Squirrel has different species, such as flying, gray, and ground squirrels. Most species of squirrel can be found on the ground or in the treetops to mate or forage for foodstuffs and nuts. On the other hand, Eastern chipmunk, another species of squirrel, is considered ground dwellers.
It cannot be denied that farmers are the main enemies of squirrels as they are considered pests in agriculture. Different species of squirrel live in various habitats, putting them at risk for different animals that could kill and eat them.
In this post, we are going to provide you a list of animals that eat a squirrel. Read on to know more about it.
Eagles, Bobcats, and Foxes
One of the species of squirrel, which is known as the eastern grey squirrel, can be found on the ground. This is because it is foraging flowers, buds, seeds, and acorns. The eastern grey squirrel can be found in some parts of the United States. This means susceptibility to several predators, including the gray and red fox species.
This species of squirrel is available in hardwood forests around the US. Eagles that came from Northern California is also a danger for squirrels.
Dogs and Cats
Even though dogs and cats are listed to be one of the squirrel’s predators, they won’t eat it unless they are hunting in the wild. Aside from that, although cats and dogs eat some species of squirrel, their hunting method is not as effective as the other squirrel predators that could reduce the overall populations of squirrels.
Weasels, Raccoons, Snakes, and Coyotes
A particular species of squirrel known as a woodchuck is a common prey for coyotes. This is because woodchucks are considered a groundhog because of foraging on clover and grasses. Aside from that, weasels and raccoons are also considered as an eater of any species of squirrel. But take note that the two mentioned predators only eat species of squirrels that are only available in the area they live in.
On the other hand, another biggest and threatening predator for squirrels is the rattlesnake. Rattlesnake eats ground squirrels present in Northern California because they are foraging for food that is available in a burrow and dense woods.
Owls and Hawks
The Spermophilus tridecemlineatus or also known as the lined ground squirrel that can be found in agricultural lands, prairies, and fields in mid-Western states, including Minnesota, are the number one prey for large-sized birds.
Ground squirrels that are feeding on insects and acorns can easily swoop down by flying owls and hawks. Just like the squirrels, hawks have different species, such as the cooper’s hawk and the red-tailed hawk. Besides that, other owls can also be the greatest predators of squirrels, including the barred owl and the great horned owl.
Although parasites do not eat squirrels, they are still considered as a predator for the said animal. Like the other animals out there, squirrels are also prone to different skin diseases, and parasites are known to be fatal. This means that it can alter the population of squirrel species.
One of the known parasites for squirrels is the scabies mite. Once it gets into the squirrel’s skin, it can result in mange, which leads the squirrel to scratch its body until it is hairless and bleeding. Considering the scratches caused by the mite, squirrels cannot fight back the predators coming for them.
Another fatal parasite is the warble fly. These parasites lay eggs in the tree barks. The eggs larvae and can be transferred to the skin of the squirrel.
Squirrels are small. Considering their size, there are lots of bigger or small animals that could eat them, including the predators we mentioned above. When there is a constant eating of squirrel, there is a reduction to its overall population.
Squirrels are weak. This means that they are not capable of fighting back against the animals preying on them. Take note that the eaters of predators will depend on the squirrel’s habitat and species. Keep in mind that different species of squirrel have different areas to live in. Most species of squirrels can be found in the forests of the United States.