What Does the Fox Say? by Hailey Miller

Yvis’ popular song “What Does the Fox Say?” brings up an intriguing question. What does a fox actually sound like? Sadly, as most can assume, the fox does not say “ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding,” but foxes do have over forty calls and sounds they can make.

Some of the more well-known sounds are screams. Yes, screams. While camping, these screams can be quite terrifying, as they can sound human to campers who have never heard a fox before. It is often described as sounding like “a woman or child screaming for help.” There actually have been cases where police investigated only to find that the “screaming woman” had actually just been a fox. These screams help show territorial claims or are cries for a mate. Some are even called “vixen screams” purely because vixens, or female foxes, use it to call their mate home, although it was recently found that male foxes will occasionally do it too. The scream may not seem too scary in videos such as the one below, but when you hear it in reality it is even more chilling.

These are both red fox screams.

Some noises that foxes make can be very frightening, especially when they fight. As you can hear below, when two adult gray foxes are fighting, they make noises like a child whimpering as though it is being mauled by some ferocious animal.

Fox noises can often be mistaken for other animal noises as well. They are often mistaken for owls and sometimes even the chirp of a songbird.

Sometimes you can’t really know what animal it comes from because the foxes’ sound is so strange.

So what does the fox say? Far too many things to be generic about it. It can be anything from the bloodthirsty cry of a monster to the innocent chirp of a bird. Now it’s time to ask the question that we all should really be wondering about: “What does the giraffe say?”