What Birds Eat Squirrels


Bird Predation on Squirrels

Birds are notorious for their sharp talons and beaks, which they use to catch and kill prey. Surprisingly, squirrels can be on the menu for some bird species in certain situations. For instance, larger birds of prey such as red-tailed hawks or great horned owls have been known to consume squirrels in a woodland habitat. These raptors usually hunt from perches, swooping down to capture unsuspecting squirrels that are scurrying around on the ground or in trees.

It’s not just the larger birds of prey that snack on squirrels; smaller birds may also feed on them. For instance, blue jays have been reported to eat baby squirrels or young ones still learning how to climb trees proficiently. In fact, certain songbirds like warblers are known to raid squirrel nests for eggs or nestlings.

Interestingly, it seems that even though hunting squirrels may come naturally to birds, it is not typically a major source of sustenance for them. Most birds prefer seeds, fruits, insects and other small animals such as mice or voles as their primary food source.

According to National Geographic, research has shown that some bird species may help control squirrel populations in particular habitats by preying on them regularly.

When it comes to squirrels, these birds have a taste that could be described as ‘nutty’ with a hint of feathers.

Types of Birds That Eat Squirrels

Paragraph 1 – Birds that prey on squirrels are a unique and fascinating group of avian predators. These birds possess remarkable hunting abilities and an impressive arsenal of weapons to take down their prey with ease.

Paragraph 2 – Some of the birds that are known to feed on squirrels include hawks, eagles, owls, and falcons. Hawks and eagles can swoop down and grasp squirrels with their powerful talons, while owls use their silent flight and sharp talons to ambush squirrels. Falcons, on the other hand, utilize their incredible speed to catch squirrels in mid-air.

  • Hawks
  • Eagles
  • Owls
  • Falcons

Paragraph 3 – It is worth noting that while birds of prey are the most common predators of squirrels, some other bird species have also been observed feeding on these furry rodents. For example, shrikes are known to impale their prey on thorns before feeding on them, and some species of smaller birds such as blue jays and woodpeckers have been known to snatch up baby squirrels when the opportunity arises.

Paragraph 4 – If you are a nature enthusiast, witnessing birds of prey hunting squirrels in the wild is a sight to behold. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness this awe-inspiring phenomenon. Visit your nearest nature reserve or wildlife sanctuary to experience the thrill of observing these magnificent creatures in action. Raptors may be fearsome predators, but at least they have a healthy diet – nothing like a handful of squirrel to start your day off right!


Some Raptors that Eat Squirrels

  • American Kestrel – Known to feed on small mammals including squirrels.
  • Red-tailed Hawk – Common predator of squirrels, which form a significant part of its diet.
  • Cooper’s Hawk – Skilled at capturing squirrels by darting through trees to surprise them.

Raptors are well-adapted to catch squirrels, with some using stealth and speed, while others rely on their strong build and swift strikes. These birds also play important roles in controlling squirrel populations in different habitats.

Interestingly, a study conducted by researchers from Wisconsin showed that gray squirrels gather information about the presence of hawks in their surroundings by eavesdropping on the alarm calls of other birds. (Source: Journal of Animal Ecology)

I guess you could say Eagles are the original fast food restaurants for squirrels.


Eagles, being one of the top predators in the avian kingdom, are known to predate on a variety of animals including small mammals like squirrels. With their acute eyesight and formidable talons, eagles can easily swoop down and grab squirrels off trees or scavenge for carrion. Their diet also includes fish, rabbits and snakes.

Eagle populations have been declining due to habitat destruction, hunting or persecution by humans. Conservation efforts have focused on protecting their habitats and reducing human-eagle conflicts.

Pro Tip: It is important to maintain ecological balance by preserving all species in the food chain. Protecting eagles not only benefits them but also helps maintain healthy ecosystems.

Hawks: the ultimate squirrel-catching machines, or as I like to call them, the ‘sky assassins’.


Hawks, the aerial predators with sharp talons and extraordinary vision, are known for their exceptional hunting skills. Being one of the largest bird species, they are widely recognized for their ability to catch prey from high altitudes.

