What do dogs love to chase the most? It is none other than squirrels. This rodent has a bushy tail and agile movement, after all. Still, what do squirrels eat?
Before talking about their favorite foods, you must know basic information regarding this animal first. Here is a fact. There are about 200 species around the world! Despite the fact, they have similar food preferences.
Squirrels have long and strong teeth, located in front of the mouth. These grow constantly and have the strength to chew and crack hard foods like especially nuts.
Their small and light body helps them to move swiftly and climb trees easily. They also have a remarkable speed. This helps them to get away from predators or enemies easily. Some of them can even glide!
Read also : What Do Sloths Eat? They Have Many Favorites!
Their Favorite Foods
Squirrels eat many types of foods. Here are some of their best choices.
When it comes to preferred foods, squirrels are fond of fruits. They would eat various types of fruits enthusiastically. This explains why they choose vines, fruit bushes, and fruit trees as their favorite places to live.
Due to their light body, they can climb trees and get fruits without problems. Their favorite fruits are grapes, pears, peaches, plums, apples, avocadoes, kiwi, nectarines, and many others!
This swift rodent also loves to eat various berries, especially strawberries. Other choices are mulberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. As an alternative, they may eat cherries, watermelons, and bananas.
There is a certain reason why squirrels like fruits. They aim for the sugar that provides them ample energy to live. This energy is useful for foraging and scrambling around to look for more foods.
Their number two best food is nuts. This is why they also choose to live near nut trees. They love to move from branches to other branches to get nuts.
Due to their high appetite in nuts, they eat a lot of portion of it. Even though they are considered greedy, they are quite helpful to spread seeds around places. Thus, new nut trees would grow in the future.
As for the types, their favorites are pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pinecones, hazelnuts, and many others! All of these nuts give them plenty of nutrients, especially protein and fat.
Perhaps many of you will not believe this. Squirrels also love to eat vegetables. They eat many types of veggies. No wonder, many gardeners hate this animal!
Squirrels’ best choices of vegetables are spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, and arugula. This animal chows down these veggies passionately. Those greens are basic. So, what are other choices?
As alternatives, squirrels love to eat tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, cabbage, celery, and corns. It is safe to say that they are an opportunistic eater!
Squirrels are categorized as a rodent. This is why they also love to eat cheese and other types of savory treats. They can be found in your yard, scrapping at trashes to find a chunk of cheese!
They are not a fussy eater, so they would eat this type of food in any forms. Even squirrels would eat discarded cheese sandwich and leftover ones. The cheese contains fat that helps them survive the winter season.
5. Insects or Bugs
As mentioned before, nuts and fruits are squirrels’ primary source of proteins. If these were not available, they would look for alternatives. Bugs and insects are the best choices!
Some of their favorite insects are grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, fallen butterflies, and others.
Squirrels can be a thief when their prime food source is scarce. They often raid chicken coop and steal eggs from it. They love to eat various eggs of numerous animals, including robins, blackbird, and chicken.
Small or baby squirrels depend on their mother to obtain nutrients or foods. During the first two months, there is a gestation period. The mother would carry the baby around and give anything that it needs.
Once the babies become bigger and older, they would leave the nest to get experiences and find some leftover foods. Still, they will not travel farther than 2 miles from the nest.
Just because squirrels can move swiftly, does not mean they are free from predators. They have many natural enemies in the wild. The worst one is none other than flying predators like owls and hawks.
Aside from those hunter birds, squirrels have other enemies on the ground. These include wildcats, foxes, weasels, coyotes, snakes, and even dogs! Some animals are quite aggressive when chasing squirrels.
These include pine martins that often chase squirrels on trees. What are others? Humans often hunt squirrels in the wild, too!
Having a fast movement and climbing abilities would cost much energy. This explains why squirrels often look for foods that contain much sugar. Fruits would be in the first list, therefore.
So, what do squirrels eat? Aside from fruits, they would eat insects, bugs, vegetables, nuts, cheese, eggs, and many others. This many choices of foods help them to survive easily in various habitats.