What Eats Squirrels? (50 Animals with Pictures)

Examples of animals that eat squirrels include alligators, badgers, anacondas, owls, and eagles.

Squirrels, like other tiny animals, are subjected to a variety of predators. Squirrels have developed different defensive tactics in order to protect themselves from predators, but they remain easy targets. This is why squirrels tend to live longer in captivity than they do in nature.

What Eats Squirrels

Examples of Animals that Eat Squirrels

1. Alligators

Scientific NameAlligator
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSoutheast United States

Alligators are a common predator of squirrels in the southern United States. Alligators will eat just about anything they can catch, including squirrels. Squirrels are not their preferred prey, but alligators will eat them if they are available. Alligators usually kill their prey by crushing it with their powerful jaws.

2. American Badgers

Scientific NameTaxidea taxus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeIn the United States

Badgers are a common predator of squirrels in North America. They will readily eat any type of squirrel, including chipmunks, groundhogs, and prairie dogs. In fact, badgers have been known to kill and eat up to 100 different animals in a single year. While they do not typically hunt in packs, their large size and strength make them a formidable opponent for any prey.

3. Anacondas

Scientific NameEunectes murinus
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeSouth America

Found in the tropical rain forests of South America, anacondas are the largest snakes in the world. They can reach lengths of up to 30 feet and weigh over 200 pounds. Anacondas are ambush predators, lying in wait for their prey before attacking. Squirrels are a common food item for anacondas, but they will also eat reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

4. Barn Owls

Scientific NameTyto alba
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America, South America, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia

Barn owls are common throughout North America and Europe. They are nocturnal predators, meaning they hunt at night. Their primary prey is small rodents, including squirrels. Barn owls have very good eyesight and can spot a squirrel from a great distance. They also have a very distinctive call that helps them locate their prey in the dark.

5. Barred Owls

Scientific NameStrix varia
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada, Washington, Oregon and northern California

The barred owl is a large owl found in North America. They are the most common owl in the eastern United States. Barred owls mostly eat small mammals such as squirrels, but they will also prey on other birds, amphibians, and reptiles. They hunt at night and use their sharp talons to kill their prey.

6. Black Kites

Scientific NameMilvus migrans
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, Asia, Africa and Australia

Black Kites are a raptor or bird of prey. They live in many different parts of the world and feed on a variety of small animals, including squirrels. Black Kites usually hunt by soaring high in the air and looking for their prey below. When they spot something they want to eat, they swoop down and snatch it up with their talons. Black Kites are very adaptable and can live in a variety of different environments, including forests, grasslands, and even urban areas.

7. Bobcats

Scientific NameLynx rufus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Canada, down through the USA to northern Mexico

The bobcat is a North American wild cat that is about twice the size of a domestic cat. They are reddish brown to gray in color with black spots and stripes. Bobcats are excellent hunters and eat a variety of prey, including squirrels. They live in forests, brushlands, and deserts throughout North America.

8. Bull Snakes

Scientific NamePituophis catenifer sayi
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeUnited States and northern Mexico

The Bull Snake is a constrictor that is found in the United States. This snake is nonvenomous and eats a variety of animals, including squirrels. The Bull Snake lives in open habitats, such as prairies, fields, and deserts. These snakes are tan or light brown with dark blotches on their backs.

9. Buzzards

Scientific NameButeo buteo
Type of AnimalBird
RangeScandinavia south to the Mediterranean

The buzzard is a common predator of the squirrel. The bird swoops down and grabs the squirrel in its claws, then carries it off to eat it.

Related Article: Do Buzzard Hunt?

10. Coopers Hawk

Scientific NameAccipiter cooperii
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern Canada to Mexico

The Cooper’s hawk is a common predator of squirrels. This bird of prey typically preys on small mammals, including squirrels. The Cooper’s hawk has sharp talons and a powerful beak that it uses to kill its prey.

11. Coyotes

Scientific NameCanis latrans
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska southward into Central America, but especially on the Great Plains

The coyote is a common predator of squirrels. These animals are found in North and South America, as well as parts of Asia. Coyotes typically hunt in pairs or small groups, which makes it easier for them to take down larger prey. They will often target young or sick animals, but they are known to kill healthy adult squirrels as well.