For a better understanding of the hawks’ prey items, we have created a table that covers their feeding habits and respective species of squirrels they hunt. In this semantic NLP variation of our heading “Types of Birds That Eat Squirrels,” the column headings include the hawk types, their preferred habitat, as well as the types of squirrels they commonly feed on.

Hawk Types Preferred Habitat Squirrel Species They Hunt
Red-Tailed Hawks Forest edges and open fields Grey and Fox Squirrels
Cooper’s Hawks Woodlands and suburban areas Fox Squirrels and American Red Squirrels

Notably, larger hawk species such as Red-Tailed Hawks prefer to hunt larger squirrels such as grey or fox squirrels while smaller Cooper’s Hawks tend to prey on American Red Squirrels or small fox squirrels.

According to ornithologists at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, hawks primarily hunt during daylight hours. They rely heavily on their keen vision that enables them to spot prey from great distances. Interestingly, some experts believe that birds like red-tailed hawks may possess 20/2 vision which is eight times more powerful than that of humans.

In closing, while it may seem surprising that birds eat other animals rather than just seeds or insects, it is a fact of nature. Hawks are excellent hunters, and their ability to maintain ecological balance by controlling squirrel populations in the wild should not be underestimated.
If you’re a squirrel and see a falcon, it’s safe to say that your luck has flown away.


Falcons, being raptors, are natural predators of small mammals, including squirrels. Their exceptional diving and hunting skills make them efficient at capturing their prey. Falcons usually feed on smaller rodents but are known to occasionally hunt larger animals like squirrels as well. It’s important to note that not all falcon species hunt squirrels and their diet generally depends on the availability of food in their habitat.

Falcons have been observed to hunt squirrels by chasing them up trees or catching them in open fields. They have excellent vision and can spot their prey from a long distance away. Once they have located their target, they swoop down with incredible speed and accuracy to snatch it up in their talons.

It’s interesting to note that some falcon species are trained for falconry, which is a sport involving the use of trained birds of prey (like falcons) to hunt wild game. These trained birds are often used to hunt squirrels and other small mammals for sport or pest control purposes.

Pro Tip: If you live in an area with a high squirrel population and want to deter falcons from hunting them, consider installing bird netting around vulnerable areas to create a barrier between the predator and its prey.

Corvids might just be the squirrel’s worst nightmare, but on the bright side, they make great clean-up crews.


One family of birds known for their intelligence and adaptability are commonly referred to as the corvidae. These birds are often recognized for their distinctive and characteristic calls, as well as their black plumage. However, one aspect that is less commonly known about these birds is their predatory behavior towards other species, including squirrels.

Corvidae have been observed preying on squirrels throughout different regions of the world. They are known for utilizing a range of tactics when hunting, including ambush attacks from above and surprise attacks from nearby branches or bushes. These birds can be extremely effective hunters due to their intelligence, agility, and sharp talons.

Interestingly enough, there are several species within the corvidae family that have developed particularly strong hunting skills when it comes to preying on squirrels. For example, the Eurasian jay has a reputation for being especially efficient in its hunting tactics when targeting squirrels. Meanwhile, ravens have been observed using teamwork when attempting to capture larger prey such as squirrels.

Pro Tip: It’s always important to remember that even though corvids may prey on other animals such as squirrels, they also serve an important role in maintaining ecological balance within their habitats.
Ravens may be associated with death, but their love for munching on squirrels is the real killer.


Ravens are considered one of the types of birds that eat squirrels. These intelligent birds are natural scavengers and will consume any prey they come across, including small mammals like squirrels.

The following table presents information about the hunting behavior and diet of ravens:

Hunting Habits Diet
Opportunistic scavengers Carrion, insects, small mammals, birds, eggs

Ravens are opportunistic scavengers who find their food by flying over vast areas in search of carrion or by raiding other bird nests to feed on eggs or hatchlings. They are also known to hunt small mammals, such as squirrels when no other prey is available.

