Two jackdaws getting ready to attack a a squirrel.

Why Do Birds Attack Squirrels? (The Main Reasons Why?)

Why do birds attack squirrels? Lots of people has posed this exact question to themselves. Birds are often thought of as creatures that simply fly around and do not attack other animals, but this is not always the case.

In fact, in some cases, birds will actually go out of their way to attack certain types of animals for no apparent reason at all. Let’s look at some reasons behind why some birds might choose to attack squirrels​​​​​​​

Why do birds attack squirrels?

There are many reasons why birds might attack a squirrel. One reason is that the bird may see the squirrel as a rival for food. Another reason is that the bird may think the squirrel is threatening its nest or young.

Birds may also attack squirrels out of instinct or because they are defending their territory. Whatever the reason, it’s usually not good for the squirrel when a bird decides to take it on!

What birds attack squirrels?

There are a variety of birds that will attack squirrels given the opportunity. Owls, hawks, and eagles are all predators of squirrels and often times these birds will take advantage of an injured or compromised squirrel. Additionally, crows and ravens are known to harass squirrels, picking at them and stealing their food.

Cardinals, blue jays and robins have also been known to attack squirrels on occasion. While most bird attacks on squirrels are not fatal, they can certainly be a nuisance for the small rodents.

Why do squirrels eat birds?

There are many reasons why squirrels might eat birds. One reason is that squirrels may invade bird nests and eat the eggs or chicks. This can happen when a squirrel finds a bird nest that is easy to get to, such as one that is located close to the ground. Another reason why squirrels might eat birds is because they are looking for food.

Squirrels are omnivores, which means that they eat both plant and animal matter. Birds and eggs can provide a good source of protein, and calcium for squirrels, so they may target them as a food source.

Are squirrels afraid of crows?

Crows are a bit smaller than squirrels, so it’s possible that the rodents see them as less of a threat. However, crows are known to be very smart and aggressive birds, that have been known to prey on rodents, so it’s likely that squirrels would be wary of them if they encountered them in the wild.

Do squirrels kill birds?

Squirrels are opportunistic omnivores, which means they will eat anything they can get their paws on. This includes small birds. While it’s not common for squirrels to actively hunt and kill birds, they will certainly take advantage of any opportunity that arises. In some cases, squirrels may even raid bird nests for eggs or chicks.

A gray squirrel and a nuthatch
Image by Robin Greenwood from Pixabay

Do squirrels eat baby birds?

Yes, they do, but it’s not common. Baby birds are a small and relatively easy prey for squirrels, so if they are available, the squirrels will likely snatch them up. However, there are other things that the squirrels would rather eat, so they usually don’t go out of their way to hunt down baby birds.

Do squirrels raid bird nests?

Birds build nests to raise their young, but these nests are also a valuable food source for other animals. Squirrels are known to raid bird nests and steal the eggs or chicks inside.

This behavior has been observed in many species of squirrels, including the eastern gray squirrel, red squirrel, Douglas squirrel, and California ground squirrel.

There are several theories about why squirrels raid bird nests. One theory is that they do it for the eggs, which are a high-quality source of protein and calcium.

Another theory is that they raid the nests to get at the young birds, which are an easy source of food. It’s also possible that squirrels raid nests as a way to protect their own territory from other animals.

Do squirrels eat crows?

Squirrels have been known to raid a crow’s nests, eat the eggs and the young. In fact, in a contest between a squirrel and a crow, the squirrel is likely to come out on top.

Crows are not their preferred prey, but if there is an easy opportunity, they will take it. The reason for this is that squirrels are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of any food source that is available to them.

Why do blackbirds attack squirrels?

There are many reasons as to why blackbirds attack squirrels, but the most popular reason is that the black birds are trying to protect their young. Blackbirds are known to be protective of their nests and offspring, and because squirrels are known to eat bird eggs and young chicks, the blackbirds see the squirrels as a threat.

Another reason is that the blackbirds are simply territorial and see the squirrels as a trespasser in their territory. Whatever the reason may be, it is clear that blackbirds do not like squirrels and will often attack them when they see them.

Do birds attack baby squirrels?

Some birds, such as hawks and eagles, are known to prey on small mammals, including squirrels. Other bird species are not typically considered predators of small mammals, but they may still opportunistically take advantage of an easy meal if one is available.

