Do Coyotes Eat Squirrels? – A Definitive Guide to Their Top Predators

As squirrels enthusiast, I know the dangers that these little critters face. One of the biggest threats to ground squirrels are coyotes. So, do coyotes eat squirrels?

Yes, coyotes do eat squirrels in their natural environments. As opportunistic predators, they will consume a variety of foods including small mammals such as birds and squirrels. Coyotes are adept hunters, equipped with speed and agility to outrun their prey. Though a squirrel may attempt to distract a coyote using its tail, and even brake it off, however, this technique is typically not successful.

Do Coyotes Eat Squirrels?

Coyotes have a remarkable knack for making quick work of their meal, and squirrels are no exception. Their hunting speed and precision often allow them to outrun the furry animals‘ defenses, even if all a squirrel can do is try to distract the predator with its tail – sometimes going so far as to sever it from its body. Despite such last-ditch efforts, coyotes usually succeed in getting their meal in the end.

Overview of Coyotes and their Diet

The diet of coyotes can vary greatly depending on their environment. In areas where humans are present, these wily predators will take advantage of easy meals like scraps of food or livestock animals that may have escaped from their enclosures. Out in the wilderness, however, coyotes rely much more heavily on smaller prey like rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Coyotes Prey

Squirrels are an important part of a coyote’s natural diet. They are considered opportunistic predators who can easily outcompete other animals for this type of prey. Not only do they have incredible speed, but they also possess excellent hunting skills to help them capture a squirrel before it can escape.

Relationship between Coyotes and Squirrels

Coyotes are a natural predator to squirrels, yet some of the latter can still manage to survive by their unparalleled agility. Climbing trees and running quickly over open areas can help squirrels avoid confrontations with coyotes, ensuring their safety and continued existence.

Squirrels Defense Mechanisms

Squirrels have several defense mechanisms that they can use against predators such as coyotes. These include making loud alarm calls to warn other nearby animals of potential danger or climbing trees to avoid ground-dwelling predators. Tree squirrels are especially adept climbers which allows them to reach the safety of high branches while ground dwelling squirrel species will retreat into their underground burrows until the threat has passed.

Top Predators of Coyotes

Despite their impressive predatory abilities, coyotes face threats from larger predatory species such as wolves, bears or mountain lions. All three of these animals have no qualms about taking down a single adult coyote or even an entire family unit if given the opportunity. As such, it is imperative that coyotes remain vigilant when venturing too close to areas inhabited by these large predators.

Parasites can be a major contributor to squirrel mortality, with various internal and external parasites affecting the population. Intestinal worms, fleas, ticks, mites, and lice are common culprits of infection in squirrels. Over time, these parasites can lead to malnutrition, anemia, and weakened immune systems in infected individuals. Coyotes have been known to transport and spread parasites by predation; however the risk of parasite-related mortality remains highest when squirrels interact with other animals in their natural habitats.

Are Domestic Dogs and Cats a Threat to Squirrels?

Domestic dogs and cats pose a significant threat to squirrel populations, as they are both predators of the species. It’s important to note that not all dogs and cats will prey on these small animals, but they do have the potential to affect squirrel numbers when they are allowed to roam freely outdoors. Fortunately, proper pet management (including controlled access to the outdoors) can help reduce this risk.


In conclusion, coyotes do indeed eat squirrels in their natural habitats. Coyotes are agile predators with a diverse diet that includes small mammals. Though squirrels can employ distracting tactics to avoid being eaten, these measures are not always successful. This means that when life in the wild calls for it, coyotes will happily consume squirrels as part of their diet.

So if you ever find yourself asking “Do coyotes eat squirrels?” while on a nature walk, the answer is yes! After all, Mother Nature is full of surprises – and sometimes those surprises involve hungry coyotes feasting on unsuspecting squirrels.

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