do foxes eat eagles

Do Foxes Eat Eagles (Why Fox Not Eat & How Catch in 2023)

The relationship between foxes and eagles is an interesting one. Both are predators that occupy different niches in the food chain. Eagles are apex predators, meaning that they sit at the top of the food chain, while foxes are smaller predators that feed on a variety of prey, such as rodents, rabbits, and birds. However, despite their size difference, there have been reports of foxes attacking and killing eagles.

Foxes’ Diet

Before we dive into whether foxes eat eagles, let’s take a closer look at foxes’ diet. Foxes are opportunistic predators that will eat almost anything they can catch, including small mammals, birds, insects, and even fruit.

However, the majority of their diet consists of rodents, such as mice and voles, as well as rabbits. They are also known to hunt birds, such as pheasants and grouse, but these birds are usually much smaller than eagles.

Eagles’ Diet

Eagles, on the other hand, are apex predators that primarily feed on other birds and small mammals. Their diet can vary depending on the species and location, but they are known to hunt prey such as rabbits, squirrels, fish, and other birds, including ducks and geese. However, they are not known to eat foxes.

Foxes Attacking Eagles

fox attack eagle

While it may seem unlikely that a small fox could take down a large eagle, there have been reports of such incidents occurring. In 2013, a photographer in Russia captured an image of a red fox attacking a golden eagle. The fox was able to hold onto the eagle’s leg until it eventually flew away.

Similarly, in 2014, a red fox was caught on camera attacking a bald eagle in Alaska. However, it’s important to note that these incidents are rare and likely occur when the eagle is weakened or injured.

Foxes Eating Eagles

While there have been reports of foxes attacking eagles, there is little evidence to suggest that foxes regularly eat eagles. Eagles are much larger than foxes and have sharp talons and beaks that can inflict serious damage.

Additionally, eagles are known for their incredible strength and are capable of carrying prey that weighs as much as they do. Therefore, it is unlikely that a fox would be able to overpower an eagle and consume it.

Why Foxes Don’t Typically Eat Eagles

Now that we understand the anatomy of foxes and eagles, let’s explore why foxes don’t typically eat eagles. The primary reason is that eagles are simply too big and powerful for foxes to take down. Eagles are birds of prey that are built for hunting, and they have evolved to be able to defend themselves against potential predators.

Foxes, on the other hand, are small and agile mammals that are built for speed and agility. While they are certainly capable hunters, they simply don’t have the strength or the weaponry to take down an eagle.

Additionally, eagles are often found in high places such as tall trees or cliffs, making them difficult for foxes to access. Even if a fox were able to catch an eagle on the ground, it would have a hard time carrying it away due to its size and weight.

Alternative Food Sources For Foxes

Given that foxes don’t typically eat eagles, what do they eat instead? Foxes are opportunistic hunters and will eat almost anything they can catch, including small mammals, birds, fish, insects, and even fruits and vegetables.

In areas where small prey is scarce, foxes may turn to scavenge for food. They are known to eat carrion, which is the flesh of dead animals. This helps them survive during times when food is scarce.

How Foxes Catch Eagles

Hunting Tactics

Foxes use a variety of hunting tactics to catch eagles, depending on the species of fox and the habitat they live in. One of the most common tactics used by foxes is stalking, where they slowly approach their prey while remaining hidden from view.

Foxes also use ambush tactics, where they lie in wait for their prey to come within striking distance. This strategy is particularly effective in areas where eagles are known to hunt, such as near water sources or open fields.

In addition to these direct hunting tactics, foxes have also been known to steal food from eagles. They will often scavenge on eagle kills or steal prey that eagles have caught but not yet consumed.

Physical Adaptations

Foxes have several physical adaptations that make them well-suited for hunting eagles. One of the most notable adaptations is their sharp teeth and strong jaws, which allow them to deliver powerful bites and quickly dispatch their prey.

Foxes also have keen senses of smell and hearing, which enable them to detect the presence of eagles from a distance. This is especially important when using stalking tactics, as foxes must remain hidden until they are within striking distance.

Behavioral Traits

Foxes exhibit a number of behavioral traits that are advantageous for hunting eagles. For example, foxes are known for their agility and speed, which allow them to quickly pursue and catch their prey.

Foxes are also highly adaptable, and they are able to adjust their hunting strategies depending on the availability of prey and the conditions in their environment. This flexibility makes them well-suited for hunting eagles, as they can easily switch between different tactics as needed.

Ecological Context

The interaction between foxes and eagles is an important part of the ecological context in which both species live. In many cases, foxes and eagles compete for the same prey, and their interactions can have significant impacts on local ecosystems.

For example, if foxes are successful at catching eagles, it could lead to a decline in eagle populations. Conversely, if eagles are able to avoid predation by foxes, they may be able to maintain healthy populations.

Conservation Implications

Understanding the strategies that foxes use to catch eagles is important for conservation efforts aimed at protecting both species. By understanding the ecological context of fox-eagle interactions, we can develop strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of competition and predation.

One approach could be to focus on habitat management, by creating areas that are more suitable for one species or the other. For example, providing more nesting sites for eagles could help them avoid predation by foxes.

Another approach could be to implement predator control measures, such as trapping or shooting foxes in areas where they are known to prey on eagles. While this approach is controversial, it may be necessary in some cases to protect endangered species.


While there have been rare instances of foxes attacking eagles, there is little evidence to suggest that foxes regularly eat eagles. Foxes are opportunistic predators that primarily feed on small mammals and birds, while eagles are apex predators that primarily feed on other birds and small mammals. While it is possible for a fox to attack and injure an eagle, it is unlikely that a fox would be able to overpower and consume an eagle due to their size and strength.


What is the largest prey that foxes can take down?

The largest prey that foxes can take down are usually rabbits, which can weigh up to several pounds.

Can eagles kill foxes?

Yes, eagles are capable of killing foxes if they are hungry and see them as potential prey.

Are there any other predators that attack eagles?

Yes, other predators that are known to attack eagles include bears, wolves, and other birds of prey.

How can humans help protect eagles and other birds of prey?

Humans can help protect eagles and other birds of prey by conserving their habitats, avoiding the use of pesticides and other chemicals that can harm them, and supporting conservation efforts and organizations.

Can foxes and eagles coexist in the same habitat?

Yes, foxes and eagles can coexist in the same habitat as they occupy different niches within the ecosystem. Eagles are apex predators that hunt from the sky, while foxes hunt on the ground. As long as there is enough food and suitable habitat for both species, they can coexist without much competition.

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