Do Squirrels Eat Meat? And The Reasons Why

by Derrick | Last Updated: June 30, 2021

Do squirrels eat meat? Yes, squirrels do eat meat.

The majority of a squirrel’s diet consists of nuts, seeds, fruit, insects and fungi like mushrooms that grow on trees. Squirrels do typically consume some type of vegetable matter throughout each day.

The bulk of a squirrel’s diet is plant protein; they are primarily herbivores, but they are not vegetarians; some would argue squirrels are omnivores.

This protein is found in nuts, seeds (such as sunflower seeds), vegetables, and fruits. But you would be mistaken if you think squirrels only eat nuts.

Meats often appear on the menu as the last option or as a desperation meal.

Yes, squirrels rely on a diverse macronutrient diet that consists of eating foods with abundant protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

Time of year plays a significant impact on what a squirrel is currently eating; for example, in the fall, nuts will be abundant, while in early spring, squirrels are more likely to subsist off of tree buds, insects, conifer tree cones, and young green vegetation that is just emerging for the year.

Squirrels located in rural areas will have a significantly different and usually more well-rounded diet than squirrels located in a densely populated city where traditional food items aren’t as abundant.

What Are Some Favorite Foods Of Squirrel?

– acorns

– apples

– beech nuts

– beechnuts

– burdock seed heads

– cedarcones and twigs from juniper trees

– pine seeds, oak buds, walnuts

Squirrels Are Omnivores

An omnivore is an animal that will eat both meat and plant matter as food.

Why Do Squirrels Eat Meat?

There are several reasons why squirrels will eat meat, squirrels are a creature of opportunity if certain meat sources are available they will often take advantage of the easy to obtain food.

A second reason may be due to a decline in available plant food, which forces squirrels to look at small animals and bird eggs.

Are Squirrels Considered a Predator?

So what is it exactly that makes an animal be classified as a predator? There’s no universal definition for predators, but they do have some common traits:

Predators are wild animals that hunt, or prey on, other animals called prey.

Predators are typically larger than their prey.

Predators generally have claws, teeth or other sharp structures that can be used to kill and tear the flesh of its prey.

Common prey for squirrels are insects, baby birds and sometimes baby mice.

Different Types of Squirrels What They Like To Eat?

Flying squirrels will eat just like other squirrels. They eat a lot of nuts and seeds, while also known to eat insects. This is especially true in some of the jungle regions.

An eastern grey squirrel will eat many of the common nuts and other foods that we already talked about; they are more familiar to eat baby birds, bird eggs, and insects.

You will often see red squirrels in conifer forests, and they will eat a lot of conifer cones, but they will even eat meat if the opportunity arises.

Ground squirrels and Chipmunks will often eat the same foods as other squirrels, such as nuts and conifer cones.

Are Squirrels Cannibalistic?

They can be! Squirrels have been known to eat their own young, but it’s unheard of for squirrels to eat other adult squirrels.

Squirrel Eating Frequently Asked Questions

Which squirrels eat the most meat?

Larger squirrels are more likely to eat small animals like mice, eggs, and small birds.

In fact, the amount of meat eaten by squirrels is likely influenced more by locations and seasons than by which type of squirrel.

Do squirrels eat raw meat?

Of course, like other meat-eating animals, they cannot cook food; they eat meat raw.

Do squirrels eat roadkill?

No, it is not common for squirrels to eat roadkill. Instead, roadkill is often eaten by scavenger birds and sometimes coyotes or wild/stray dogs.

Do squirrels eat bird eggs?

Yes, sometimes squirrels do eat eggs. In fact, you will often see bird nests with broken egg shells inside or on the ground below this is often squirrels using the bird eggs as a quick snack.

In conclusion, the jury is still out on this one, but it’s likely that squirrels eat meat sometimes. Squirrels are omnivores and they will eat whatever food they can find to survive. Until then, enjoy watching all of your local squirrels (or at least try not to get too frustrated when they raid your bird feeders).