Have you ever seen a hawk soar high in the sky or perched atop a tree branch and wondered what it was looking for? Have you ever thought, ”Do hawks eat squirrels?” A reasonable question – after all, squirrels are small enough to be quite vulnerable to birds of prey like hawks. In this blog post, we’ll discuss just that – do hawks eat squirrels? We’ll look at some facts about their diet habits and behaviors to help us answer this question once and for all! So if you’re wondering whether or not our feathered friends have been feasting on tiny rodents recently, stay tuned here as we take a closer look at the hunting talents of hawks. Let’s get started!

Introduction to Hawks

Hawks, who belong to the Accipitridae family of birds, are known for their impressive strength and flying abilities. They inhabit many habitats worldwide and have evolved to become effective hunters. The food source for hawks is other animals, commonly small mammals or birds.

In addition to that, they will also sometimes eat reptiles, fish, frogs, and even insects. Hawks typically hunt in open areas where they can spot potential prey from a distance. They swoop down and grab their target with their sharp talons before heading back to land to dine on it. These predators are known for taking down creatures much more extensive than themselves due to their immense strength, further amplifying their reputation as an awe-inspiring bird species.

Introduction to Hawks

Can Hawks Eat Squirrels?

Hawks are known for their impressive hunting skills, and interestingly enough, they have been observed to eat squirrels. In some regions of North America, hawks make up a significant part of the bird-of-prey population, and consumption of squirrels has been documented. This behavior is more likely among red-tailed hawks and is thought to help them meet their dietary needs without other food sources, such as rodents or small birds.

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However, it’s important to note that these predators rarely make a habit out of eating squirrels, preferring other food instead when available. This shows that even nature’s most skillful hunters typically use their abilities for survival rather than sport or leisure.

Can Hawks Eat Squirrels?

Do Hawks Attack Squirrels?

Hawks typically do not attack squirrels, as they primarily feed on larger animals such as rabbits, voles, and other rodents. However, this tendency may vary by species. Some raptors known to hunt grey squirrels include Cooper’s Hawks and Goshawks. While they can pursue smaller prey than introduced species, such as non-native Red Squirrels, these hawks only infrequently hunt squirrels due to their size compared to more common prey types.

While hawks generally opt for easier animals to capture from a predatory perspective, their dietary habits are flexible. Under certain circumstances, such as during times of famine or near nestlings during the breeding season, hawks may resort to hunting smaller mammals like squirrels to provide food for themselves or their young.

Do Hawks Attack Squirrels?

Do All Hawks Eat Squirrels?

Hawks are an incredibly varied group of birds, so it can be challenging to generalize their behavior. Some species of hawks do eat squirrels, while others do not. Generally speaking, larger species, such as the red-tailed hawk and great horned owl, will hunt smaller animals, including squirrels, when available. Smaller species, such as the sharp-shinned hawk, primarily focus on birds. Although most hawks generally steer clear of humans and do not actively seek out other animals. A hungry hawk may take what is available to survive during food scarcity.

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How Hawks Eat Squirrels?

Hawks are expert hunters and eat a variety of prey, including squirrels and catch their prey by soaring through the air looking for unsuspecting small animals. They can quickly and powerfully dive toward their target with deadly accuracy. After capturing the squirrel, they swallow it while in the air or take it back to the nest to eat. An adult hawk eats several squirrels daily and other smaller animals like rodents and rabbits.

How Hawks Eat Squirrels?

Do Hawks Like to Eat Squirrels?

Hawks are opportunistic eaters and prey on various small animals, including squirrels. They generally prefer to hunt smaller rodents like mice, but some hawks will target squirrels if they are abundant in their habitat. Hawks use their keen vision and powerful talons to catch their prey quickly, so it’s not uncommon for them to snack on the occasional squirrel that strays too close. However, squirrels are typically low on the list of preferred hunting targets for hawks because they offer less nutrition than a mouse or vole.

How do Squirrels Defend Themselves From Hawks?

Squirrels can defend themselves from hawks by hiding in dense vegetation, climbing trees, or seeking shelter underground. They also have a keen sense of hearing and can detect the sound of a hawk coming from far away. Additionally, some squirrel species can coat their fur with a bitter-tasting substance as a defense. While this may not always work against hawks, it can effectively defend against other predators.


1. What is the other diet of hawks except for squirrels?

Hawks typically feed on larger animals such as rabbits, voles, and other rodents. They may also eat birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and carrion.

3. Are hawks dangerous?

Most hawks are not considered dangerous, as they usually keep their distance from humans and are not known to attack. However, if a hawk feels threatened or is protecting its young, it may act aggressively. It is essential to exercise caution if you come across a hawk in the wild.

4. Do all hawks hunt squirrels?

No, not all hawks hunt squirrels. Generally, larger raptors such as the red-tailed hawk and great horned owl will hunt smaller animals such as squirrels. Smaller species, like the sharp-shinned hawk, tend to focus on birds instead.

5. Do different types of hawks eat different kinds of squirrels?

Different hawks can have other preferences for which type of squirrel to hunt. Generally, larger species of hawks, such as the red-tailed hawk or great-horned owl, will hunt larger species of squirrels, while smaller species may focus on smaller species of squirrels.


Hawks are expert hunters, and they can feed on a variety of small animals, including squirrels. They generally prefer to hunt smaller rodents such as mice and voles. However, if squirrels are abundant in their habitat, they may also opt to hunt them. Squirrels can defend themselves from hawks by hiding in dense vegetation, climbing trees, or seeking shelter underground.

Although, different types of hawks may also have other preferences for which type of squirrel to hunt. Ultimately, hawks and squirrels have a co-dependent relationship in which they benefit from the interaction.

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