A Red-tailed hawk just about to stoop.

Do Hawks Eat Foxes? (Nature’s Secrets Revealed!)

Foxes and hawks have been in a battle for survival for centuries. These two animals are both predators, and they share a relationship of predator and prey. But do hawks eat foxes? There is some debate on the subject, with some claiming that hawks will occasionally consume small numbers of foxes, while others contend that this is never the case. In this article, we explore the topic in detail, and answer all your questions.

Do hawks eat foxes?

Hawks have been known to eat foxes, but they prefer to feed on smaller animals such as rodents, birds, and insects. Typically, when hunting foxes, they will usually target pups or injured foxes since they are much easier prey. 

Hawks will also scavenge dead foxes as a food source, especially in winter, when live prey is hard to find. Foxes protect themselves from hawks by building dens and small burrows in grasslands, as well as relying on their adult foxes to protect their pups until they are 5 weeks old. 

While foxes can eat hawks, it is highly unlikely, as it would be hard for a hawk to pick up an adult fox and carry it in the air.     

What is a hawk’s favorite prey? 

A hawk’s favorite prey tends to be small rodents, such as squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and rabbits. Hawks are also known to feed on ground squirrels, snakes, and nestlings.  In urban areas, hawks have adapted to feed on pigeons, rats, and other scavenged sources.  

Do hawks eat gray foxes? 

In North America, the majority of the gray fox population resides in the eastern United States. Gray foxes are not typically targeted by hawks, but they can be preyed on if they are unlucky enough to cross a hawk’s path. 

Hawks generally prefer to eat other birds, but will opportunistically hunt small mammals if they are hungry enough. There have been documented cases where a hawk has eaten a gray fox, but this is relatively rare.

What do hawks eat?

Hawks are predators that feed on a variety of smaller animals, depending on the species. The smaller hawks typically eat rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects while the larger hawks prefer to eat small mammals like rabbits as well as birds and large insects. 

Hawks are also known to scavenge for food, which means they will consume carrion, or animals that have already died. Hawks have also been known to feed on fish, although this is not their preferred food source. 

These birds of prey have powerful talons that they use to grab their prey and carry it off to their nests or a safe spot for eating. They also have strong digestive systems, which enable them to break down their prey quickly and efficiently.

Do hawks eat fennec foxes?

Yes, some hawks will eat these small mammals. They are opportunistic and will take what they can get, so if they chance onto a fennec fox in their habitat, they may take the opportunity. Fennec foxes are not a main food source for many hawks, but as with all things in life, there are exceptions.

Do red-tailed hawks eat foxes?

Red-tailed hawks are carnivorous birds of prey whose main diet consists of small animals such as rabbits, squirrels, and rats. They are also known to prey on larger prey when the opportunity arises. 

This includes animals like raccoons, skunks, and other animals. In some cases, even red-tailed hawks will hunt and eat foxes.

Do sparrowhawks eat foxes?

Sparrowhawks are small raptors that specialize on feeding on smaller prey, such as rodents and other small animals. Sparrowhawks typically hunt by hovering in the air and then diving onto their prey, so they are not well-suited to hunting larger animals. Foxes are too large for them to hunt. However, they will occasionally attack foxes if they come across one accidentally while feeding. 

Do cooper’s hawks eat foxes?

The Cooper’s hawk is a small-to-medium sized bird that primarily hunts small-to-medium sized animals and occasionally reptiles. Foxes are too large for the Cooper’s hawk to hunt, so they aren’t typically targeted as a food source. However, if the Cooper’s hawk is hungry, it may try to attack the fox even if it is unsuccessful.

Do red-shouldered hawks eat foxes?

The red-shouldered hawk is a common raptor found throughout North America. This raptor is known for its hunting skills of taking down small mammals such as mice, rats, rabbits, voles, chipmunks and squirrels. 

The red-shouldered hawk will usually only take down prey that is smaller than itself. Foxes are too large for the red-shouldered hawk to eat and are not a common food item for this raptor. The only time it would eat a fox, is if it was already deceased. 

Do sharp-shinned hawks eat foxes?

The primary diet of the sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus, consists primarily of small mammals such as mice, rats, rabbits, voles, chipmunks and squirrels. Foxes are too large for the bird to consume. However, when they’re available, Sharp-shinned hawks will scavenge carrion, which includes foxes.

Do chicken hawks eat foxes?

Chickenhawks also known as (cooper’s hawks, sharp-shinned hawks and red-tailed hawks) are found in North America, Eurasia, and Africa. They are carnivorous, feeding primarily on small animals such as rodents, small birds, squirrels, rabbits, bats, fish, snakes, frogs and insects.

There are instances when chicken hawks have been known to team up with other birds of prey, such as owls, to take down larger prey like foxes.   

Do hawks eat dead foxes?

Hawks are known for their hunting abilities, but they are also opportunistic feeders. This means that they will take advantage of any available food source, whether it is a live animal or a dead one. So, it is not uncommon for hawks to eat dead foxes if they come across them in the wild.

In fact, many hawk species have been observed scavenging on carcasses, including red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks. These birds are known to be especially skilled at spotting dead animals from high in the sky, and they can quickly descend to claim their meal.

So, while hawks may prefer to hunt live prey, they will not hesitate to eat a dead fox if the opportunity presents itself.

Do all hawks eat foxes?

No, not every hawk eats foxes. A hawk’s diet will be influenced by its species, size, and the availability of prey in its environment. Smaller hawks like the American Kestrel, Sparrowhawks, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Cooper’s Hawk typically eat small birds as well as smaller mammals including rats, shrews, and voles. 

Usually, bigger animals like foxes, rabbits, squirrels, and other small mammals are the prey that larger hawks like the Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, and Broad-winged Hawk target.

Hawks may, however, switch to alternative food sources like insects, lizards, or tiny birds if there aren’t any of these larger prey in the region.

What eats foxes in the wild?

Foxes are preyed on by hawks, eagles, coyotes, bears, and wolves. Coyotes are the most common predator of foxes in the wild., but they are not the only predator. Other predators include lynx, bobcats, and martens. 

How do hawks eat foxes?

There are a few ways hawks eat foxes. They can catch the fox by surprise and snatch it up in their talons. They would then bring it to a safe location to eat it. Another method is to wait for the fox to come out from its hiding spot (den or burrow) and then pouncing on it.

How often do hawks eat foxes?

Hawks are known to hunt foxes, however it is not very common for them to do so. Hawks are opportunistic predators and will typically eat whatever they can catch. Foxes make up a small percentage of their diet most of the time.

How do foxes defend themselves against hawks?

Foxes are known for their cunning and quick reflexes, which comes in handy when defending themselves from hawks. Foxes use a variety of methods to protect themselves from hawks, including fighting back, running away, constructing dens and small burrows within grasslands.

Related Post: Can A Hawk Pick Up A Dog? (What You Need To Know)


  • Vince S

    Meet Vince, the passionate founder and author of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. As a dedicated moderator and contributor to Quora's Bird Watchers' Club, he actively engages with the birding community, where his insightful answers have garnered over 440,000 views and over 2,670 upvotes. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service.