|Red fox, Vulpes vulpes, tracks|
Photo credit: Meg Skidmore
A clear red fox track will be symmetrical–you can draw an X between the toe and metacarpal pads–and has four toe (with nail) imprints. The fox’s natural rhythm is a direct-register trot, so look for a straight line in an open field and then look at the individual track, like the one you see here. The fox is usually a solitary animal, but February is a mating season, so you may see two sets of tracks together in a big field. The fox loves wide open spaces because under the motionless sheet of snow is a network of tunnels made by moving shrews and voles, which the red fox hunts. If you have not seen how the fox dives headfirst into the snow to catch its prey, watch this from the Discovery channel.