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Do Squirrels Eat Chipmunks? (Read This First!)

Nature is both beautiful and brutal. The balance of biodiversity, the existence of certain species is dependent on the demise of another. So, when you accept mother nature’s magnificence, you should also be prepared for the harsh reality.

Chipmunks are charming, shy creatures, and don’t bother anyone that often, yet they have the most difficult lives. Let’s take a peek at the life of chipmunks.

Do squirrels eat chipmunks?

Mother Nature is a firm believer in the survival of the fittest. Because of their tiny stature, chipmunks are particularly defenseless and attractive prey for a variety of predators. Squirrels are not famous for their carnivorous diet, although they do occasionally go after chipmunks and eat.

It is not normal for squirrels to eat chipmunks. But they do so. But do all types of squirrels eat chipmunks? Let’s find out.

Red squirrels:

These squirrels are the most aggressive of the bunch. They will grow up to 17 to 21 inches and weigh almost 350g, whereas a fully grown adult chipmunk will weigh only 30 to 90g.

Red squirrels fight for food, territory, and their aggressive nature always leads to the most devastating scenario. Red squirrels will infiltrate chipmunk’s territory, hunt babies and adult chipmunks.

Gray squirrels:

These squirrels have a bad reputation when it comes to their diet. They are seen to eat birds and sometimes resort to cannibalism.

Gray squirrels have a horrible appetite, they will destroy fruit, flowers, trees, vegetables, and cause harm to wooden structures. These squirrels will eat chipmunks and all sorts of animals.

Black squirrels:

You can call them genetically mutated gray squirrels or tree squirrels with black fur. They are more aggressive and even more destructive than gray squirrels.

Black squirrels are quite rare and their territory may not overlap with chipmunks but if they do, they may chase, hunt, and eat the chipmunk.

Ground squirrels:

These squirrels are less aggressive compared to the red and gray squirrels. However, they have a remarkable appetite and hibernate in winter, so they won’t say no to any easy prey.

Ground squirrels may not climb up in the trees looking for food, therefore an encounter with a chipmunk is highly doubtful; nonetheless, if the chipmunk trespasses in ground squirrel territory, they may end up in the squirrel’s tummy.

Do squirrels eat baby chipmunks?

Yes, squirrels eat baby chipmunks. The squirrels are known for their aggressiveness and occasionally following omnivores’ diets.

When there is sufficient food, they will consume fruits, nuts, and seeds; when there isn’t enough, they will hunt animals and bugs.

Now it’s easier for the squirrels to go after baby chipmunks as they don’t have the stamina and strength to defend themselves or run away.

Even when the baby chipmunks are with their parents, a squirrel can easily chase & separate them, and devour the baby chipmunk at ease. There is nothing to do for the chipmunk’s parents other than being a spectator.

Are chipmunks afraid of squirrels?

Yes, chipmunks are afraid of squirrels. Actually, chipmunks are almost afraid of everything.

They don’t have thick scales like armadillos, nor have any spit or spray-like skunk, in other words, chipmunks don’t have anything to fight or defend against an enemy.

Now imagine a 6-inch chipmunk is up against a 20-inch squirrel, it will be terrifying. A squirrel being territorial, aggressive, and having the appetite to devour smaller animals, chipmunks are more than frightened while facing any squirrel.

Do squirrels and chipmunks get along?

No, squirrels and Chipmunks don’t get along at all. They have uncanny resemblances and follow a similar diet but that doesn’t make them friends.

In the wild, a squirrel will treat chipmunks as a threat. Moreover, the chipmunks & squirrels have to compete for both territories and food.

If they were dependent on each other or chipmunks had the same height and weight as the squirrel only then they might have gotten along.

Animals don’t want to fight and injure themselves, if there is a peaceful and beneficial solution for both parties they take it. However, in the case of squirrels and chipmunks, there isn’t any benefit in getting along.

Why do squirrels chase chipmunks?

Squirrels are highly territorial animals. They will mark their territory in a very distinctive way like wiggling their tails, spreading their scent. If any other squirrel or chipmunk trespass in their area it may escalate into a fight.

A squirrel will defend its territory against another squirrel but a chipmunk won’t be able to put up that much of a fight.

So if a chipmunk trespasses into a squirrel area, it will end up in a chase, as it’s better for the chipmunks to run from a bigger and more aggressive opponent otherwise the encounter may prove to be too fatal for the chipmunk.

Who would win in a fight a chipmunk or a squirrel?

In a fight between chipmunks and squirrels, it’s more likely that a squirrel will win. Chipmunks with their short stature and no natural defense against any sort of blows or bite will be vulnerable in a fight with a squirrel.

The squirrels have a great advantage due to their large build, also the fat layered up underneath their skin will absorb most of the hit, so internal organs and bones will be safe.

Chipmunks don’t have the bite force nor possess the aggressiveness to win a fight against squirrels. On the other hand, squirrels are aggressive, occasionally hunt small animals for food, and have a bad reputation for being chipmunk hunters.

What is the difference between squirrel and chipmunk?

Squirrels and chipmunks are not same. In fact they have many differences. Let’s get to know them.


there is a huge difference in size between squirrels and Chipmunks. A chipmunk may grow up to 5 to 13 inches, whereas a squirrel will get quite big, almost 12 to 20 inches.

Because of the size difference, squirrels get a huge advantage when it comes to surviving in harsh conditions.


Most of the time, both squirrels and Chipmunks may follow a herbivorous diet but they are omnivores. So the usual menu would be seeds, nuts, fruits, flower buds, and similar things.

However, a squirrel and Chipmunks might go after tiny animals and bugs when there is a food shortage. Squirrels will eat eggs, little snakes, and even hunt chipmunks.

Food storage:

chipmunks have a remarkable habit of storing food and this gives them the extra edge on surviving harsh conditions, on the other hand, squirrels will prefer eating and stuffing their body with extra fat instead of storing food.

So it’s clear that a chipmunk’s and squirrel’s psychology are completely opposite when it comes to planning for the future.  

Vocal sound:

the chipmunks have a high-pitched voice which may sound like bird chirps. The squirrel, having a larger and developed vocal cord, can produce its own distinctive call ‘squeak’.


Squirrels are known for hibernating in winter. A ground squirrel will go into hibernation for almost 3 months, that’s one of the primary reasons why squirrels are too much into eating instead of saving food.

The chipmunks won’t go into hibernation, they save up food in spring and summer and survive on it throughout the winter.


Squirrels have a large number of stripes on their back, they can reach up to 13 stripes, alternating brown and tan stripes.

The chipmunks will also have brown & tan stripes on their back, mostly 5 alternating strips. The squirrels have large numbers of stripes with short width and the chipmunks will have very few wider strips.

What is the natural predator of chipmunks?

Chipmunks are constantly aware of their vulnerability and work tirelessly to hide themselves, but when they leave their hiding spot in search of food, they end up in someone else’s stomach.

In the daylight, it will be hard for any animal, even little chipmunks, to hide itself from the keen eyes of a hawk and in the night, the owl will be the biggest threat for a chipmunk.

Snakes, raccoons, and wild cats will be able to hunt them no matter if it’s day or night. Foxes, dogs, and coyotes will hunt chipmunks when they’re in the ground.

Final thoughts

Squirrels do not hunt other animals and prefer herbivore diets, but when resources are scarce, they will eat chipmunks to survive. Chipmunks are highly vulnerable and easy food for a wide range of predators. As a result, chipmunks have a difficult time surviving in the wild.