What Do Red Foxes Eat? 7 Types of Food They Love!

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: October 13, 2022
© Michal Dobes com/Shutterstock.com
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From Alaska to Florida, red foxes can be found all throughout the continental United States. They are the most widely known fox from the Canidae family. Red foxes prefer woodlands, rural and suburban regions, wetland habitats, and brushy fields with open sections.

Red foxes have long snouts and red fur on their faces, backs, tails, and flanks. There is a grayish-white hue on their neck, chin, and belly. The ears of red foxes are enormous and pointed, and they have black-tipped paws. They are three feet long and stand around two feet tall. With these foxes being so common, you might wonder just what do red fox eat? Let’s dive into the diets of these omnivores!

What Do Red Foxes Eat?

What Do Red Foxes Eat
The red fox will hunt and eat rabbits, rodents, birds, and mollusks.

©A-Z-Animals.com

Red foxes eat a wide variety of plants and animals including: rodents, rabbits, small mammals, birds, insects, lizards, frogs, fish, and berries. Foxes can adapt their diet to their environment and the season.

Red foxes are extremely clever, omnivorous creatures that eat a wide range of foods, including:

Small Mammals

Red foxes prefer small mammals that look like mice, such as gerbils, voles, rabbits, opossums, raccoons, and squirrels, which are the main diet of red foxes. Even rotting carcass flesh or carrion might be a treat for them.

Plants

Red foxes eat a lot of plants including grasses, acorns, tubers, grains, and even fungi. Although Red foxes enjoy vegetation, in the autumn, they prefer to eat fruits. Cherry, persimmon, mulberry (blueberry), grape, plum, apple, and raspberry are some of their favorites.

Invertebrate

Red foxes eat a variety of invertebrates, including insects like crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles. They also consume mollusks and crayfish in large quantities in the right environment.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Red foxes are known to eat small reptiles and amphibians such as frogs, toads, lizards, and snakes. If they can catch it, the fox will most likely eat it!

Fish

The red fox is a master hunter. They can catch fish and small crabs for a nice treat if they are near the correct water supply.

Birds

Red foxes will also eat small birds, such as baby birds or eggs. They have a particular fondness for songbirds and waterfowl.

The ‘Kitchen Sink”

Red Foxes are always on the lookout for their next food source. They will even scavenge food from garbage cans or farms. Their ability to find food even in the dead of winter explains why red foxes have earned the reputation of shrewd and intelligent predators.

What Are A Foxes Favorite Food?

Neighborhood red foxes are known to eat prepared or raw meat and even canned dog food. Additionally, they enjoy peanuts as well as various fruits, cheeses, and even wild apples.

What Do Baby Foxes Eat?

What's a baby fox called - baby fox
Baby red foxes consumer smaller prey like mice.

©iStock.com/slowmotiongli

When red fox pups initially emerge from their dens, they are more likely to attack brown mice because these are the first creatures they typically see and are easy prey. In addition, at very young ages, parents will regurgitate food for their pups. Baby foxes will start consuming solid foods at about one month of age.

What Do Pet Red Foxes Eat?

If you’re considering keeping red foxes as pets, you’ll need to be aware of all the food these animals require. Fish, eggs, boneless poultry, jams, wet or dry dog food, and peanut butter sandwiches are all on the list of domestic treats they seem to like.

Do Red Foxes Eat Cats?

Make no mistake, red foxes will go after cats if they see one. Kittens and cats under five pounds are particularly vulnerable to foxes and are no match when it comes to an attack. They’re wild animals that are prone to hunting, however, if they’re threatened by a cat’s claws and teeth, foxes tend to flee. This isn’t a regular occurrence.

Do Red Foxes Eat Porcupines?

Hedgehogs are occasionally preyed upon by red foxes, which are a smaller version of the porcupine. In fox droppings, hedgehog remains are abundant, however, it is not clear if these hedgehogs were predated or scavenged by the red fox. To get rid of the spines, foxes tend to gnaw on them.

How Do Red Foxes Hunt For Food?

Types of Wild Dogs
Red foxes have excellent hearing—they can hear rodents digging miles underground.

©iStock.com/William Chua

Red foxes hunt for food alone, and at night. Unlike other large predators, red foxes thrive in suburban and rural areas. Red foxes can reside in parks and woodland edges and are solitary hunters, making it easy for them to hide.

Red foxes can also hear extremely well. They can detect low-frequency sounds and hear rodents burrowing in the ground. A combination of pouncing and digging is used to find animals moving underground or under the snow in winter.

To catch prey, the red fox digs in the soil or snow. Like a cat, the fox approaches slowly then pounces and chases if the prey escapes! Even when it’s full, the red fox will keep hunting. It keeps additional food hidden in fallen leaves, snow, or mud as a kind of storage.


The Featured Image

Red fox in winter
© Michal Dobes com/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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