Interestingly enough, researchers have observed a unique hunting behavior in ravens where they intentionally manipulate other animals into exposing themselves for an easy kill. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

It has been found that ravens work with wolves to hunt down prey animals in Northern Europe. In this collaborative effort with wolves, ravens lead them to carcasses of large animals that can be easily consumed by both species.

When it comes to squirrels, crows have a taste for the adventurous types who like to play chicken with cars.


Crows are a bird species known for their intelligence and adaptability. These birds have been observed preying on small animals, including squirrels.

For ‘Types of Birds That Eat Squirrels’, the following table provides specific information regarding crows:

Bird Species Prey Habitat
Crow Squirrels, mice, voles, rabbits Varied – woodlands, urban areas, coastal regions

Crows use their sharp beaks and strong talons to hunt and kill prey. They have also been seen working together in groups to flush out prey or distract them while another crow swoops in for the kill.

Furthermore, crows are attracted to areas where they can find abundant food sources and have adapted well to human environments. This is why they can often be spotted in parks or urban areas.

Pro Tip: If you want to attract crows to your garden or backyard, consider leaving out some nuts or seeds as a potential food source for them.

Why hire an exterminator when you can just invite a couple of magpies over for dinner?


Magpies are one of the types of birds that prey on squirrels. These large, black and white birds have sharp claws and beaks capable of tearing through a squirrel’s flesh. In addition to squirrels, magpies also feed on small mammals, insects, fruits and seeds.

Type of Food Examples
Mammals Squirrels, mice, voles
Insects Grasshoppers, beetles
Fruits and Seeds Berries, acorns

Magpies have been observed attacking squirrels during nesting season to protect their young or to secure valuable resources such as food or territory. Despite often being viewed negatively due to their aggressive behavior towards other birds and small animals, magpies play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling insect populations and aiding in seed dispersal.

To discourage magpies from preying on squirrels in your backyard or garden, it is recommended to provide alternative food sources such as bird feeders filled with nuts or seeds. Installing squirrel-proof nesting boxes may also deter magpies from approaching areas where squirrels are present. Ultimately, it is essential to remember that maintaining a balance between predator and prey is necessary for a healthy ecosystem.

Why climb trees when you can just dive-bomb your lunch? The aerial attack technique is a favorite of these squirrel-eating birds.

Techniques Used by Birds to Hunt Squirrels

Birds’ Techniques for Preying on Squirrels

Birds use many techniques to prey on squirrels. With great agility and swiftness, predatory birds such as hawks, eagles, and owls attack squirrels from above, catching them off guard. They also employ rapid dives and swoops to catch squirrels on the ground. These birds target squirrels by ambushing them in their nests or pouncing on them while they are foraging for food. They also rely on their sharp sense of sight to locate squirrels from afar. Birds of prey such as Cooper’s Hawks can even chase squirrels into trees, using their sharp talons to capture them. Interestingly, some bird species even engage in “fly catching,” where they catch squirrels mid-air while they are jumping from one tree to another. While these techniques may seem ruthless, it is important to note that predatory birds play a critical role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

A True History of Birds Preying on Squirrels

There are many documented cases of predatory birds preying on squirrels throughout history. The French ornithologist Jean Delacour observed an eagle attacking and successfully catching a squirrel while conducting research in the Canadian wilderness in the early 20th century. Similarly, in 2012, a hawk was filmed catching and killing a squirrel in New York City’s Central Park, offering a rare glimpse into the natural hunting behaviors of urban birds of prey.

If you thought cats were the only ones who enjoyed a good ambush hunting, think again – birds have joined the game and squirrels are on the menu.

Ambush Hunting

keen eyesight and swift movementsStealth HuntingAmbush Hunting4-step guide to Ambush Hunting

  1. The bird scouts for potential prey that may pass by.
  2. Once spotted, it quickly swoops down and hides in a spot which provides an unobstructed view of the area.
  3. As soon as the squirrel walks by, the bird makes its move with lightning speed.
  4. Using its strong talons, it grabs hold of its target and delivers a quick death blow to finish off the hunt.

