So, exactly what do foxes eat? Although foxes are often categorized as being carnivores, in actuality, they are omnivores and consume an extremely diverse diet.
A fox may prey on something as small as an insect to something as large as a red-crowned crane. Primarily they feed on invertebrates like mollusks, insects, crayfish and earthworms however, they also love fruit with their favorite being apples, plums and blackberries. Foxes are also happy to consume a variety of vertebrate such as rabbits, voles, mice, eggs, birds, reptiles, amphibians as well as fish and have even been known to attack deer fawns.
When asking the question, “What do foxes eat?” it is important to know that they are scavengers and opportunists. They will feed on about anything they can find and when they make their way into urban areas they will eat your garbage and the food from outside pet bowls.
Foxes generally like to hunt for their food alone. Their hearing sense is incredibly powerful allowing them to find mammals hidden in very thick and tall grass. When they do locate their potential food source, they jump very high into the air and pounce upon the hiding prey. Foxes also love to stalk animals like rabbits, hiding and waiting until they get close and then lunging suddenly to initiate the chase.
These animals are extremely possessive with their food and never share unless it is a dog fox feeding with a vixen during a period of courtship or a vixen who happens to be feeding her beloved cubs.
Foxes have an odd stomach size in regards to the total size of their body and are only capable of eating about half the food they should be able to, in relation to their body weight. When a fox has more food than it can eat, it will hide the food in holes dug beneath the earth's surface similar to a dog burying a bone. They will dig these holes in a scattered fashion throughout their claimed territory rather than hiding it all in one spot. This is to prevent their entire food supply from being stolen in the event another animal locates their secret stash.
Foxes are primarily crepuscular, meaning they are most active, especially in regards to hunting, at dusk and dawn. However, if they live in an area with a lot of human interference from lights and such, they become nocturnal.
They claim their territory and work alone in the summer but often pair up in the winter and several dens are built throughout their area. Their primary den is for shelter in the winter, birthing and raising their young. The smaller dens created are used for food storage and shelter in case of emergency. The smaller dens are often connected to the main den with a series of small tunnels.
In the winter foxes fall into a monogamous relationship and work together to raise their pups. Young pups are mature around 10 months and disperse promptly as soon as they are ready.
Foxes communicate with vocalization and body language. They have a very large vocal range and can often sound like a human screaming. Additionally, they will also use scent for communication, using feces and urine to mark the boundary of their territory.
Foxes are usually loved or hated by humans. They carry an abundance of disease and therefore become an enemy to farmers. The biggest threat to foxes is the fur industry. Luckily there are countries like Hong Kong that protect the species to prevent extinction.