The Fox’s Diet: What’s on the Menu?
Often mistakenly classed as a carnivore, the fox is, in fact, an omnivore – they will eat practically anything!
- The Fox’s diet differs between seasons and there are variations between rural and urban foxes
- In Autumn, apples plums and pears are consumed, as well as craneflies which are abundant on lawns. In summer, berries and strawberries are eaten as well as beetles. Earthworms appear on warm wet nights and foxes can eat up to hundreds at a time.
- A most common food in rural areas is wild mammals such as rabbits and voles, whereas in urban areas scavenging comprises a much higher share of their diet.
- Both urban and rural foxes eat about the same amount of insects, earthworms and wild birds, though it is slightly higher for urban foxes as birds attracted to gardens are easy prey
- Foxes have a daily routine they follow each night. They visit the same locations at approximately the same times in their search for food. They normally take food and bury it (caching) and then move onto the next location. This food can be eaten on the same night or at a point in the future when hunting/scavenging has been less successful.
- Many people who feed foxes witness them taking a mouthful of food away and returning soon afterward for more. This is illustrative of caching behaviour.
- It is the natural instinct of a fox to take the opportunity of gathering all food available and cache it. If they do manage to get into a hen house, it is a mistaken assumption that they kill all the hens just because they can. Their intention is to bury the bodies, but they are normally disturbed before they get the chance.