Do Hawks Eat Foxes?

Do you ever wonder about the relationship between hawks and foxes? As two of the most common animals found in North America, it’s natural to be curious about how they interact with each other. The question that often comes up about whether or not hawks eat foxes. The answer may surprise you – yes, hawks eat foxes, but only a specific species of hawk.

The red-tailed hawk is known to eat foxes, although they generally try to avoid hunting adult foxes. Instead, they tend to target smaller prey like meadow voles and cottontail rabbits. However, if a fox pup or an injured adult fox is available, a red-tailed hawk may take advantage of the opportunity.

Hawks are skilled hunters and at the top of the food chain, but they’re not invincible. Foxes have their own methods of defense against these predators, and the relationship between hawks and foxes is more complex than you might think. Here, we’ll dive deeper into the topic of hawks eating foxes and explore the behaviors and methods of protecting these two fascinating animals.

How do hawks eat foxes?

The consumption process of fox prey by red-tailed hawks involves the usage of their strong, sharp talons to aim at the vulnerable head and eyes. Once the hawk captures the fox, it carries the dead prey to its nest, where it begins to tear through the skin and flesh bit by bit. In some cases, the baby hawks may struggle to tear through the raw flesh, so their parents help them in the tearing process.

It’s fascinating to observe how hawks use their superior hunting skills to take down prey, including foxes. Witnessing the hawk’s powerful talons in action and the following tearing process can leave you in awe.

How often do hawks eat foxes?

While hawks aren’t exclusively hunting foxes, they add them to their menu. Foxes, especially their young ones, are easy targets for hawks, and they are one of the preferred prey items for red-tailed hawks.

However, it’s important to note that hawks don’t solely rely on foxes for their food. They have a diverse diet and will eat whatever is available and easy to catch.

Hawks are opportunistic hunters and will go after any small animals that cross their path. So, while foxes aren’t the only food source for hawks, they will take advantage of any opportunity to hunt them down.

Do hawks eat dead foxes?

It’s surprising to discover that those mighty birds of prey have a taste for more than just live prey. The pride of their hunt is a source of great joy, yet they’re always looking for an easy meal. If they spot a dead animal, they’ll take it without a second thought. They may even try to snatch away prey from other predators if they get the chance. Yes, hawks do eat dead foxes.

In fact, hawks are opportunistic scavengers and will not hesitate to eat any dead animal they come across, including foxes. While hawks primarily hunt live prey, they will also scavenge on dead animals as a food source.

Dead foxes could be an easy meal for hawks, especially if they are unable to find live prey. So, don’t be surprised if you see a hawk feasting on a dead fox.

How do foxes defend themselves against hawks?


Foxes defend themselves from hawks by relying on their natural instincts and abilities. They can protect themselves from any predator, including hawks, with sharp teeth and claws. Additionally, foxes are agile, quick, and can run at a fast speed, allowing them to escape from the grasp of a hawk. They also use their intelligence to outsmart the hawk, making it difficult for the hawk to catch them.

Also, foxes guard themselves against hawks and other animals of prey by constructing dens and shallow burrows in grasslands. This is a surefire way for them to shield themselves from danger and remain safe.

Do foxes eat hawks?

Have you ever wondered if the tables could turn and the mighty hawk could become the prey of the sly and cunning fox? While it may seem unlikely, foxes are known to eat baby hawks or hawk eggs.

Foxes are always on the lookout for food, and if they come across a hawk nest, they may patiently wait for an opportunity to attack the nest and eat the eggs or babies. Foxes may also go for very young hawks who are trying to learn how to fly, as they are easier targets.

So while foxes may occasionally prey on hawks, it’s not a common occurrence, and hawks are still at the top of the food chain.

Other birds of prey that eat foxes

So, you want to know about other birds of prey that eat foxes? Well, let’s talk about owls, eagles, and falcons.


The grandest of owl varieties is the great-horned owl, renowned for its ability to hunt, rarely missing its target silently. With their 5-feet wingspan, great-horned owls are fierce predators of the night. They have excellent hearing and vision, which allows them to locate prey even in complete darkness. They’re also very aggressive and will defend their territory fiercely, often attacking other animals that come too close. Great-horned owls are known to feed on mammals, including foxes.


You’re in for a treat as you learn about the mighty eagles and their impressive hunting skills. Eagles are known for their strength and agility, and they have a wingspan of up to 7 feet and can seize prey that weighs around five times their own weight, making them one of the top predators in the sky.

Eagles mostly hunt fish, which they catch by swooping down and grabbing them with their sharp talons. But they will also hunt birds and mammals, including foxes. Eagles are especially known for preying on fox pups, which are easy targets due to their smaller size and lack of experience.


If you’re fascinated by birds of prey, you’ll love learning about the lightning-fast falcons and their impressive aerial acrobatics. Falcons are known for their incredible speed and agility, making them one of the most skilled hunters in the bird kingdom. They have a unique hunting technique where they chase their prey at high speed and then swoop down to grab it with their sharp talons.

While falcons typically feed on other birds and insects, they have been known to hunt smaller foxes and eat dead ones. However, they usually don’t attack full-grown foxes as they’re too fast and agile for the falcon to catch.


So, now you know that red-tailed hawks are the only hawk species known to eat foxes. They are skilled hunters and use their sharp talons and gravity to their advantage when hunting small mammals. However, they typically avoid hunting adult foxes and may only go after fox pups or injured foxes.

Foxes have several methods of protection against hawks, including hiding in dens or underbrush or using their speed and agility to outrun the hawk.

While foxes may not be a primary food source for hawks, it’s still fascinating to learn about the predator-prey relationships in the natural world.

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