In summer, you may see more foxes than in the other seasons. Summer is a fantastic time for foxes and an excellent time for us to see them going about their everyday lives.
Young cubs will have grown their coats in summer and be out learning to hunt with their family. Food is abundant for foxes during the summer, and they can often be seen in gardens feeding on insects or fruit.
The lives of foxes vary throughout the year, so I wanted to find out what they do in summer. If you want to find out, please read on. If not, here is a fantastic video of foxes on a trampoline.
Do Foxes Like Summer?
Foxes are often found in summer when the weather is hot, lying around hedgerows, long grass, and brambles. Many urban foxes can also be found in urban areas in gardens and on the roofs of garages and outbuildings sunning themselves.
This contrasts with the colder weather, where foxes stay in dens, only coming out to feed for brief periods above ground. Strong winds make it difficult to detect predators and other dangers. Foxes have excellent hearing, and the noise of the wind around them can often mask the sound of a potential threat.
Foxes rely on their hearing and may also have trouble finding prey without hearing rustling in the grass because of the strong wind. Foxes don’t like the rain and will often stay in their dens, but in summer will often cool down in puddles.
What Do Foxes Eat In Summer?
Foxes are happiest in summer as there is plenty of food, and the cubs have time to learn how to hunt. Foxes are mainly nocturnal and hunt at night, and the family will come out of their den to find food. Foxes will use their sense of smell to find prey, and you may often see them with their noses down as they check for scents.
Foxes have many foods that they will eat, including insects, with one of their favorites being earthworms. When the weather is damp, foxes will feast on earthworms, which can be found at the surface in large numbers.
Worms don’t make it easy for the fox as they keep their tails below ground while they feed on the grass and leaves, using small bristles to keep them anchored in the dirt. However, foxes can provide hundreds of worms in one evening, sustaining them for the whole day.
In summer, foxes will also feed on young rabbits. Rabbits are born around this time, and many can be found feeding on the grass. Another food that foxes like to feed on is young birds that have landed on the floor and are not strong enough to get back to their nests.
Foxes will also feed on rodents, including voles and shrews. These can be found in extended grassy areas around the edges of fields, and there can be hundreds in a fox’s territory.
Foxes also use their hearing to find food. A fox will freeze in one place and listen for any movement. Once they know where the sound is coming from, they will leap into the air pouncing on their prey.
Summer is the best time for foxes to hunt; they often catch more than they need. Foxes will cache their food to eat later, either burying the whole animal or pieces of them. The fox can dig them up later to eat, even if they have become smelly.
Foxes are also known to kill chickens and will force their way into hen houses. Foxes will also eat other birds, including ground-nesting seabirds such as gulls, also feeding on the eggs. As large colonies breed simultaneously, summer gives foxes an almost unlimited supply of eggs and young chicks.
Foxes will also feed on fruits, and in summer, when fruits are ripening, foxes may often be seen in gardens stealing soft fruit such as strawberries. In late summer, they also feed on apples that have fallen off the tree and blackberries and raspberries.
Foxes, although primarily carnivorous, are omnivores and will feed wherever possible. Foxes often provide whatever makes them the slightest effort to find and kill.
How Far Will Foxes Travel In Summer?
The range of a wild fox can be up to three or four km², but due to the abundance of food in urban areas, urban foxes have a much smaller home range. In some areas, the content may be larger or smaller depending on the amount of food.
Foxes will not travel the whole of their range every night, preferring to travel in one or two parts of the area. On subsequent nights they may visit other aspects of their content.
Foxes will come out of their dens at dusk and are out most of the night. The home range of a fox can include many different habitat types, including fields, woodland, and urban areas such as gardens. Foxes keep their nose down close to the ground to pick up scents and can often be seen walking in zig-zags around their territory.
Although there is plenty of food for foxes in summer, they may visit other areas before returning to their home territory. These journeys are often to visit feeding places they know particularly well, such as rubbish tips.
What Do Cubs Do In Summer?
Cubs will generally stay with the mother until September or October, but some female cubs stay to help raise the next generation. Cubs will learn to hunt by watching and copying the adults.
If you want more information on how fox cubs learn, I have written an article you can find here.
Male cubs do generally not stay with their mother and often travel long distances to establish their territory. Some young males have been known to travel over 100 km.
The distance is often much less for urban foxes due to the higher population density, and they may sometimes only move a couple of kilometers from their family.
During summer, foxes can often be seen traveling to their new territory using man-made structures, including roads, bridges, and paths.
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.