Chipmunks are known to everyone as cute and fuzzy little creatures that like to snack on fruits, nibble some nuts, and store heaps of acorns for when they hibernate in the winter. Think of Alvin and the Chipmunks, for example. However, that’s not entirely true.
Chipmunks are actually omnivores, not herbivores, as many believe. This means that along with the fruits and nuts, chipmunks would regularly eat meat, too.
This brings us to our key question: Do chipmunks kill birds? In short, yes. Chipmunks feed on eggs, baby chicks, and sometimes adult birds. However, chipmunks aren’t exactly the best hunters. So let’s explain how this happens exactly.
If you’ve ever seen a little chipmunk up close, you’d never imagine it as a predator — And we don’t blame you. Its tiny teeth, small jaws, and little claws don’t exactly scream vicious hunter. But you’re not completely wrong, though.
Chipmunks can’t run after their prey and hunt it down like cats. Instead, they’re known to be nest raiders. Chipmunks would raid the nests of all types of birds when the adult bird is not guarding it.
They take advantage and eat the unattended eggs or baby birds that can’t fly away yet. If the adult bird comes back to protect its nest, it might get killed. That way, the chicks would be left without a mother and, consequently, they would still die.
That is why when chipmunks raid a nest, the mother bird saves itself. It could later try to nest again somewhere else that is safer.
However, that’s not the only scenario where chipmunks feed on adult birds. Another option for chipmunks to prey on adult birds, which is much more common, is to eat road-kill birds. You’re more likely to notice this happen than seeing a chipmunk eat an adult bird in a nest.
If you have a bird nest around your house or in a tree in your garden, you’ll need to ensure that it’s safe from any chipmunks or other predators that might eat the eggs.
Mother birds leave their nests unattended from time to time to get food and water. That’s when nest raiders, like chipmunks and squirrels, run to eat the eggs out of the nest.
To prevent that from happening, you could build a little birdhouse or a wooden box with four walls for the birds to nest in and protect their babies. Just remember to leave an opening that’s big enough for the adult bird to fly in and out of the birdhouse.
For extra protection, you could add a greasy material on top of the box and on the sides to prevent any rodents from crawling over the box and stealing the eggs.
Although Moles have multiple predators trying to catch them, chipmunks aren’t one of them. In fact, chipmunks and moles are grouped in the same category when people notice holes in their gardens.
That’s because the only way moles could protect themselves is by living underground, hence the holes in your garden. Chipmunks follow the same escape plan, along with climbing trees and hiding between the branches.
Moles are usually preyed upon by bigger predators, such as snakes, foxes, and coyotes. They’re also targeted by owls, hawks, weasels, and many more predators. All of which will try to dig up the moles and eat them. However, chipmunks are too small to be on that list.
Rats are almost the same size as moles, if not bigger, and they’re much faster. For that reason, chipmunks can’t kill rats. In fact, it could be the other way around. Rats are known to prey on many different animals, no matter the species. That includes little mammals like chipmunks.
On the other hand, chipmunks would occasionally feed on rat’s smaller relatives; mice. Since mice are relatively small in size and much slower than chipmunks, they are easily hunted by chipmunks.
In fact, chipmunks are known to be nature’s most efficient small rodent inhibitor. Since they’re considered natural predators of mice, chipmunks can effectively hunt down all mice and eat several ones within a week.
Aside from birds and mice, there are other creatures that chipmunks eat regularly, which might come as a surprise to you. Typically, a chipmunk’s menu would include:
Insects are one of the easiest prey for a chipmunk. Their size is perfect for a tiny predator like a chipmunk. They’re relatively easy to catch. And last but not least, most of them are practically harmless.
Worms are an even easier prey to find and eat than insects. Worms are great for chipmunks, especially earthworms, because they have plenty of nutrients and protein.
Another easy prey is snails. Chipmunks could easily crack open a snail’s shell with their teeth and eat the snail the same way they’d eat an acorn. So although chipmunk teeth aren’t the best for hunting, they’re perfect for this job.
Other creatures that are relatively easy to handle and chipmunks enjoy eating are frogs. This one might not make sense at first, because frogs can jump away from their predators and save themselves.
However, most frogs aren’t big enough to escape from their predators. So the smaller frogs can easily end up as a chipmunk’s dinner.
Chipmunks are actually omnivores, as opposed to what most people believe. So it’s normal for them to eat both plants and meat. Not because they’re vicious predators per se, but because it’s simply their means of survival.
So if you’re aware of any bird nests around your house or in your garden, remember to protect them from chipmunks, or else they might raid that nest and eat the eggs.
Meanwhile, if you have insects, worms, or snails ruining the flowers and plants in your garden, chipmunks would be more than happy to help you out with that.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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