Hawks are a majestic species of bird that has a diverse diet. All hawks are carnivorous, so the diverse diet range stays within meat only. Now, you may ask, do hawks eat foxes? Please stick with us to find out.
Yes, hawks do eat foxes. But it is not their primary food. They usually go for injured foxes and pups. Hawks try to avoid hunting adult foxes because the success rate of hunting adult foxes is meager.
In this article, we will elaborate on which hawks eat foxes, how a hawk kills a fox, and how often. Kindly stay with us to get all the answers.
Do Hawks Eat Foxes?
Hawk preys on various animals, and they are at the top of the food chain. That is why they are one of the most adept hunters in the animal kingdom. And they certainly do eat foxes. It is not their usual food, but they do sometimes hunt and eat foxes.
Fox that are injured, very old, or pups are the target for hawks. Because small and weak prey is easier to hunt.
It is very rare to see a hawk going for a healthy adult fox. But it may happen if there is a shortage of food for the hawk.
How does a Hawk Kill Foxes?
Hawks have a great advantage in hunting mammals that roam on the ground because they hunt from above.
Hawks roam in the sky or sit on the tallest tree and patiently look for prey. When they spot a fox, they dive in at high-speed thanks to gravity. Before the fox realizes what’s coming from above, it is too late to escape.
After capturing the fox, they use their strong, sharp talons and sometimes uses their beak to kill the fox. The eyes are the softest and easiest part to attack. So it usually goes for the eye first and finishes off by attacking the head of the fox.
After killing the fox, they carry it to their nest, where it feasts on it.
How Do Hawks Eat Foxes?
Hawks carry the dead fox to their nest, where they use their strong beak to tear through the skin and flesh of the fox. And eat it bit by bit.
The baby hawks may struggle to tear through raw flesh at an early stage, so their parents help them in the tearing process.
Which Hawks Eat Foxes?
There is only one kind of hawk that eats foxes, and it is the red-tailed hawk. You will find most of the red-tailed hawk species in North America.
Here is a video of a hawk attacking a fox.
The red-tailed fox and new yorkers share a special bond; they are the perfect example of human-wildlife coexistence. Hawks eat rats and small mammals that usually cause harm to humans, so hawks are doing a favor to humans. In return, new yorkers avoid using any rat poison when they find a hawk nest nearby so that the hawk doesn’t eat rat poison indirectly.
Not to mention hawk also helps to keep the number of foxes in check, which is another mammal that causes harm to humans by attacking chicken farms and such.
How Often Do Hawks Eat Foxes?
The answer is not very often.
There is a common misconception about hawks that they only eat rats and mice, which is completely wrong. Hawks don’t lack a source of food; they hunt almost anything. Plenty of food source exists for hawks to feast on.
New York State conducted a study that shows that red-tailed hawks hunt meadow voles the most, the second most hunted animal by hawks is cotton tail rabbits, and the third is gray squirrels.
Small animals like sparrows, chipmunks, robins, reptiles, and snakes are on the hawk’s menu. The availability of rodents makes it a typical food for hawks.
Hawks also go for frogs, bats, insects, and toads, even though it is not so common.
A hawk’s diet is so diverse that they even go for foxes sometimes. It is uncommon, but hawks do hunt foxes sometimes.
How do foxes defend themselves against hawks?
Fox pups are prone to get attacked by predators and hawks. That is why they stay inside dens or near dens until they become a bit old, like five weeks or so. Their parents or adult fox protects the pup until they become at least five weeks old.
Fox is one of the sharpest and most witty animals out there. They are very cautious of their surroundings all the time. If they get spotted by hawks and realize that they have been targeted, they use their speed and agility to run away.
If they get attacked by a hawk, and it is too late to run away, they use their sharp claws and teeth to protect themselves.
Fox use grasslands to make their small burrows and dens to protect themselves from hawks.
Do Hawks Eat Dead Foxes?
Hawks are not just majestic birds of prey but also scavengers. Like any other scavengers, hawks eat dead animals.
Yes, hawks do eat dead foxes too.
Hawks have superior eyesight, smell sense, and hearing that help them find prey and hunt them. These sharp sense also helps them spot dead animals.
Even though they take pride in hunting prey themselves, they will go for dead animals and even steal prey from other predators if they get a chance.
They are opportunistic hunters. Whatever gets them easy prey, they will take it.
Do Fox Eats Hawks?
Hawks have almost no natural predators. That being said, a handful of animals are their predators, such as great horned owls, raccoons, and larger eagles and hawks. You might be surprised to know fox does fit into the predator of hawks list.
Yes, the fox does eat hawks but not adult hawks. Fox eats baby hawk or hawk eggs.
Fox follows hawks to locate their nest and wait for an opportunity when the parent hawks go away for hunting, and their eggs or baby birds are all alone on the nest.
When a fox gets an opportunity, they attack the nest and eat hawk eggs or their babies.
Fox may go for very young hawks who are trying to learn how to fly. Because they can barely fly and usually fly very low in the reach of foxes, and they lack experience and confidence.
We get a lot of questions regarding hawks eating foxes. In this segment, we covered two of those questions. Hopefully, it will answer any lingering questions you still might have.
Foxes fall under medium-size mammals. And hawks, especially red-tailed hawks, are quite big, and they have big wings. They use their big wings to round up foxes which are very efficient and don’t burn many calories. And thanks to their big size body, they have the strength to attack and kill fox pups without much difficulty.
It is very rare to see a hawk hunting an adult fox. But a shortage of food may cause it to happen.
In North America, the red-tailed hawk is the most commonly seen among the hawk species. They are quite big in size and have a wide variety of animals in their diet. They also eat a short amount of carrion sometimes. If they see an opportunity, they don’t even spare foxes too.We hope this article answers your question regarding “do hawks eat foxes” and further explains any related topic.