Squirrels Diet: All You Need To Know

Squirrels are omnivorous animals, and as a result, squirrels diets are quite varied. They will feast on pretty much anything they can find, including insects, nuts, fruits, and even small birds.

If you want to learn about what you should be feeding them, then you are at the right place. Today we will discuss squirrels diet.

Just a passing knowledge, in order to attract squirrels, you can put up a feeder that will provide them with their food. This will keep the squirrels coming back and also help you learn more about their diet.

Let us dive in.

What Do Squirrels Eat?

The cutest animal on earth: squirrel.

Squirrels are voracious animals who have an omnivorous diet, and as such, their diet consists of a variety of different things. In the wild, they will eat nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and other small animals.

At home in your backyard or garden, they will also enjoy raiding bird feeders and stealing pet food. Squirrels love bananas, watermelons, cantaloupe (any melon), and cherries!

The benefit of feeding fruits to squirrels is that it provides them with a significant sugar spike as well as plenty of energy to continue scurrying about and looking for more delights.

Other popular things that squirrels eat are –

Vegetables

There are a variety of vegetables that squirrels eat, including lettuce, chard, kale, spinach, and arugula. These vegetables are all rich in nutrients and help to keep squirrels healthy.

Squirrels are omnivores, and as such, their diet consists of both meat and vegetables. While the specifics vary depending on the squirrel’s location and what is available, there are some common vegetables that they eat. These include tomatoes, radishes, corn, and squash.

These tiny creatures love to eat a variety of different vegetables. Some of their favorites include carrots, celery, and green beans. They also enjoy squash and other types of gourds.

Finally, squirrels love to eat salad ingredients like lettuce and other leafy green vegetables.

They also eat a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and also broccoli.

Cereals

Squirrels eat cereals because they are a good source of energy and are natural. Cereals also contain sugar, which squirrels love.

Even though squirrels are fond of a variety of items in their diet, such as insects, nuts, fruits, and even other small animals, however, they have a particular fondness for cereals, such as oats and wheat.

This is probably owing to the fact that these items are readily available and easier to find.

Cheese

Squirrels love cheese, which is why it’s a common food found in their habitats. In fact, they will often steal cheese from people’s yards and gardens. Cheese is a great source of protein for squirrels, as well as other nutrients that help them thrive.

In addition to that, it is a popular food for squirrels and can provide them with extra fat to store during leaner times. Cheese is high in calories and provides many essential nutrients that help keep squirrels healthy.

Squirrels are also known to consume a variety of human foods, including but not limited to bread, popcorn, and cheese.

Nuts

Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) sitting on a grass

Squirrels are popular for their love of nuts. They will hoard any they find and will eat them whenever possible. Nuts are a high-energy food that helps keep squirrels healthy and strong.

Nuts are a popular source of fat and protein for all types of squirrels, whether it be red squirrels or grey squirrels or baby squirrels, or palm squirrels, and they consume them frequently.

In addition to nuts, the reds and greys variety of squirrels also eat seeds, fruits, insects, and other small animals.

They will collect and eat a variety of nuts, including pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, acorns, cashews, chestnuts, hickory nuts, and pine nuts out of pine cones macadamia nuts.

Birdseed

Squirrels are notorious for raiding birdfeeders and eating the birdseed. While they will eat other things, too, they seem to enjoy birdseed the most.

This can be problematic for people who want to attract birds to their yard, as the squirrels will compete with the birds for food.

Birdseed is made up of a mixture of different types of seeds, grains, and nuts, which all squirrels love. This makes birdseed the perfect food for attracting squirrels.

Insects

Squirrels are omnivorous animals, and like humans, they eat a variety of things to satisfy their nutritional needs. One of the prominent sources of protein for squirrels is small insects.

And thus, insects make up a significant part of their diet and include caterpillars, larvae, winged bugs, grasshoppers, injured butterflies, and crickets.

Fungi

Squirrels are foragers, and they are fond of foraging mushrooms. They especially enjoy eating fungi, which is why they are often seen raiding gardens and parks for this type of food.

Squirrels may locate a range of wonderful fungi in more natural surroundings, such as woodlands, depending on the climate.

Fungi are an important part of the squirrel diet and provide many essential nutrients that help keep them healthy.

In addition, they may also consume mushrooms and fungi. Some squirrels have been observed leaving these items out to dry so that they can eat them later.

Eggs

Squirrels are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of any food opportunity they can find. This includes stealing eggs from other animals. They typically raid nests that are close to the ground and can easily get to the eggs.

They are also popular for scavenging for food and stealing from other animals. Squirrels will also prey on hatchlings, young chicks, and baby birds when necessary.

Plant Material

squirrels diet

Squirrels are omnivorous animals and will forage for and eat a variety of things, including roots, leaves, grass, plant stalks, and anything else with sufficient nutritional value to them.

While they prefer to feast on nuts and seeds, they will consume other items if necessary.

They tend to go for the most tender and/or young stalks and branches of plants, soft twigs, and supple bark. This includes buds, flowers, fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects.

Squirrels will eat various things but tend to prefer items that are high in protein and fat. Plant material makes up a significant portion of their diet, and they will consume soft tips of new growth, newly unfurled leaves, sprouts, and succulent flower buds.

In addition to nuts and birdseed (which they love), squirrels will also eat seeds from plants such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, safflower seeds, poppy seeds any other available seeds.

Dog and Cat Food

Squirrels will eat dog or cat food if it is readily available. This is because the food is high in protein and fat, which squirrels need to survive. Although, it is not recommended to feed squirrels this type of food as it can be harmful to their health.

It is not good for squirrels to eat wet cat food or canned dog food. The high levels of sodium and other preservatives in these foods are bad for squirrels and can make them sick.

Squirrels should stick to a healthy diet of nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Scraps and Waste

Squirrels are very resourceful and have learned to take advantage of the food that is readily available. They are great at recycling and composting our sometimes excessive food waste.

This helps them get the most nutrition from their diet while also helping us reduce our impact on the environment.

However, they should avoid processed foods, sugary foods, and anything artificial. These types of food can be detrimental to their digestion and overall health.

What to not include in the squirrels diet?

squirrel on tree

Squirrels are omnivorous and eat a variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and sugary cereals. Although, there are certain things that you must avoid feeding them as it can be harmful to their health. Do not give them processed foods or fatty meats.

These creatures are not too picky when it comes to food. They will eat just about anything, including insects, nuts, and berries.

However, this does not mean that they should be fed a diet of junk food. Some things that squirrels should not eat include chocolate, processed foods, and salty snacks.

In addition, there are a few things that squirrels do not like in their diet, namely onions and garlic. These items can actually make the squirrels sick, so it is important to avoid feeding them these foods.

Summary

Squirrels are able to take care of themselves and do not need a lot of food. You can feed them without fear of overfeeding, but it is important that they have access to fresh water at all times.

One way to help encourage squirrels to forage is to feed them when food is scarce. This will ensure that they are always looking for food and that they are not dependent on you for their sustenance.