Squirrels are rodents of small to medium size. The family of the squirrel has ground squirrels, flying squirrels, and marmots. They are mammals and their size is quite close to a teacup. Their front four teeth never stop from growing which is a unique trait not shared by any other animal. The Indian squirrels are up to 3 feet long. They are about 3.9 inches to 5.5 inches and their weight is about 8kg or more.
Squirrels are omnivores that can eat vegetables and meat and eat nuts, seeds, fruit, fungi, and vegetables. They need protein, fats, and carbohydrates. But when sometimes they are hungry, they also meat like an insect, eggs of bird and young snakes. There are about 200 species of squirrels and found all around the world. Squirrels adapt themselves according to the environment and eat various food. Following are their favorite foods.
Their diet changes according to the location climate and availability of food. There are a variety of nuts which they like to eat and they love to eat nuts and the favorite nuts are.
- Pine nuts
- Beech nuts
They like to eat without a shell but by extracting the shell they will get a nut and it is a kind of exercise for them and in this, their teeth are sharpened.
Why does squirrel eating nuts?
When there is plenty of food available around then they store and bury the nuts to eat them later in winter so other times when food is not available. Some species of squirrel also hibernate and the fat in nuts helps them to survive during hibernation as they gain weight after it. peanuts should be avoided and not to give them because they are not in nutrition for them and never five them salted almonds.
How does squirrel eat nuts?
They use a technique known as spatial chunking. In this technique for burring the nut, they break it and then bury it. In fall they are so busy collecting nuts for them. When the acorns from the tree fell, they collect it. They are known as scatter hoarders; they scatter their food up to 7 acres. They don’t leave it above the ground rather bury it that the other squirrel cannot find them.
They eat the nuts from their paws which look quite cute. Red squirrels like more pine nuts. It takes a lot of time and handwork to tear off the pine cone but they get it from the base which is quite rich in fat which is very important for them. About 50 percent of the weight of pine cones is fat which keeps them warm in cold. they like walnuts as it helps them in gnaw that also has the benefit that their teeth also remain healthy.
Their sense of smell is very strong by using it they find their food. Researches show that they are intelligent in this manner to find their food. They also have a deceiving nature they deceive another squirrel by throwing the nut in the hole instead they don’t throw it just to show others that it is buried here they act and hold the nut in their mouth.
They mostly bury the nuts and their food near their nest to keep it safe from other squirrels. If there is a nut tree you will surely find squirrel around it. If you have your nuts tree and you want to save it from other squirrels then you have to install some barrier around the tree so they don’t enter the boundary of the tree.
There are two squirrels one is red and the other is grey. The grey one has good memory when they bury their nuts, they remember the place but the red one did not remember and gives the grey one a squirrel chance to steal the nuts.
A study shows 74% of squirrels can’t recover the nuts but it’s beneficial as they, later on, result in growing up of the tree. They can even find the nuts under the snow because of their good smell sense. Eastern gray squirrel is mostly found in Washington and they love to eat acorns.
If you want to enjoy their eating out of shells then give them some monkey nuts these are also their favorite, they take out the shell and eat them which looks quite interesting.
If you are interested to keep them as a pet then you should know that their food is a nut and they enjoy it too much they need a variety of vitamins and minerals and calcium for their growth. The quantity of two nuts with shells is enough for them. This quantity is for a 450-gram squirrel. But if they are slow and inactive avoid the sugary foods.
Giving them walnuts is quite interesting to give them in their feeding plate and you will enjoy your day but if you are giving it to wild squirrels don’t give the food from your hand. As they are wild animals giving them with a hand is dangerous. You can give them both shelled and unshelled nuts when they will break the shell it will be a good exercise for them and it will sharpen their teeth.
Squirrels love to eat nuts and if you are keeping a squirrel as a pet remember to give them nuts with a shell as it is enough for them and give them in a shell as exercising for them is good and it will keep their teeth healthy and sharpen.
They love to eat them with their tiny paws as they are a great source of fats, proteins, and multiple vitamins which are necessary for their growth. Their eating habit of nuts is quite beneficial as they bury them and the red one forget that where it has buried it for later use, these will grow into trees and helps in the development of the forest. In this way, their eating habit of nuts is also beneficial for us.