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Do squirrels eat birds? - Are squirrels omnivores?

We do not need an entire article to answer this question. And you certainly do not want to read 1200 words for the answer. You cannot find honesty like this anywhere else, so at least say thank you by subscribing to our site?

A red squirrel eats on a bird feeder.
Red squirrels, like this adorable individual, can be adventitious predators.

Want to deter squirrels? Check out our post on preventing squirrels from raiding your feeders!

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Will squirrels eat birds?

Want a short and succinct answer? Yes, squirrels will eat birds. Squirrels, like many mammals, are opportunistic omnivores. This means that squirrels typically only eat plant matter, but when presented with the opportunity to get vitamins, minerals, and animal proteins, will take advantage of a vulnerable animal. It is not a pretty thought or sight, but nature is always trending toward disorder and chaos. Such is life... and death.

See? Short and sweet! Unless you have more questions...


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Check out these "squirrel-proof" bird feeders!

*No feeder can be completely squirrel-proof.


Do squirrels eat baby birds?

If you imagine nature as a Disney movie, movie along. If you want the truth, stay right here. As we mentioned above, squirrels are opportunistic omnivores. They eat foods outside of their typical diet when presented with an easy option. Baby birds, in the nest and recently fledged, are easy targets for squirrels. Squirrels see these vulnerable birds as a quick source of calcium, protein, and many other vitamins and minerals. It is a gruesome truth, but yes, squirrels, chipmunks, etc will eat baby birds.

Baby Mountain Chickadee
Baby Mountain Chickadee

Birds that nest in conifers in the Rocky Mountains are frequently invaded by red squirrels. Baby Mountain Chickadees, like the one pictured above, struggle to fly when they initially fledge. Until they perfect flying, they struggle to escape from acrobatic mammalian predators like squirrels.


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The video below shows a squirrel eating what appears to be a small songbird. The video may be graphic to some viewers, so please use your best judgment.

Do squirrels eat bird eggs?

We think you see the trend that is within this post. Do we really need to answer?

Squirrels, chipmunks, and ground squirrels WILL eat bird eggs. Eggshells are especially important for squirrels and other rodents due to the calcium found within the shell. Additionally, the fats and proteins inside the egg are highly desired by squirrels.

American Robin nest
American Robin nest

American Robin nests are frequently found and raided by fox squirrels. In many parts of the country, fox squirrels are actually introduced and can create a problem for local bird populations.


See also: How to deter squirrels



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A squirrel proof double suet feeder for woodpeckers and nuthatches.

Do other animals eat baby birds and destroy their nests?

Yikes. This post is becoming quite morbid. Dare we continue? In the name of education, I guess we must.

Here is a list of unusual animals commonly found eating or destroying bird eggs and baby birds:

  • Snakes

  • Deer

  • Blue Jays

  • Steller's Jays

  • Parents of the nest

  • Raccoons

  • Ants

  • House Sparrows

  • Common Grackles

  • Brown-headed Cowbirds

  • Woodpeckers

  • House & Feral Cats

Quite a few surprises in that list, eh? Woodpeckers frequently eat the brains of baby birds (crying emoji), and Blue Jays OFTEN are found to pick off poorly fledged birds. What was the biggest surprise for you? Leave a comment in the comment section!

This is a sad post. We need something to cheer us up, so here is a funny bird GIF. Laugh, and remember to trust nature's process.

Want to learn how to deter birds from your bird feeders? Check out our post on squirrel repellant!

How else do squirrels impact birds?

Yes, squirrels are a surprising predator of many species of birds. But this complicated relationship does not stop at predator and prey. The red squirrel, for example, is a known competitor to birds that eat pinecone seeds and other tree seeds/nuts. In fact, in a few sky islands in Idaho, where red squirrels never established a population, a new species of crossbill was discovered. Without the competition of squirrels, these crossbills developed some characteristics that allowed them to be described from other Red Crossbills. Thus, the Cassia Crossbill was discovered and named. These few sky islands are the only locations where these crossbills are regularly found.


Squirrels play an important role in the ecosystem. Not only do they help plant trees through their seed cacheing and burying, but they play the role of an adventitious predator that preys on small birds when the opportunity arises. This should not be considered problematic, as squirrels are a natural player in the wide world of animals. However, several species of squirrels have been introduced to areas where they are not native. This has added a new pressure to those birds that have not been able to undergo a long-term adaptation to these predators. As with many wildlife issues, humans caused this problem, and it is likely up to humans to try to correct this error.

Feeling squirrely? Go read another flocking article!


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