Tell us: Is it a fox or a coyote on a Berkeley deck?

Making itself at home on a Berkeley deck. Photo: Ann O’Brien

Ann O’Brien was visiting from Iowa when she spotted what she thought was a coyote sunning itself on a deck in north Berkeley on Thursday. Clearly, the local wildlife is feeling comfortable in the urban environment — some would say making itself a little too much at home. Here at Berkeleyside, we’re not naturalists enough to provide a definitive identification of the animal. Is it a coyote or a fox? Let us know. 

It seemed unperturbed by the fact it was on someone’s property. Photo: Ann O’Brien

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  • I’m no expert, but it looks too big for a fox, and the coloration is more like a small coyote – but my knowledge is more East coast based

  • Berkeleyborn234

    It’s a grey fox! Urocyon Cinereoargenteus,

    Very common in California

  • MarcusHart

    Watch out all you urban chicken enthusiasts out there.  A friend of mine had two of his chickens eaten by one of these gray foxes, during the light of day.  A true “fox in the hen house” scenario.

  • John S.

    After checking “Mammals of North America” (a Peterson guide) by Fiona Reid, I agree and think you’re right. Urocyon cinereoargentus it is!

  • Roy West

    Earlier this spring we had a gray fox pass through our yard (on Creston) for a few days. Then one afternoon it curled up and took a nap!

  • BerkeleyDeer

    I have to complain about the discrimination against us deer here on Berkeleyside!

    You folks run article after article about us deer! But a cute little fox shows up, and everybody gets all warm and fuzzy.

    Foxes can make lots of noise, and they smell! They can burrow under porches, and be a general nuisance.

    Then again, who cares what some dumb old deer has to say?!

  • The Sharkey

    Raccoons can be a big problem too. Some friends of mine forgot to lock up their coop one night, and had all their chickens slaughtered by raccoons. They can also tear straight through chicken wire when they want to, so if you’re building a coop make sure you use hardware cloth, not chicken wire.

  • BerkeleyDeer

    A dear would NEVER eat your chickens. We are herbivores!

  • Irisandjules

    Fantastic photos! Just a week ago 2 grey foxes walked by our office window in Danville.  Everyone was excited because we see wild turkeys every day.

  • Anonymous

    I am guessing it has just finished a bowl of Science Diet® intended for someone’s pet…

  • Guest

     I still like you and I also like the grey fox that lived in our area in NE Berkeley a few years ago.

  • BerkeleyDeer

    Maybe you can write an article for the Opinionator on respecting wildlife!

  • serkes

    I’ve heard that some see interesting things after drinking Wild Turkey.

  • serkes


    Foxes?  U-bet it gets us all syrupy when we see photos of them … but doe full looks rarely result in doleful looks.

    Ira … wondering how you feel about cats.

  • Tim

    A Berkeley deer with a victim complex?..very unbecoming..I expect better.

  • BerkeleyDeer

    I hate to buck the trend, but I’m not so fond of cats. Especially big ones. 

    Some Berkeley “house” cats are as big as mountain lions! It’s all the fresh caught wild salmon and organic pastured chicken you’re feeding them!

  • BerkeleyDeer

    You can’t argue that deer are hugely under-represented deer here in Berkeley, 

    I’m sure you’ll agree that it is stag-gering number. Just name one deer that is on the city council. Or, even one deer-owned business in berkeley.

  • Guest

    Gray fox, probably male, with a severe tail fur problem. Possibly mange? Gray foxes are smaller than reds and are the only canid that regularly climbs trees. They are nowhere near as big a risk for chickens and other pets as raccoons and dogs are, but if you leave your coop open or your teacup poodle out at night, chances are you won’t have a good morning, one way or another.

  • The Foxy

    The Sharkey is right! Racoons are a much bigger problem than us foxes.

    Nothing to see here! Move along!

  • ML

    Definitely gray fox!  In early spring I’ve seen an adult and a juvenile out on the trails.

  • The Foxy

    Mmmmmmm. Poooooooodle!

  • Guest

    Re-districting might help with the first one.  If it backfired, though, you might end up being represented by a wild turkey (although in that case, you’d be in more or less the same situation as the rest of us).

  • Guest

    But what should I drink after seeing Wild Turkeys?

  • serkes

    Deer Whiz Beer – it’s a new product inspired by Firesign Theater’s Bear Whiz Beer announced at the UC Pauley Ballroom many (30?) years ago.

    I defer to BerkeleyDeer for to provide pricing and availability, though the beer-a-rati have been fawning over how …. different … it tastes.


  • Another Guest

    Is this sort of like the hallucinogenic reindeer urine Finnish herders used to drink for kicks?

  • serkes

    I belief it is called “Your In Town” brew … sells better in cities.

  • 3rdGenBerkeleyan

    its a cross breed…it’s berkeley after all inter-race relationships have been accepted for quite some time now!

  • Jwenk98

    If all the turkeys in politics were wild they’d be smarter. Too many domesticated turkeys on the ballot.

  • Gin1423

    No pets around the houses that are near where this fox was seen.

  • Raeholmen

    Fox.  Big ears.


    I think it is a young coyote. Too big for a fox. 

  • Guest

    Good suggestion.  That article about someone developing a gleaning map worried me.  In my ‘hood, all gleaners either fly or have four legs and one tail.

  • Corax

    Deer are primarily herbivores whom have been known to eat carrion, eggs, young birds, insects and fish.

    White-tailed deer eating fledgling:

  • Professormochi

    At around 2:30 am this morning, I heard a strange stressed out sound of an animal outside.  It sounded like it was trying to call attention to something in the dark down the street or was afraid of something down the street, it kept looking down the street making almost dog/cat/baby like loud sounds.  I think it was a fox as it did not move like a dog or cat that I am familiar with.  It kept circling back and forth in the middle of the street looking down the street on Shasta in the Berkeley Hills area.  Has anyone seen a fox in the area?  

  • Having lived in London for many years I am very familiar with urban foxes. They do sound eerily like babies crying.

  • Professormochi

    Thank you for replying. It was very early this morning and it was making that sound for about 5 minutes.  At first, we thought it was injured but later realized it was not.  But, it kept looking down the dark road as if there was something scary down there, was lost or was looking for something.
    This is the first time I’d ever seen a grey fox in the area.  One of the neighborhood cats was in hiding while the fox in the middle of the street, making noises.  After it left the area, the cat came out of hiding and ran into the street, in the same spot, looked around and left.  It was an interesting sighting, hope the fox found what it was looking for and all is well.

  • Flatscreengamer

    Its a grey fox

  • TT


  • TheBob_1


  • Grey fox. The black blaze on the side of the muzzle is distinctive.