The Red Squirrel is native to Britain. However, it is now only found in a few areas of the UK. Sadly, their numbers have shown a deep plunge after the introduction of the North American Grey Squirrel. One can find them in Scotland, Northumberland, and the Lake District.
Other areas that show a small population of the red squirrels are Anglesey in Wales, Formby, Brown Sea Island, and the Isle of Wight in England. The decline in their population is mainly because of the loss of their habitat; red squirrels dwell in woodlands. The second reason is the disease – squirrel pox virus, introduced by the North American grey squirrel.
Very few of us are lucky enough to have red squirrels in our local areas. If you do and wonder what to feed to squirrels, keep reading.
What Do Red Squirrels Eat?
As stated previously, Red Squirrels dwell in woodlands. Hence, one can call them seed eaters. They get more opportunities to forage in deciduous woodland forests; however, their populations are mostly confined to coniferous forests now.
A huge chunk of their wild diet is made by pine nuts. Fungi, green shoots, fruits, and berries are others parts that constitute their diet. Unlike many other small mammals, Red Squirrels do not hibernate. They tend to store their food, also known as ‘caching.’
Red Squirrels bury their food underground hide it in the crevices of trees in autumn to have a stash for winter. They also tend to eat massive amounts of food during the autumn months, enough to weigh before the winter months begin. Eating copious amounts of food in autumn is also important to breeding females, who will stay in good condition to produce young ones in springs.
What Can You Feed to Red Squirrels?
what to feed squirrels? Here is a list of things you can feed to Red Squirrels:
Whole Hazelnuts in Shells
Hazelnut nearly contains all the nutrition that is needed by both red and grey squirrels. However, feeding them too many nuts can cause a deficiency of calcium and vitamins. Moreover, since squirrels are rodents, their teeth tend to continue to grow, and gnawing is an activity that keeps their teeth in ideal height and health conditions. Additionally, who doesn’t want to watch these cute squirrels handle and open the nuts with their tiny limbs!
Pine Nuts make a great food option for both Red and Grey Squirrels and birds, too.
Walnut Kernels replete with energy are loved by both Red and Grey Squirrels. It will take almost no time to gnaw them up completely.
Walnut in Shells.
These are the same as walnut kernels, just that you get the fun of watching the squirrels gnaw out the shell bit by bit to fetch the treasure inside. Additionally, the gnawing also keeps their teeth healthy.
Ark Red Squirrel Food
Hazelnuts and Pine Nuts are some of the favorite squirrel foods. Ark Red is a fine mixture of that. Moreover, it is enriched by peanuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, grit, vitamins, minerals, natural flavorings, and dried fruits. It also contains soluble calcium supplements for squirrels.
Click the given link to buy Ark Red Squirrel Food – https://www.arkwildlife.co.uk/product/red-squirrel-food-uk/
Striped Sunflower Seeds
Apart from being more nutritious than peanuts alone, striped sunflower seeds are also a treat for both the squirrels. It is also a healthy treat for large seed-eating birds.
Peanuts, also known as Monkey nuts, I their shells are an excellent food for squirrels. Moreover, it’s fun to watch them playing with the nuts.
Since you’ve read this article, it is evident that you love feeding and taking care of squirrels. So here are some tips for you to look after them more effectively:
- If you have squirrels in the vicinity of your home, do not put the nuts or any other food for them on the other side of the road from where they habitat. This will keep them on safe grounds.
- Do not feed them where cats are lurking around. As we all know, cats are predators. This will again cause a decline in the population of the Red Squirrels. Feed them in places where they are away from the harm of any predator.
- Avoid feeding the Red Squirrels large quantities of peanuts or fruit as this calcium deficiency in them. Feed them calcium supplements like Cali-Dust or Cuttlefish.
These were the few things that you can feed to Red Squirrels. And a few things you can do to keep their population from depleting completely.
Save this article for when you spot a Red Squirrel in your local area.