Do Foxes Eat Birds?

Foxes are fascinating creatures that always seem to capture our attention. Their cunning demeanor, bright orange fur, and captivating eyes have made them one of the most beloved animals in the world. With an omnivorous diet, these creatures have various food options, leading many to wonder: do foxes eat birds?

This question has intrigued many animal enthusiasts and wildlife experts alike. Here dive into the world of foxes and explore their eating habits to answer once and for all whether these sly creatures have a taste for feathered.

Foxes’ diet includes birds and eggs

Foxes consume food of around half a kilogram to one kilogram each day, and they mainly hunt at night. They are known to have an omnivorous diet that includes a variety of plant and animal matter.

Their diet varies seasonally and depends on the availability of prey. Small mammals like rodents and lagomorphs account for about 50% of their diet in rural areas. Bank voles, field voles, wood mice, brown rats, grey squirrels, and harvest mice are some of the wild rodents that they take. While their diet is primarily meat-based, they also consume plants when they can’t catch meat. Birds represent a  proportion of their diet, along with eggs, and they are skilled hunters and can catch birds.

They can consume both domestic and wild birds, such as doves and robins. They also hunt waterbirds like ducks and geese and game birds like pheasants and grouse. Foxes have a keen sense of smell and hearing that they use while hunting, and they are known to target birds that are easier to catch, such as small songbirds and waterfowl.

Foxes will certainly hunt the eggs of birds if they have the opportunity. Cunningly, they may carry the eggs away from the nest before consuming them to dodge any trouble. They can either eat the eggs at the moment or bury them for later.

By burying the eggs, they can save them for times of hunger. This technique allows them to save their eggs for when food is scarce. Additionally, foxes have a fascinating method of eating eggs. They will place the entire egg in their mouth and bite it.

Overall, foxes are adaptable eaters and will consume whatever food is available to them. However, birds make up around 5% of a fox’s overall diet and do not rely on them as their primary food source. While not necessarily their primary food source,  birds make up a good chunk of a fox’s diet.

Hunting birds require time and energy for foxes

While they can feed on various food sources, they mostly go after small mammals such as rodents. The birds require a lot more time and energy, making it less appealing for adult foxes to pursue. Instead, adult foxes may go after birds to feed their cubs.

Carrying a considerable amount of nourishment, birds provide the perfect food for fox cubs to thrive and become strong. During the spring and summer months, foxes tend to prefer avian prey, likely due to the fact that their offspring require a higher calorie intake during these times.

Foxes prey on various types of wild birds


These opportunistic predators and scavengers have been observed to prey on a wide range of bird species; also, they can snatch eggs and chicks from nests.

Small Birds

Small birds, such as finches, sparrows, and warblers, are a common target for urban foxes. These birds build their nests in trees and shrubs, which makes them easy targets for foxes who can climb and reach their nests. Additionally, smaller birds are easier to catch and consume than larger birds making them a preferred prey for foxes.


Among the birds that foxes eat are waterfowl, such as ducks and geese. These birds are often found near bodies of water, which makes them an easy target for foxes. Foxes are good swimmers and can easily catch waterfowl swimming or floating on the water’s surface. Additionally, foxes can sneak up on birds resting on the shoreline. These birds are popular prey for foxes due to their easy accessibility.

Game Birds

Game birds such as pheasants and grouse are popular prey for foxes, especially in rural areas. These birds are commonly hunted by humans for sport, and foxes will use this readily available food source. They can scavenge hunting areas to prey on game birds that managed to escape hunting parties. Foxes will use their stealth and cunning to sneak up on the birds and pounce on them when they least expect it.  Using their keen sense of smell and hearing, foxes will locate the bird’s hiding place and then use their speed and agility to chase it down.


Foxes are known to prey on various wild birds, including songbirds like thrushes, robins, and blackbirds. These small birds are often found in wooded areas, building their nests in trees and shrubs, and foxes use their sharp senses to locate the nests. Songbirds are also easier to catch and consume than larger birds, thus making them popular prey for foxes.

Birds Of Prey

Foxes may be rare hunters of birds of prey such as owls and hawks, but in the right circumstances, foxes may still take their chances against these birds. If the resources and conditions are favorable, they may be able to make a meal out of them. Nevertheless, this is a rare occurrence.

Related: Do Hawks Eat Foxes?

Foxes pose a significant threat to domestic chickens

Foxes have always been one of the biggest threats to domestic chickens. With their innate hunting capabilities, foxes can easily sneak into a chicken coop and take away birds without anyone noticing.  Foxes are known to be highly intelligent, resourceful, and skilled at finding ways to access chicken coops and runs. They can climb fences, dig under them, and open latches. This makes it very challenging for chicken owners to keep them safe from these predators.

Unfortunately, foxes are a problem in rural areas and urban settings, where they have learned to scavenge for food. They are attracted to the smell and sound of chickens, making backyard flocks easy targets. Even a small gap in the coop or a weak spot in the run can be exploited by a fox, allowing them to get to its prey.

Chicken owners must be vigilant and take precautions to protect their flock from foxes. Secure fencing, reinforced latches, and regular maintenance of the coop are essential. In addition to that, chicken owners should also be aware of the presence of foxes in their area, and listening to their calls and looking for their scat can help detect their presence.

Protecting chickens from foxes is not impossible, but it requires commitment, awareness, and action. Being informed about the behavior and habits of foxes is the first step in developing a prevention and defense strategy. With the right tools and management, it is possible to coexist with these predators and keep backyard chickens safe. So, whether you are a seasoned chicken owner or just starting, it’s important to be prepared for foxes, and take the necessary steps to protect your feathered


Foxes are known to be omnivores, having a diet consisting of various animals, including birds. Robins, pigeons, and ducks are just a few of the creatures they prey on. Adult foxes hunt birds primarily for their young. Additionally, foxes have been known to sneak into chicken coops for some poultry, like hens. Their ability to be subtle yet effective predators makes them quite a formidable foe. All in all, foxes are certainly no strangers to the art of hunting birds.

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