Do you like bird watching? Then if that is the case, you would enjoy squirrel watching as it has become a very inexpensive and fun hobby. Not to mention it is relaxing. If this is something you like to do, you will want to get a squirrel feeder to begin watching squirrels in your backyard. The first thing you will wonder is what you can feed squirrels, and the answer is that you can provide them almost anything. However, we can eat just about any edible thing as well. That does not mean it is good for you.
You know that high sugar, trans fat, and artificial ingredients are not suitable for you. That is why you will need to eat foods that contain more nutrients than that and foods that lack harmful components like those. The same idea applies when you feed squirrels. Let’s now find out what you can feed squirrels that will keep them healthy so you can watch them for a long time. However, before getting to the nitty-gritty of what to feed squirrels, let’s talk about the best way to provide them.
How Do You Feed Squirrels?
There are plenty of people who are not keen on feeding squirrels. However, there is no problem with doing so if you use a squirrel feeder to feed them. It is essential to remember that when you feed squirrels, you want to keep the feeder away from bird feeders firstly.
Squirrels tend to destroy bird feeders, and besides, bird food has no significant nutritional value for squirrels which is why you want to keep the feeders separate. If squirrels are going to their feeders, then they will not have a reason to find any attraction to bird feeders. You can keep both the squirrel and bird feeder in your backyard as long as they are not anywhere near one another. Keep in mind that you will want to place the squirrel feeder in an area closest to them. If you add foods they love, they will not have a reason to go after the bird feeder.
It is also critical to remember that you want to ensure that they have easy access to water when you prepare the squirrel feeder. Like you and I, squirrels need water for proper hydration so they can stay healthy.
When it is colder weather, you can add water in a heated birdbath so it does not freeze so that the squirrels can have easy access to it. Besides, allowing squirrels to have access to food before winter approaches helps keep squirrels healthy so they can store it away for hibernation. Now, let’s talk about what to feed squirrels.
Berries make an excellent food source for squirrels as they are low in sugar, and the sugar in berries is not processed. That provides them the energy they need to run around as that is what they are known to do. Therefore, add some blackberries, strawberries, mulberries, blueberries, and cherries. Squirrels will enjoy that.
Squirrels love berries, but they also love other fruits. Some fruits are higher in sugar than others. However, they provide essential nutrients for squirrels, and the calories from fruits offer them the energy they need to move from one place to another. That means sliced-up apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis, grapes, watermelon, peaches, plums, pears, and nectarines are perfect.
Vegetables are suitable for everyone, and since squirrels are herbivores, it is not a surprise that they would snack on fruits and veggies. They provide fiber and essential nutrients to ensure that squirrels remain healthy. Additionally, they contain folate and calcium, which is necessary to their bones. Therefore, the best veggies for squirrels include kale, eggplant, tomatoes, spinach, corn, mushrooms, cabbage, celery, lettuce, carrots, turnips, asparagus, and Brussel sprouts.
Seeds are rich in nutrients for squirrels; when you prepare the squirrel feeder, you do not need to chop them. All you need to do is pour a certain amount of seeds in the feeder alone since they are quite small. Squirrels are happy to eat them up. Therefore, seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and safflower seeds are what squirrels love. They are tiny nuts, which is also what these critters love to eat.
The one food that you would expect squirrels to love is nuts. Squirrels are known to enjoy nuts and seeds even more than berries, fruits, and veggies. However, the other foods are essential to their diet because they offer these critters a variety of nutrients that they need. Additionally, since squirrels are herbivores, they cannot eat meat, and yet they require protein. Nuts provide these critters the protein and fats they require. The best nuts for squirrels are any type of nut, but they love pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts. Let’s not forget about how squirrels love acorns too!
However, there is one thing to keep in mind. You noticed that peanuts and sunflower seeds did not receive a mention. That is because peanuts and sunflower seeds offer very little nutritional value. You can compare it to junk food such as candy and fast food to humans. They taste good but don’t offer anything useful. However, if you decide to add peanuts to the feeder, do not give them raw peanuts to be toxic to them. Raw peanuts can carry poisonous mold, which can be deadly to the squirrel.
When you are looking into squirrel watching, you will find that it is a relaxing activity. However, if you want to attract squirrels, you need to feed them anything they will like and be nutritious to them as they require a balanced diet. Keep squirrel feeders away from bird feeders‘ because squirrels damage them, and bird food offers no nutritional value. Squirrels are herbivores which means they eat fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts. The seeds and nuts will offer them the ample protein and fats they need. Fruits and vegetables will provide them with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates to stay active and healthy.