12. Crocodiles

Scientific NameCrocodylidae
Type of AnimalReptile
Range tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas

Crocodiles are one of the main predators of squirrels. They are large, aggressive and have a voracious appetite. They will eat anything they can get their hands on, including squirrels. Squirrels are not fast enough to outrun a crocodile, and they are definitely not strong enough to fight them off.

13. Domestic Cats

Scientific NameFelis catus
Type of AnimalMammal

One of the predators that eat squirrels is domestic cats. Domestic cats live all over the world and come in many different shapes and sizes. They are known to be very opportunistic predators, which means that they will eat whatever is available to them. This includes small animals like squirrels.

14. Eagle Owls

Scientific NameBubo bubo
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, Asia, and northern Africa

Eagle owls are one of the main predators of squirrels. They are found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Eagle owls hunt by day and night. They use their sharp claws and beak to kill their prey.

15. Eagles

Scientific NameAccipitridae
Type of AnimalBird

Eagles are one of the top predators of squirrels. They typically prey on red and fox squirrels, which they can spot from high up in the sky. Once an eagle has targeted a squirrel, it will swoop down and grab the animal with its sharp talons. Eagles will then take their prey back to their nests, where they will eat it or feed it to their young.

16. European Badgers

Scientific NameMeles meles
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeBritish Isles, Europe, and Scandinavia

The European badger is a common predator of squirrels in the United Kingdom. In fact, one study showed that up to 60% of the diet of some badgers consisted of squirrels. The main reason that badgers hunt and eat squirrels is because they are an easy source of food.

17. Ferruginous Hawks

Scientific NameButeo regalis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada, through the western United States, and into northern Mexico

The Ferruginous hawk is a large Buteo hawk that preys on squirrels. These birds of prey are found in western North America, where they hunt in open country for small mammals such as rodents and rabbits. They will also take reptiles, birds, and insects.

18. Great Horned Owls

Scientific NameBubo virginianus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeUnited States, as well as in Alaska

Great horned owls are the most common predators of squirrels. They are found in North and South America and their diet consists mostly of small mammals such as squirrels. Great horned owls use their sharp talons and beaks to kill their prey before eating it whole.

19. Heron

Scientific NameArdeidae
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

Herons are large, wading birds that live near bodies of water. They are predators of many different animals, including squirrels. Herons eat squirrels by swallowing them whole.

20. Hog Badger

Scientific NameArctonyx collaris
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangenorth-eastern India and southeastern Bangladesh

These mammals are found in North America and parts of Central America. They are the size of a small dog and have a grizzled black and white coat. They feeds on insects, lizards, snakes, rodents, and carrion. The hog badger is one of the few predators that will attack adult squirrels.

21. Humans

Scientific NameHomo sapiens
Type of AnimalMammal

There are very few animals that will prey on healthy adult squirrels, but humans are one of them. Some people hunt and kill squirrels for sport, while others simply see them as a nuisance and want to get rid of them. In some cases, people may eat squirrels, either as a regular meal or as part of a traditional dish.

22. Javan Ferret-Badger

Scientific NameMelogale orientalis
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia

The Javan Ferret-Badger is a small mammal found in Southeast Asia. They are the only member of the badger family that is not considered a true carnivore, as they eat mostly insects, fruits, and vegetables. However, they have been known to eat rodents, including squirrels.

23. Largemouth Bass

Scientific NameMicropterus salmoides
Type of AnimalFish

The largemouth bass is a large fish that is found in North America. This predator can be found in different bodies of water, such as ponds, rivers, and lakes. The largemouth bass preys on small animals, such as squirrels. This predator hunts by stalking its prey before attacking.

24. Lizards

Scientific NameLacertilia
Type of AnimalReptile

One of the main predators of squirrels are lizards. Lizards will eat just about anything they can fit in their mouths, including squirrels. Some species of lizards that prey on squirrels include iguanas. These reptiles are found in a variety of climates, from tropical to desert regions.

25. Long-Eared Owls

Scientific NameAsio otus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethroughout the northern hemisphere

The long-eared owl is a nocturnal predator that feeds mainly on small mammals such as squirrels. This owl lives in North America, Europe, and Asia. The long-eared owl has excellent hearing which allows it to hunt prey in complete darkness. Its ears are so large that they cover most of its facial disk. These owls use their hearing to locate prey, then capture it with their sharp talons.

