Outdoor Life

What do squirrels eat?

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Squirrel eating birdseed
Squirrels have been known to be backyard thieves
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What do squirrels eat - just watch them at your birdfeeder after the birdseed!

Of all the animals in the rodent family, squirrels and chipmunks have to be the cutest. When we go camping, the kids are always excited when they can spot a ground squirrel scurrying into its underground burrow or a chipmunk running up the trunk of a tree. I thought they were sweet, too, until the year one stayed up all night, dropping nuts onto the roof of our tent and keeping us awake until all hours.


Squirrels in Pop Culture


Because they are adorable, they have made frequent appearances in pop culture, showing up in television cartoons like "Rocky and Bullwinkle" and "Spongebob Squarepants;" in classic children's literature like C.S. Lewis's "Prince Caspian," Brian Jacques's "Redwall" series, and the works of Beatrix Potter; and in animated features like "Over the Hedge" and "The Wild."


Backyard Nuisances


Even though they may look cute and cuddly, but they can be nuisances in residential neighborhoods. Like all rodents, their teeth are continually growing. Because of this, these rodents must chew on hard items to keep their teeth filed down and avoid injuring itself. Many homeowners have been annoyed by these pests, who like to chew garden hoses, or even like to nest in their attics and basements.


Belonging to the rodent family Sciuridae, they are smart creatures, and will dig up flower bulbs to eat and steal seed from bird-feeders. If you like to put birdseed out to attract fine-feathered friends to your yard, you've probably already been annoyed by these thieving rodents. Why are they attracted to the birdseed? What do squirrels eat, anyway?




Like other rodents, squirrels are natural vegetarians.

  • They like nuts of any kind, with their second choice being seeds. The sunflower seeds in your birdfeeder are what tempt them to clean you out of birdseed.

  • Many species will dine on fruit and insects, too.

  • When faced with extreme hunger, these scavengers will also make a meal of bird eggs and snakes.

  • As humans have encroached on many animal's natural habitats, these adaptable rodents have learned to like human food, and will usually consume whatever people food they find lying around.


The answer? They mostly eat nuts and seeds, but will also consume whatever else we humans leave out for them to find.

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