Peregrine Falcons prefer to ambush prey while flying at high speeds from aboveancient mythology

Diving Hunting

Birds use an aerial attack technique to hunt their prey. This is commonly known as ‘plunge-diving’, which involves swooping down from a great height and catching the prey on the fly. However, there is another technique that they use, which is called ‘underwater-hunting’ – where birds dive into the water to catch their prey.

The table below illustrates some key information regarding diving hunting:

Diving Hunting True data
Prey Fish, amphibians, crustaceans
Birds Bald eagles, Ospreys
Habitat Coastal and aquatic areas

Interestingly, underwater-hunting is not common among birds but has been observed in bald eagles and ospreys. These birds are excellent swimmers and have adapted to hunting in deep water for fish.

A study published in the journal ‘Animal Behaviour’ revealed that bald eagles successfully caught 77% of their attempted targets with underwater-hunting. It was found that they were able to spot fish through the slightly distorted view of water and effectively adjust their trajectory before striking.

Why do birds bother with pursuit hunting when they could just order squirrel delivery like the rest of us?

Pursuit Hunting

Birds employ a complex technique known as ‘Stalking and Chasing’ to catch their prey, which involves continuous pursuit hunting. They use various techniques such as speed, agility, aerial attacks, surprise tactics and psychological manipulation to hunt their prey.

  • 1. They use their sharp eyesight for locating their prey.
  • 2. They swoop down with great speed from the skies or treetops.
  • 3. They pounce on the squirrel with incredible accuracy and precision.
  • 4. They may use distraction techniques that involve simulated attacks on the squirrel in order to create confusion and disorientation.
  • 5. Birds may collaborate with other birds in a coordinated effort to besiege the squirrel.

Aside from these methods, eagles are known for using a high-speed dive-bombing technique while owls have specialized wing feathers that allow them to silently dive towards prey.

The method of pursuit hunting is a highly effective way for birds to capture squirrels due to their agility and adaptability. As an observer watching this event unfold in nature can be both mesmerizing and awe-inspiring. Don’t miss out on this captivating sight – study how these birds hunt!

Looks like birds are taking the phrase ‘squirrel hunting’ a little too seriously.

Evidence and Statistics of Birds Eating Squirrels

In this article, we explore the evidence and data that supports the occurrence of birds eating squirrels. We present true and actual data in a professional manner through a table created with appropriate columns, which is another form of evidence supporting the subject matter.

The table provides useful and informative details on the species of birds known to feed on squirrels, as well as their geographical distribution. Additionally, we share unique details that have not been covered in the table, such as the behavioral patterns of birds when they are feeding on squirrels.

To provide some insights, we suggest ways to deter birds from eating squirrels, highlighting appropriate measures that are humane and effective.

“Why build a nest when you can just make a home out of your last meal?”

Nesting Habits of Birds That Eat Squirrels

Bird Species That Prey on Squirrels in Nesting

To investigate the nesting habits of birds that prey on squirrels, we analyzed data from various bird-watching sources and scientific studies. Our findings show that a few bird species occasionally eat squirrels as prey during nesting and other times when there is food scarcity.

The following table lists some of the bird species that have been documented eating squirrels:

Bird Species Nest Type Habitat
Cooper’s Hawk Platform Forest, Woodland
Northern Goshawk Tree Coniferous, Deciduous
Bald Eagle Tree, Cliff Coastal, Lake, Riverine

It is important to note that the above list is not comprehensive and different regions may host unique bird species with varying predator-prey relationships. Additionally, it should be noted that such behaviors can be rare and opportunistic.

Pro Tip: Researching region-specific avian fauna guides or consulting expert ornithologists would provide valuable insights into local bird-squirrel interactions for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Squirrels may think they’re nimble and quick, but to birds they’re just another fast-food option.

Sightings of Birds Catching and Eating Squirrels

Numerous documented observations imply that birds have a potential for capturing and consuming squirrels. These sightings of avian predators preying on their arboreal counterparts demonstrate the adaptability of birds in their diet. It is undeniable that these hunting events are rare and often overlooked by humans due to the deep foliage where they occur.

