what do rattle snakes eat

What Do Rattlesnakes Eat?

Rattlesnakes are a group of venomous snakes, found in North and South America. They are known for their distinctive warning rattle that can be heard from far away. But what do rattlesnakes actually eat? Let’s find out.

Foods Eaten by Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes are carnivorous, meaning that they eat only animals and not plants. Their diet primarily consists of:

  • Mammals – They hunt small mammals such as mice, rats, and squirrels.
  • Birds – Rattlesnakes sometimes eat small birds, such as quails and hummingbirds.
  • Lizards – Rattlesnakes catch lizards such as geckos and skinks.
  • Insects – Rattlesnakes will consume insects, including crickets and grasshoppers.

Rattlesnakes have a varied diet, supplementing their meat-based diet with eggs and amphibians, such as frogs and salamanders.

How Do Rattlesnakes Hunt?

Rattlesnakes hunt using their keen sense of smell and heat-sensing pits. They will use their tongue to pick up scents from the air, which they then follow to the source.

When a rattlesnake gets close enough to its prey, it will strike quickly and inject its powerful venom. This disables the prey, making it safe for the rattlesnake to consume.


Rattlesnakes are carnivorous predators that feed on small mammals, birds, lizards, insects, eggs, and amphibians. They hunt by using their sense of smell and heat-sensing pits. Now you know what rattlesnakes eat, so be sure to keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures when out in nature!

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