What Does a Squirrel Eat in the Wild?
One question you may be asking is what does a squirrel eat in the real world. There is no specific answer, but we do know that they eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Besides eating vegetables, squirrels also gnaw wood and plastic. These are the things you may want to keep in mind when providing a squirrel with a home. In the wild, squirrels eat up to 80g of food a day.
Grey squirrels eat 80g to 80g of food per day
While most squirrels are well-balanced, they can fall prey to excesses of some types of food. Fruits, for instance, can be harmful to squirrels if they eat too much, since they cannot absorb the calcium in the fruit. It is best to limit fruit intake during the summer and fall, since these are the months when squirrels consume the most amounts of fruit.
The food intake of grey squirrels varies according to season and availability of insects. A recent BBC Winterwatch show tested the behavior of both types of squirrels. Red squirrels quickly investigated the nut feeder after a few seconds, but Greys took nearly 12 seconds to investigate it. The BBC concluded that Red squirrels were less neophobic than Greys, but the experiment was not based on data from the wild.
Red squirrels eat 18g (0.6 oz.) per day
In the wild, red squirrels eat a wide variety of foods, including nuts, acorns, seeds, fruit, and shoots. They need supplementary feeding in the spring and fall, as their diets change throughout the year. During winter, red squirrels need to be fed before summer fruits begin to ripen. They also need to be fed throughout the winter, so they will not visit your garden daily.
Fungi are among the most important sources of protein and energy for Red squirrels. They are easily found, rich in nitrogen and minerals. These fungi are particularly important for their diet in summer and autumn. They differ in importance, depending on the habitat of the squirrels. For example, the English and Finnish Red squirrels spend 90 percent of their winter searching for the tree fungus Vuilleminia, which grows under dead oak trees. Peter Lurz notes that Reds and greys eat a variety of fungi, including the infamous false truffles.
Squirrels eat a variety of vegetables
In the wild, squirrels eat several types of vegetables. They can eat both whole plants and vegetables in their leaves and buds. They prefer to eat the tender parts of vegetables, such as buds and flower bulbs. In addition to fruits, squirrels can consume suet, which consists of rendered animal fat, grains, and dried insects. Listed below are some of the vegetables and fruits that squirrels enjoy.
In the wild, squirrels eat many different types of plants, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fungi. They also eat meat and insects, but not dairy products. Pet food is another source of food for squirrels. Although squirrels tend to eat meat, they can also eat vegetables and fruits, especially when they are in danger of starving. Squirrels are omnivores, but they are still a favorite of people because they like the taste of nuts and fruits.
They gnaw through wood and plastic
It is possible to make a deck squirrel-proof by wrapping the edges with hardware cloth or aluminum flashing. But if you are concerned that squirrels will chew through your deck, you must first understand what they are actually doing. While wood will encourage them to chew, you can try to keep your deck a squirrel-proof zone by using stainless steel or other hard metals. Squirrels will find something simpler to chew on, like a nearby branch. And don’t forget to keep your pet dog close, he or she will chase away any squirrels that come too near your house.
The word squirrel comes from the Latin gnaw, which means to gnaw. The rodents in our yards are not as friendly as we would hope. Squirrels can be quite destructive if they get into your home, so you may want to consider hiring a professional pest control service to protect your property. Squirrels may seem cute and harmless, but the truth is that they can damage your home in a very short time.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.