Do Osprey Eat Squirrels?

Osprey is a type of hawk that is known to feast on fish. However, these birds are not afraid to branch out and will eat other types of animals, including squirrels.

Osprey has been known to dive into the water and snatch up squirrels that are swimming or wading nearby. While this behavior may seem violent, it is actually quite natural for these predators.

Yes, osprey does eat squirrels. In fact, they will eat just about any type of small mammal they can catch.

Osprey is particularly fond of squirrels because they are relatively easy to catch and provide a good source of protein.

Osprey with breakfast The osprey

What Animals Does Osprey Eat?

Osprey is a large, fish-eating bird of prey. They have black and white plumage, and their wingspan can reach up to 2.4 m (7.87 ft).

Osprey typically eats small to medium-sized fish, but they will also take rodents, reptiles, and even birds if given the opportunity.

Their diet varies depending on where they live; for example, Osprey in Alaska primarily eats salmon, while those in Florida focus more on catfish.

Do Osprey Eat Rodents?

Osprey is a type of raptor or bird of prey, and their diet consists mostly of fish. However, they will also eat other small animals if given the opportunity. This includes rodents such as mice and voles.

Osprey typically hunts by perching on a high spot and scanning the area for potential prey. When they see something that looks like a good meal, they will swoop down and snatch it up with their talons before flying off to enjoy their feast.

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While most ospreys prefer to stick to eating fish, there are some instances where rodents make up a significant portion of their diet.

One study found that in areas where fish were scarce, osprey resorted to eating more rodents in order to survive.

This is likely because rats and other small mammals are relatively easy to catch and provide enough nutrients to keep the bird going until it can find another meal.

So, while osprey typically doesn’t go out of their way to eat rodents, they will do so if necessary in order to stay alive.

If you see an osprey hunting near your home, be sure to keep an eye on your pets!

Do Osprey Hunt Land Animals?

Yes, osprey does hunt land animals. They are opportunistic hunters and will take whatever prey is available to them.

Small mammals such as rodents and rabbits are common targets, but they have also been known to take larger prey such as deer and elk.

Osprey typically perches in a high place and then swoops down on their unsuspecting victim.

Does Osprey Eat Birds?

Osprey is a type of raptor or bird of prey, and as such, they do indeed eat birds. In fact, osprey typically eats fish but will also hunt for small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians if necessary.

While hunting, osprey use their keen eyesight to spot their prey from high up in the sky before swooping down to catch it with their sharp talons.

Osprey usually eats their prey whole or tear it into smaller pieces before consuming it.

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Squirrel Versus Osprey

Do Hawk Eat Squirrels?

Hawks are predators and typically eat smaller prey items like rodents, reptiles, and birds. However, they are not above eating larger prey items if the opportunity presents itself. This means that yes, hawks can and do eat squirrels.

In fact, squirrels are one of the most common prey items for hawks. There are a few different ways that hawks can kill and eat squirrels.

Sometimes they will swoop down on them from above and snatch them up with their talons. Other times they will perch in a tree and wait for a squirrel to come close before grabbing it.

And sometimes they will even chase after a squirrel until it tires out and can be caught more easily.

Once a hawk has its prey in its talons, it will take it back to its nest or to a nearby perch to eat it. Hawks typically rip their prey apart with their beaks and then swallow the pieces whole.

So if you see a hawk with a squirrel in its claws, you can bet that eventually, that squirrel will end up as lunch!


Osprey is a type of bird that typically eat fish, but it will also eat other small animals if necessary. In one instance, an osprey was observed eating a squirrel.

The osprey grabbed the squirrel with its talons and then proceeded to fly up into a tree, where it ate the squirrel.

While this is not something that ospreys typically do, it shows that they are willing to eat other animals if necessary.

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