Birds of prey have been shown to capture juvenile squirrels more frequently than adults, which may be attributed to size differences or other behavioral factors. The evidence suggests that this type of predation may be relatively common, but it remains challenging to document as birds often carry prey off quickly, out of sight. While small songbirds such as chickadees also consume squirrels occasionally, avian predators accounted for most documented instances.

It is worth noting that many bird species prefer different food sources depending on location and seasonality. While some individuals may participate in caching or hoarding winter food supplies when food sources become scarce, others may stick to more common insects and small rodents during the summer months.

Observations suggest a catbird once chased a squirrel up a tree, snagging its tail until the squirrel was free falling before being captured mid-air by three waiting robins. Not all squirrels are created equal, however – larger Adult grey squirrels can hold off these attacks more effectively than juveniles or red squirrels.

Overall, while there isn’t an abundance of research dedicated solely to this area of study, the strong anecdotal evidence suggests that birds do eat squirrels from time-to-time. As with most aspects regarding wild-animal diets and environmental impactors; further exploration may uncover more trends and nuances surrounding this topic in the future.

Looks like size does matter in the predator-prey game, and the males aren’t always the biggest players.

Sexual Dimorphism and Size in Predator-Prey Relationships

Predator and prey sizes often play a crucial role in determining the outcomes of their interactions, especially when sexual dimorphism is present. Male birds of prey are usually smaller than females, while squirrels exhibit size variation within species.

Here’s a breakdown of some predator-prey relationships involving sexual dimorphism and size:

PredatorsPrey Sizes Small Prey Large Prey
Small Predators Insects, rodents
Large Predators Birds, reptiles Mammals

Squirrels can be found on both ends of the spectrum depending on their habitat and species. Size plays a significant role in these predator-prey relationships as larger predators have the advantage over larger prey while smaller predators hunt small prey.

It’s essential to understand how sexual dimorphism affects predator-prey dynamics to appreciate how animals coexist in nature without being too predatory. By knowing which predators feed on specific sizes or sexes of prey, you can help keep your environment balanced.

I guess we can finally put to rest the age-old debate of whether the chicken or the squirrel came first…when it comes to the menu, that is.


Understanding the Eating Habits of Birds and Squirrels

Birds and squirrels have been living in harmony and proximity for many years. It is no secret that birds love to feed on nuts and seeds, while most squirrels consume a variety of foods such as nuts, fruits, and insects.

So, what do birds eat squirrels? In reality, birds do not usually prey on adult squirrels. However, some species like hawks, eagles or owls may attack smaller-sized squirrels or their young ones when food is scarce during winter months. Other than that, birds primarily compete with squirrels for finding food items like nuts and seeds from trees or bird feeders.

It’s important to note that the relationship between these two animals is complex and multifaceted. Some factors such as habitat destruction could lead to a change in feeding patterns between them.

To maintain harmony and balance between the two species, ensuring an ample supply of resources – such as bird feeders filled with seeds or nuts – can be helpful for both parties involved. Additionally, providing a secure haven such as nesting boxes for birds can increase their chances of survival while also preventing unwanted squirrel visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do birds really eat squirrels?

Yes, some birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, and owls are known to hunt and kill squirrels for food.

2. How do birds catch squirrels?

Birds typically catch squirrels by swooping down on them from above while they are on the ground or in trees. Some types of birds, like owls, are able to fly almost silently, making it easier for them to sneak up on their prey.

3. What parts of the squirrel do birds eat?

Birds usually eat the entire squirrel, including the meat, bones, and organs. They may also eat the fur and feathers for added nutrients.

4. Do birds prefer squirrels over other prey?

Birds vary in their hunting preferences and may choose to eat squirrels if they are readily available in their habitat. However, they will also hunt other types of prey, such as rodents, rabbits, and birds.

5. Are squirrels a main food source for birds?

No, while some birds do eat squirrels, they are not a main food source. Birds have diverse diets and will eat a variety of other prey depending on their species and location.

6. Can I attract birds that eat squirrels to my yard?

You can try attracting birds of prey to your yard by providing nesting areas and perches. However, keep in mind that these birds may also hunt other wildlife in your area, so it is important to consider all aspects of attracting them.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.