Many people want to know: do foxes eat squirrels? The answer is yes.
Not only do foxes eat squirrels, but they also hunt and kill other small animals like rabbits, rats, and birds.
In fact, a fox’s diet mainly consists of meat as they are carnivores. Even though foxes will consume anything they can catch, one of their favorite foods happens to be the nimble and speedy squirrel.
Squirrels provide an easy meal for predators such as foxes because of their size relative to the speed at which they travel.
In this blog post, we will learn about the diet of foxes and how they kill innocent little squirrels. We will also discuss what you should do if you find a fox in your backyard.
What Do Foxes Eat?
Foxes are one of the few types of animals that can digest both plant and animal food.
The primary part of their diet comes from small mammals, such as squirrels, rabbits, mice, and voles.
Foxes have also been known to eat birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates (a type of creature without a backbone), fruits varietal vegetables.
In most cases, foxes enjoy eating fresh kills but will scavenge dead animals if necessary.
Do Foxes Eat Squirrels?
A frequently asked question among animal lovers is: do foxes eat squirrels? The answer is more complicated than a yes or no.
While foxes are technically capable of preying on squirrels, they don’t always do so in the wild.
Their eating habits are dictated by a variety of factors including availability, seasonality, and energy needs.
For example, in the springtime when plants are starting to grow back and small animals are having their babies, food is more plentiful and foxes don’t need to work as hard to find a meal.
As a result, they may be less likely to hunt something as small as a squirrel.
Conversely, in the wintertime when food is scarce, foxes may be more likely to take whatever they can get – including a squirrel or two.
Additionally, young or sickly foxes may also be more likely to hunt squirrels since they lack the strength or stamina to take down larger prey items.
When everything is taken into account, a fox eating a squirrel largely depends on the individual circumstances of both animals.
Even though they do occupy different spots in the food chain, their interactions in nature are mostly controlled by environmental conditions.
Do Foxes Eat Dead Squirrels?
Yes, foxes will eat dead squirrels.
In fact, they will eat just about any animal they can catch, including rodents, rabbits, birds, and even snakes.
While they prefer fresh meat, they will certainly take advantage of a carcass if it is available.
Their noses are particularly adept at detecting the scent of death, which helps them to find newly deceased animals before larger scavengers can steal the carcass.
In fact, they are quite skilled at locating and excavating buried food sources, such as squirrel caches.
While eating a dead squirrel may not sound appetizing to humans, for a fox it is simply a matter of taking advantage of an easy meal.
As a result, foxes will also scavenge if the opportunity arises although they mostly eat live prey such as rodents or birds.
How Often Do Foxes Eat Squirrels?
A fox’s diet consists mostly of small rodents like squirrels, rabbits, and mice. They will also eat birds, eggs, reptiles, insects, and fruit.
In terms of how often they eat squirrels specifically, it depends on the availability of other food sources.
If there are plenty of other small rodents around, a fox will likely eat them more often than squirrels.
However, if squirrels are more abundant or easier to catch, a fox will happily make them part of its diet.
Ultimately, it all comes down to whatever is easiest for the fox to find and catch.
How Do Foxes Hunt Squirrels?
Foxes are incredible predators, and it’s easy to see how they’ve perfected the skill.
But how do foxes capture such quick and agile creatures like squirrels?
It turns out that foxes use a variety of methods to detect and catch their fluffy food.
The sense of smell is unquestionably one of a fox’s most important hunting tools.
Even if the squirrel is hidden beneath snow or leaves, a fox may use its big nose to identify it using its excellent senses.
After a fox spots its prey, it will sometimes quietly follow the squirrel until it’s close enough to catch.
If the squirrel realizes the danger and tries to escape, the fox will run after it quickly.
In other instances, if the squirrel has scampered up a tree, the fox might use its powerful legs and sharp claws to climb after it.
By using these various methods, even sly squirrels aren’t safe from being captured by clever foxes.
How Do Foxes Kill Squirrels?
Although it might seem ruthless, foxes kill small animals by severing their spinal cord.
The fox sinks its teeth into the back of the animal’s neck and then twists until the spine snaps.
This is more likely to happen when done by an adult fox since they have jaws powerful enough to break through bone.
Though this seems like a quicker death, it’s actually less stressful for the victim than other methods such as strangulation or beating would be.
Cervical dislocation is actually a quick way for foxes to kill their prey, which then greatly reduces the amount of suffering time.
Also, once they’ve killed the squirrel, they will consume every part of it- fur, bones, meat, and all.
Are Squirrels Afraid of Foxes?
There is evidence that squirrels are afraid of foxes, even though it’s tough to know what exactly goes on in a squirrel’s mind.
Squirrels and foxes are natural predators; typically, foxes devour squirrels.
Moreover, squirrels are smaller than foxes, making them simpler prey.
Additionally, foxes have razor-sharp teeth and claws that may inflict serious wounds; therefore, it’s easy to see why squirrels would be apprehensive around them.
While there is no definitive answer to this question, it appears that squirrels avoid foxes as a precaution.
What To Do When You See A Fox In Your Yard?
Although foxes tend to be timid around humans, there are times when you might spot one in your yard. If this happens, remember the following tips.
When you see a fox in your yard, don’t panic! Here’s what to do:
First, stay calm. If you freak out, the fox will think it needs to attack.
Also, don’t make any sudden movements. Give the fox time to lose interest and move on.
Don’t Feed It
Importantly, don’t feed it!
This might seem innocent enough, but it’s actually illegal in many places.
Plus, if you fed the fox, it would feel comfortable around humans—which could lead to dangerous situations for both of you
Remove Pet Food
Ensure that any garbage or pet food left out in your yard is properly secured. Otherwise, the fox may return looking for an easy meal.
By following these tips, you can avoid problems when a fox visits your property.
- Related: 18 Predators! What Eats Squirrels?
How To Keep Foxes Out Of Your Yard?
Foxes in your yard not only do harm to squirrels but also to your pets such as dogs or cats.
There are a number of ways to keep foxes out of your yard.
Install A Fence
One is to install a fence. A fence will not only keep foxes out, but it will also keep other animals from getting into your yard.
Put Up A Gate
Installing a gate is an effective way to keep foxes out of your yard, as it limits who can enter and prevents animals from getting in.
Lure Foxes Away From Your Yard
Finally, you can also use dog food or other attractants to lure foxes away from your yard.
By using these methods, you can effectively keep foxes out of your yard.
Do foxes eat squirrels? Yes, foxes can capture even the most difficult squirrels.
They typically kill their victims by cervical dislocation, which is a rapid and painless method of killing small animals.
Squirrels may be wary of foxes as well because they are natural predators.
Don’t panic if you see a fox in your yard; instead, try keeping any food out of their reach.
If you’re having issues with foxes in your garden, try installing a fence or gate. You can keep foxes out of your yard and prevent them from harming any squirrels if you follow these suggestions.