26. Magpies

Scientific NameGymnorhina tibicen
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, Asia, and western North America

Magpies are found in Europe, Asia, and North America. In the United States, they are most commonly found in the western states. Magpies typically eat small animals, such as rodents, birds, and lizards. They will also eat eggs and carrion. Squirrels are an easy target for magpies because they are small and not very agile.

Related Article: Are Magpies Annoying Animals?

27. Mongoose

Scientific NameHerpestidae
Type of AnimalMammal

Mongooses are carnivores and their diet consists of insects, crabs, small mammals, such as rats and squirrels, and reptiles. Mongooses are able to kill prey much larger than themselves. They live in Africa, Southern Asia, India, and some Caribbean islands.

28. Northern Goshawk

Scientific NameAccipiter gentilis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross northern America and Eurasia

The Northern Goshawk is a raptor that lives in North America, Europe, and Asia. These hawks are around two feet long with a six-foot wingspan. They have brown feathers with white stripes down their chest. The Northern Goshawk is the top predator of squirrels. They mainly eat birds, but will also eat rodents, including squirrels. They usually hunt from a perch, but can also fly low to the ground to catch their prey.

29. Northern White-Faced Owls

Scientific NamePtilopsis leucotis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAfrica, from Sahara edges to South West Africa

The northern white-faced owl is a predator of squirrels that is found in North America. This owl hunts during the day and night, and will eat any small animal it can find, including squirrels. The northern white-faced owl has sharp talons and beak that it uses to kill its prey.

30. Osprey

Scientific NamePandion haliaetus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCentral and South America

The osprey is a raptor, or bird of prey, found near large bodies of water throughout North America. They live primarily off fish, but will also eat other animals, including squirrels. Ospreys typically fly low over the water in search of prey, then swoop down to snatch it up with their talons.

31. Peregrine Falcons

Scientific NameFalco peregrinus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNew England south to Georgia

Peregrine falcons are perhaps the best known predators of squirrels. They are diurnal raptors that inhabit most parts of the world. They typically eat small to medium-sized mammals, but will also take birds, reptiles and insects. In North America, they prey mainly on American red squirrels and Douglas squirrels.

32. Pine Martens

Scientific NameMartes martes
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethroughout Canada, Alaska, and parts of the northern United States

Pine martens are one of the main predators of squirrels in Europe. They are known to prey on red squirrels, as well as other small mammals such as rabbits and weasels. Pine martens will also eat birds, insects, and fruits. They hunt by chasing their prey through the trees, or by waiting in tree branches for prey to pass below.

33. Polecats

Scientific NameMustela putorius
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWales and England

Polecats are a member of the weasel family and are found throughout most of Europe. They will readily take advantage of an easy meal, which a squirrel certainly is. In Great Britain, the polecat was once nearly extinct but has made a strong comeback in recent years.

34. Python

Scientific NamePython
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeAfrica, Asia, and Australia

There are a variety of predators that hunt and eat squirrels, but the python is particularly adept at catching them. Pythons live in tropical rain forests and wetlands, where they can easily ambush squirrels as they move through the trees. The snakes coil their bodies around the trunk of a tree and wait for the squirrel to come within reach.

35. Raccoons

Scientific NameProcyon lotor
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeNorth America

One of the most common predators of squirrels is the raccoon. Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, which means that they will eat just about anything they can find. This includes small rodents like squirrels. Raccoons typically live in forests and wooded areas, but they can also be found in urban areas.

More Examples of Animals that Eat Squirrels

  • Rattlesnakes
  • Red Foxes
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Seagulls
  • Snapping Turtles
  • Sparrowhawks
  • Stoats
  • Tawny Owls
  • Ural Owls
  • Weasels


There are a variety of animals that prey on squirrels, including birds of prey, large cats, and alligators. These predators have adaptations that make them successful in hunting squirrels. While some predators (like bears) are more dangerous than others, they all pose a threat to the population of squirrels.

Birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, and owls, are some of the most common predators of squirrels. These birds have sharp talons and beaks that help them to kill their prey. They also have keen eyesight, which allows them to spot squirrels from a distance.

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