Although foxes are known as cunning and omnivorous animals, their diet and habits are largely unknown as we only encounter these creatures in the wild.
Foxes have adapted to live in various habitats ranging from forests to urban areas, and their diet is as varied as their habitat. Many people wonder whether these stealthy creatures eat fish.
Do Foxes Eat Fish?
Foxes are omnivores and opportunistic animals, so their diet varies depending on their environment. If they live in an area with access to water sources containing fish, then foxes don’t mind eating some fish and other aquatic animals.
Foxes will prey on food sources that are easily available in that habitat. So, if they live near water streams, they are open to entering the water in search of fish, crabs, and other small marine animals.
Generally, foxes mainly target small mammals, birds, insects, fruits, berries, vegetables, and carrion. Fish are not a substantial part of their diet.
But as we already discussed, a fox’s dietary preferences will vary according to the seasons and food availability. Therefore, foxes will only eat fish when other food sources are limited.
Where Do Foxes Find Fish?
Foxes are known for their hunting skills and are a terror for many small mammals like rabbits and mice. But foxes can fish too and swim well for a mammal.
However, as water is not their usual habitat, it is easier for fish to escape, and it can be challenging for a fox to navigate through some water bodies while hunting for fish.
So, foxes only fish when they don’t have other food sources; when they do, they prefer to stick to shallow bodies of water such as ponds and streams.
If you have a pond in your backyard that houses some fish, then you need to be aware because it’s not uncommon for a fox to enter your pond area in search of food.
Although it’s rare for a fox to venture into such an environment, it’s not impossible. Therefore, it’s essential to watch for any signs of intrusion and take precautions to protect your fish from predators.
Reasons Why A Fox Might Eat Fish:
Many people may assume that foxes are strictly carnivorous and only consume meat from land animals. But it is not. They are omnivores, meaning can eat both animals and plants.
Also, they are opportunistic predators, so they are known to substitute their diets with whatever food source they find. They eat fish only when hungry, and no other options are available. Or else they would rather pillage the garbage for food than get wet.
Foxes will also gladly eat the remains of dead fish left behind by another predator if they think it is a safer option. They may also scavenge for fish near fishing docks or on beaches where fishermen leave behind fish.
Also Read: Do Lions Eat Foxes?
How Do Foxes Catch Fish?
Foxes are no match for fish in the water because water is not their natural habitat; thus, they are not the best hunters of marine wildlife. They do it only when no other options exist or when fish are abundant.
Wading In Shallow Water:
The most common way a fox can catch a fish is by wading in shallow water. It would stand in shallow water and use its paws to feel for fish swimming by. As soon as it finds a fish, it will grab the fish by its teeth to pull it out of the water.
Stalking The Edge Of The Water:
When fish are abundant in shallow water, they would just sit on the water’s edge and wait for fish to come close enough for them to grab. This method is suitable on rocky shores or where the water is too deep for wading.
Diving Into The Water:
When the water level is deep, and fish are not accessible from the shore, the fox has no option but to get wet. So it would dive into the water, holding its breath. Foxes can swim and can even dive deep into the water for a short time to catch fish.
Also Read: Do Lions Eat Fish?
Which Species Of Fox Eats Most Fish?
Red foxes (the most common species of fox) are known to catch and eat small fish, especially during the summer when other food sources may be scarce. They hunt for fish in streams and rivers in spring and summer when fish is more abundant.
On the other hand, gray foxes are known to prefer different varieties of food, such as fruits, insects, and small mammals. They are less fond of fish than red foxes.
Arctic foxes (another species of fox) also eat fish when available, despite their primary prey being small mammals and birds.
How To Protect Your Fish From Foxes?
Luckily, many easy ways to protect your fish pond from a fox raid exist. To prevent any potential damage, you can follow the combination of the below-mentioned steps.
You can set up fencing around your pond, as it’s a great way to stop foxes from penetrating your pond.
The best way is lifting the pond’s edges above ground level and setting up an electric fence because foxes are known to jump up to 6 feet.
A brief shock from the electric fence will be enough to deter them from coming back.
Covering your pond with a net is another great option. This may look simple, but it’s an effective solution to keep the pesky foxes away from your pond.
Go for a sturdy and durable net to protect your pond from unwanted visitors.
Also, consider installing a dome-shaped net so that foxes cannot access the fish because of its height.
Foxes don’t like loud noises or getting wet. So, placing motion sensors that use water or sound to scare these cunning creatures may help.
Also, motion sensors with bright lights to deter foxes are an option too. You can place them around the perimeter of your pond or fish tank to scare away any approaching fox.
You can also keep a guard dog to watch your fish but make sure the fish is out of the dog’s reach by placing them on a leash.
A dog’s bark or fragrance can keep a fox away from your territory. So, dogs are a great addition to the team.
You can also set up traps in extreme conditions to catch the fox. Contact local wildlife authorities before doing this, as trapping a fox in your area can be illegal. If they agree, you can continue but do not harm the fox if you catch one.
And inform the concerned authorities as soon as you notice a fox trapped so they will take care of it and transport it back into the forest where it can continue its rest of life peacefully.
As foxes are cunning and opportunistic predators, they will get creative in adverse conditions to substitute their natural diet.
So, foxes that live near water bodies may see fish as an easy food source and don’t mind eating some fish along with shrimp, crabs, and other types of crustaceans if they can find them.
Foxes will also dine on animals that hang out near the water, like, frogs, seals, and reptiles. They will also grab the opportunity to feast on a seabird if the opportunity presents itself.
- What Is A Fox’s Favorite Food?
Foxes are omnivores and opportunistic animals. Thus, they have various food options, including mammals, reptiles, insects, fruits, vegetables, berries, and small marine animals. But their favorite food will vary depending upon the species of fox, its habitat, and the seasonal changes.
- Do Foxes Eat Small Fish?
Foxes prey on all kinds of fish as long as they can satisfy their hunger. Also, it won’t matter whether the fish is alive or dead because foxes believe in bodies, not souls.
- Can A Fox Eat Raw Fish?
Of course, foxes eat raw fish. They are too lazy to barbecue them.
See you in the next article.