What Do Raccoons Eat?

The type of food a raccoon eats is largely determined by its home and location. City raccoons will have a different diet than raccoons in the wilderness. Once we take these facts into consideration, we can begin discussing the different, and sometimes surprising, food preferences of a typical raccoon and where they go to get these meals. Continue reading to learn a few facts about raccoon diets, food preferences, and more.

City Raccoons

Raccoons in the city and urban areas have adapted well. They have dexterous paws and fingers that allow them to easily manipulate things and acclimate to changing environments. These raccoons can quickly gain access to garage doors, sheds, unlocked doors, latches, and more. They are relatively intelligent and acute mammals, so overcoming obstacles, such as closed doors, comes easier to them.

City raccoons, as mentioned before, can adapt well to changing weather and environments. This means they are accustomed to eating scraps found in dumpsters and trash cans all over the city and rural neighborhoods. If they find access inside a home, they will go directly for any food readily available; such as cereal boxes, sugar, cookies, anything in the refrigerator they can grab, pet food, garbage, and more. Although this isn’t a normal diet for a wild raccoon, or any animal for that matter, it has become the most reliable food source in these areas.

Wild Raccoons

Wild raccoons have a simpler palate. They generally dine on fish, small invertebrates, fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and many other foods found in nature. If living nearby water, raccoons will almost always use this as their main source of food. Anything they can grab from the water is a treat; such as salmon, carp, bluegill, frogs, crabs, crayfish, mollusks, worms, and even snakes.

Wild raccoons also use their nimble paws and fingers to steal eggs from bird nests and other hatchling grounds. They can pick their own fruit and vegetables, skim through chicken houses and raid farm crops. Raccoons are also known to catch and eat rodents, squirrels, and birds; they will even eat road-kill! They also enjoy a diet of berries, acorns, mushrooms, and plant life.

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