In general, it is probably best to assume that any bird could potentially attack a baby squirrel if the opportunity arises. This is particularly true if the baby squirrel is orphaned or otherwise vulnerable.​​​​​​​

A Parakeet attacking a squirrel.
Image by haim charbit from Pixabay

Do blue jays go after squirrels?

Blue jays are known to be territorial birds. They are known to protect their territory from other animals, including squirrels. It is unknown if blue jays actively hunt and eat squirrels, but it is likely that they do not. Instead, blue jays may simply scare away the squirrels from their territory.

Do chipmunks kill birds?

Chipmunks are small rodents that live in North America. They are related to squirrels, and they both belong to the family Sciuridae.

Chipmunks are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. Chipmunks may occasionally eat eggs or chicks, but they usually don’t kill adult birds.

What birds are squirrels afraid of?

There are many predators that squirrels need to be afraid of. Hawks, eagles, owls, and vultures can all make a quick meal out of a squirrel. These birds of prey are often seen soaring through the sky, scanning the ground for their next meal.

When a squirrel sees one of these birds overhead, it will usually take off in the other direction. If there is no way to escape, the squirrel will try to hide in a tree or under a bush.

Why do magpies chase squirrels?

Magpies are territorial birds and see squirrels as a threat to their territory. Magpies are smart and they know that if they can scare the squirrel away, then they will have the territory all to themselves.

They will often chase squirrels, sometimes even attacking them. Magpies may also see squirrels as a source of food, but this is not the primary reason they chase them.

Why do starlings chase squirrels?

There are many reasons why starlings chase squirrels. One reason is that they are territorial. Starlings will protect their nests and food from other animals, including squirrels. Squirrels can also be a nuisance to starlings by stealing their food.

A red-tailed hawk watching a bird.
Photo by David Morris on Unsplash

Will a hawk take a squirrel?

Hawks are opportunistic predators and will take whatever prey is easiest to catch. In the case of a squirrel, that may mean a slow-moving one or one that is out in the open. Squirrels are known to be quick and agile, so they may have a better chance at escaping if they stay in trees or in dense foliage.

However, hawks have sharp eyesight and can spot prey from great distances. So, even if a squirrel manages to escape the initial strike, it may not be safe for long.​​​​​​​

Can a squirrel fight off a hawk?

It depends on the size of the squirrel and the hawk, as well as the circumstances of the attack. Generally, larger squirrels have a better chance of defending themselves against hawks, but they can still be injured or killed if the hawk is determined to catch them.

Squirrels have been known to bite at hawks feet and even their legs in order to defend themselves, but this is not always effective. In some cases, large squirrels have been able to fend off attacking hawks.​​​​​​​ However, if the hawk is determined to catch the squirrel, it will likely succeed.​​​​​​​

Are squirrels a threat to birds?

In general, squirrels are not a major threat to birds. They may take an occasional egg or fledgling, but this does not usually have a significant impact on bird populations.

There are some cases where squirrels can be a bigger problem for birds, for example if there is a large population of squirrels in an area where there are also a lot of birds.

In these situations, the competition for food can be fierce, and squirrels may end up taking more eggs and nestlings than they would otherwise.

Do squirrels steal birds eggs?

Squirrels do in fact steal eggs from bird nests. This behavior has been observed in a number of different types of squirrels, including the red squirrel, the eastern gray squirrel, and the Douglas squirrel. One reason why squirrels may steal eggs is because they are looking for an easy meal – eggs are a good source of protein.

Additionally, if a nest is located near a tree trunk or other object that the squirrel can climb, it will be easier for the animal to snatch an egg. They usually go for the eggs of robins and crows, since they are smaller and easier to carry.


  • Vince S

    Meet Vince, the passionate founder and author of Learn Bird Watching, boasting 30 years of birding experience. With an unwavering mission to empower fellow bird enthusiasts, Vince shares invaluable wisdom and guidance. As a dedicated moderator and contributor to Quora's Bird Watchers' Club, he actively engages with the birding community, where his insightful answers have garnered over 440,000 views and over 2,670 upvotes. Whether you're a budding birder or a seasoned avian aficionado, his wealth of knowledge is at your service.

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