In the eastern United States, the gray fox's most common prey is the eastern cottontail, although it also feeds on birds, voles and shrews. Gray foxes in California feed primarily on rodents, as well as jackrabbits, brush rabbits and other lagomorphs. Gray foxes in the western United States eat plant matter and insects. Gray foxes eat fruit regularly, and they tend to eat more vegetables than red foxes.
Gray foxes are omnivores, which means they eat plants or animals depending on what is available in their location. Unlike red foxes who hunt and live in packs, gray foxes are solitary creatures that hunt alone. Foxes are usually nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and hunt at night. If a fox feels threatened hunting at night, he may adjust his sleep schedule and hunt during the day.
Unlike other fox species, gray foxes are highly skilled at climbing trees, due mainly to their powerful, hooked claws. They are able to climb bare tree trunks, or jump from branch to branch. This skill allows them to escape predators effectively. It also gives them the ability to hunt for tree-dwelling creatures. Gray foxes usually live in hollow trees, sometimes as high as 30 feet above the ground.