s vocal repertoire takes center stage during the mating season. The piercing screams and barks emitted by vixens serve as a signal to potential mates, indicating their receptiveness and availability. Male foxes, known as dog foxes, respond with vocalizations, expressing their interest and asserting their presence. These courtship rituals, often accompanied by intricate dances and displays, help foxes find suitable partners and ensure successful reproduction.
  • Warning and alarm signals: Foxes are attentive and vigilant creatures, constantly looking for potential threats. When they sense danger or perceive a threat to their safety, they emit warning and alarm signals. These vocalizations can range from intense screams to rapid yelping or chattering. By alerting others to potential dangers, foxes communicate the need for heightened caution and readiness.
  • Social communication within fox families: Foxes have intricate social structures within their families. Vocalizations are crucial in maintaining social cohesion and communication within these groups. Whines, yelps, and gentle chirping are used to express affection, seek attention, and strengthen the bonds between family members.

Although the sounds of a fox screaming at night or daytime can be daunting, they serve essential purposes. Each sound has a specific job, helping foxes explore their surroundings, mark their territory, find a mate, and keep their family connections strong.

Ways Foxes Communicate Physically

While vocalizations play a significant role in fox communication, these clever creatures rely on physical cues to convey messages. From subtle body language to scent marking, foxes have a range of non-verbal methods for communicating with each other and their surroundings.

  • Body movements: Body postures, such as arching the back or raising the hackles, can convey aggression or readiness to defend oneself.
  • Facial expressions: Foxes are remarkably expressive animals, and their facial expressions can speak volumes. They can communicate various emotions and intentions using their ears, eyes, and facial muscles. A raised eyebrow or narrowed eyes indicate curiosity or alertness, while bared teeth may signal aggression or territorial defense.
  • Scent marking: Foxes have a keen sense of smell and use scent marking to communicate their presence and establish territories. They have scent glands located on their anal region, which release specific pheromones. By urinating or rubbing these scent glands on objects within their environment, foxes leave a distinctive scent trail that acts as a message to other foxes.

Combining vocalizations and physical cues creates a comprehensive communication system for foxes. By integrating these different forms of expression, foxes can convey various messages, including dominance, submission, territorial boundaries, social bonding, and readiness for mating or defending their young.

Red fox standing on hind legs in forest like in fairy tail and looking up

How to Prevent Foxes from Entering Your Yard

While foxes are intriguing creatures, it’s understandable that you may want to get rid of foxes to protect your property and pets. Here are some effective measures you can take:

  • Secure your perimeter: Foxes are agile and can squeeze through small openings. Regularly inspect your yard for any gaps or holes in fences and repair them promptly. Use sturdy wire mesh or chicken wire to reinforce vulnerable areas and ensure no easy entry points.
  • Install dig-proof barriers: Foxes are skilled diggers, so preventing them from burrowing under fences is important. Bury a section of wire mesh or garden edging at least 12 inches deep along the base of the fence to create a dig-proof barrier. This will deter foxes from tunneling their way into your yard.
  • Remove potential food sourcesFoxes are attracted to easily accessible food, such as garbage, pet food left outside, or fallen fruits. Ensure that your garbage bins are securely sealed, and consider using animal-proof containers. Don’t leave pet food outdoors, especially overnight. Regularly clean up fallen fruits and secure compost bins to avoid creating tempting food sources for foxes.
  • Trim vegetation: Foxes are skilled climbers who can use overhanging branches or nearby structures to access your yard. Cut tree branches that may act as bridges to your property. Also, keep bushes and vegetation near fences well-maintained to minimize hiding spots and make it less enticing for foxes to enter.
  • Use deterrents: Foxes are wary of unfamiliar scents and sounds. Consider using fox deterrents, such as motion-activated sprinklersultrasonic devices, or commercially available fox repellents. These can create an unpleasant or unfamiliar environment for foxes, making them less likely to frequent your yard.
  • Encourage foxes to move on: If you encounter a fox in your yard, it’s important not to confront or approach it. Instead, make loud noises, clap your hands, or use water hoses to encourage the fox to leave. Persistent harassment without causing harm can help deter them from making your yard a regular hangout.
  • Identify fox tracks: Learning to identify fox tracks can help you monitor fox activity on your property. Foxes leave behind tracks with four toes and claw marks. Pay attention to any visible tracks in the snow or mud around your yard to gain insight into local fox activity.

Remember, foxes are wild animals; respecting their presence is essential while safeguarding your property. Implementing these preventative measures can significantly reduce the chances of foxes entering your yard, creating a harmonious coexistence between humans and these fascinating creatures.


Do foxes howl or scream?

Foxes can make a wide range of vocalizations, including howling and screaming. They use different types of calls to communicate with each other and express their emotions.

Are foxes dangerous?

Foxes rarely threaten humans and are not generally considered dangerous animals. However, they can attack pets or livestock and may bite humans if cornered, provoked, or rabid.

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