What Eats Squirrels? Predators Revealed | Discover the Animals Who Prey on Squirrels

As a passionate lover of nature and someone with years of experience observing and interacting with squirrels around the globe, I have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to what eats squirrels. In this article, we’ll explore all the predators that hunt our furry little friends and discover just how these animals manage to take a healthy adult squirrel.

Squirrels, a common inhabitant in woodlands and urban areas worldwide, are the prey of several species. Predatory animals such as minks, martens, skunks, ravens, magpies, eagles, owls, hawks, badgers, domesticated dogs and cats, snakes and raccoons all regularly hunt squirrels for food. Other predators can include foxes and weasels. These animals typically hunt young or injured squirrels but are capable of taking healthy adults as well.

What Eats Squirrels?

Squirrels are small rodents that are widely found in woodlands and urban areas all over the world. Sadly, these small mammals have a wide array of predators that look to them as food sources. From mammals to birds, reptiles, and even parasites, there is no shortage of animals looking for an easy meal of squirrel.

Squirrels have to watch out for a host of furry foes. From minks to martens, skunks to ravens, magpies and eagles, owls and hawks, badgers and domesticated cats and dogs, even snakes and raccoons – all capable of preying upon them in different ways. Even foxes and weasels lurk somewhere in the shadows waiting for an opportune chance to catch one without much effort. Young or injured ones are especially vulnerable, but not even healthy adults are safe from their attack.

Natural Predators of Squirrels

Carnivorous creatures such as coyotes and foxes pose a real danger to squirrels when it comes to their natural predators. These four-legged predators have the ability to catch up to the small mammals in no time while they’re out in open fields, or even lurking in the brush. Typically, they can get to the little critters before they have a chance to run away due to their superior speed.

  • Foxes
  • Coyotes
  • Bobcats
  • Wolves
  • Lynx

Birds Preying on Squirrels

Birds of prey such as hawks and eagles have proven to be efficient hunters when it comes to bringing down small mammals like squirrels. When hunting from the sky, they possess excellent vision which helps them spot potential prey from miles away. Moreover, their powerful wings give them great agility and swiftness which gives them a massive advantage over their smaller victims.

In addition to birds of prey like goshawks and eagles; other avian creatures like hawks and falcons also feast on squirrels occasionally. This includes fish eating water birds like herons that look for meals near rivers where tree dwelling creatures come down to drink.

Reptiles, Fish, and Other Water Predators

Squirrels face numerous predators in the wild, from birds of prey like goshawks and eagles to mammals like red foxes and weasels. But their foe list doesn’t end there; reptiles, fish, and other water creatures also put their lives at risk. Alligators and crocodiles lurk in local bodies of water, waiting for an unsuspecting squirrel to float by.

Large fish, like snakeskin gar and tiger muskie, will snap them up as a tasty snack if given the chance. And aquatic predators like great blue herons may swoop down from above to add a squirrel to their diet. Whether on land or in the sea, these animals must take precautions or risk becoming lunch!

Four-Legged Animals Hunting Squirrels

Four-legged animals that prey on squirrels include foxes, cats, badgers, polecats, weasels and minks. These predators rely on ambush or stalking to catch their prey, often in the early morning or late evening when the squirrels are most active. They may also use their incredible sense of smell to locate a squirrel’s burrow. In some cases, these animals can even climb trees to get to their target!

Domesticated Animals Hunting Squirrels

Domesticated animals, such as cats and dogs, can pose a threat to squirrels in their natural habitat. Though they are often not as fast or stealthy as their wild counterparts, they can still hunt and kill smaller squirrels. Additionally, some domestic owners may promote hunting of squirrels by using their pets for sport. In order to protect wildlife from such threats, responsible pet owners should ensure that their animals are kept on a leash in areas populated by squirrels and other wildlife.

Parasites Affecting Squirrels

Parasites can also be a threat to squirrels, including fleas, ticks, mites, and roundworms. These parasites can cause illness and in severe cases even death. To prevent infection, regular cleaning and de-worming of nests is essential for squirrel health. Additionally, limiting contact with wild animals can help reduce the spread of these parasites to domesticated squirrels.

Biggest Enemies of Squirrels

Squirrels may look cute and harmless, but they face a wide range of predators. Birds of prey such as goshawks and eagles, as well as mammals like red foxes, domestic cats, badgers, polecats, weasels and mink all hunt squirrels. Studies have also suggested that pine martens may be able to help reduce the population of grey squirrels and allow red squirrels to flourish in Britain once more. Be aware though – your neighbourhood cats may play an unexpected role in all of this!

How to Protect Squirrels from Natural Threats

Protecting squirrels from natural threats can be a challenge, but there are some steps that can be taken. Firstly, providing natural habitats that are safe from predators will encourage squirrels to stay in the area and not be at risk of being hunted. Planting native trees and shrubs that have dense cover also provides refuge for squirrels.

Secondly, limiting access to food sources by keeping pet food and bird seed indoors will reduce the chances of attracting predators. Finally, if possible, installing fencing or electric fencing around gardens and yards can help protect against predators such as foxes or martens. With these simple steps, you can help keep squirrels safe from their natural predators!

Strategies for Keeping Away Pet Animals from Squirrels

The best way to protect squirrels from predators is by keeping potential threats away. Pet owners should take care to keep their dogs, cats and other animals on a leash when outdoors, especially during animal-attracting activities such as bird feeding and outdoor picnics. The presence of humans could help deter potential predators, as wild animals may be less likely to approach people or their pets. Additionally, fencing off gardens, balconies, and patios can prevent curious cats and other predators from accessing the area.

Homeowners should also consider alternatives to chemical or pesticide use in order to eliminate any risk they might pose to squirrel populations. Natural repellents such as garlic oil or used kitty litter can help ward off various pests and can be an effective strategy in protecting squirrels in the wild.


What three types of food do squirrels consume?

Squirrels consume a variety of food, including nuts, seeds, fruits, fungi and green plants. A few common examples include acorns, walnuts, corn, apples and mushrooms. They also occasionally feed on insects or small reptiles.

  • Acorns
  • Walnuts
  • Corn
  • Apples
  • Mushrooms
  • Insects
  • Small reptiles

Do raccoons consume ground squirrels as food?

Raccoons are omnivorous mammals, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They have a varied diet that includes nuts, fruits, insects, birds, eggs, small rodents like ground squirrels, aquatic creatures, and even carrion. Therefore, it is safe to say that raccoons do indeed feed on ground squirrels.

Do raccoons hunt and kill squirrels?

Raccoons are omnivores, meaning they can eat both plants and animals. While it is possible they may hunt and kill squirrels, it is not their primary food source. They will most likely go after other small mammals, insects, or fish before targeting a squirrel. It is important to note, however, that if a raccoon were in an environment with limited food options, any available prey may become a target.

What is the position of a squirrel in the food chain?

The food chain is an interconnected web of organisms where every species relies on another for survival. Squirrels are one of the primary consumers in the food chain, meaning they rely mainly on plants for sustenance. They feed mostly on native nuts, fruits, and fungi found in their natural environment. Predators like snakes and eagles hunt and eat the squirrels further up the food chain.


One thing is clear: Squirrels are indeed a popular prey for many animals. From minks and martens to hawks and eagles, many species rely on these little critters for sustenance. Knowing what eats squirrels is crucial for us to understand their behavior in the wild and how we should interact with them.

Are you curious about what eats squirrels? The answer lies in understanding their predators – from wild carnivores such as foxes and coyotes to domesticated pets such as cats and dogs. If you want to know what eats squirrels, look no further than the list of predatory animals mentioned in this article.

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