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Top 3 Nuts for Squirrels and Where to Find Them

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nuts for squirrel

If you’re an animal lover, you might enjoy spending time outdoors and feeding the local wildlife. Squirrels, in particular, are some of the most fascinating creatures to observe – their little hands, bushy tails, and playful personalities make them hard to resist. But if you’re curious about what the best food for wild squirrels is, you’re certainly not alone.

As it turns out, squirrels are big fans of nuts, but not all nuts are created equal. After conducting some research, we’ve discovered which nuts are the most nutritious and beneficial for these furry little critters. So if you want to provide the best possible diet for your squirrel friends, keep reading – we’ve got some valuable insights to share.

While squirrels are indeed known for their love of nuts, they actually have a varied diet that includes fungi, fruits, nuts, and seeds. When it comes to nuts, the type a squirrel eats depends on what is readily available to them. If there are oak trees nearby, acorns are a popular choice for squirrels to consume.

What to Feed Squirrels In The Backyard?

Procuring nuts for our backyard critters has been made more affordable by buying them in bulk. Our critters adore these nuts, making it a perfect treat for them. Here are a few options that will work exceptionally well in your squirrel feeder.

If you’ve gone to the effort of transforming your yard into a squirrel-friendly haven, the chances are you want to make sure these furry creatures are well-fed and content. While squirrels are naturally skilled at finding their food, it’s always useful to have a stash of nuts on hand to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.

And let’s face it, watching squirrels scurrying around in your backyard as they nibble on nuts is endlessly entertaining! While you could head to your local pet store or supermarket to stock up, it’s worth considering purchasing nuts on Amazon. Not only is it more convenient, but you’ll often find that the prices are more budget-friendly compared to other retailers.

3 Of The Best Nuts for Squirrels Backyard and Wild

nuts for squirrel

Opt for Virginia Peanuts Bulk Inshell Animal Peanuts if you’re aiming to feed or entice squirrels to your yard. In-shell peanuts are an ideal choice for these furry visitors, as they aid in teeth sharpening and provide them with much-needed exercise.

These nuts offer a nutritious blend of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids, making them an excellent choice for your bushy-tailed friends. As high-energy critters, these nuts are a perfect source of sustenance. Nature lovers will appreciate their versatility, as they not only feed squirrels but also attract deer, birds, Blue Jays, and various other outdoor wildlife.

Opt for BlueApe Fresh Whole Black Walnuts, which come in the shell and are perfectly suited for squirrels. These walnuts are organically grown, ensuring that you’re not feeding them processed foods and can feel good about their nutrition. Each order consists of approximately 100 black walnuts, offering a generous supply that can last a considerable time, depending on the number of squirrels you feed. Indeed, squirrels can enjoy walnuts and are sure to relish them wholeheartedly.

We’ve observed that it takes squirrels approximately 10 minutes to extract the meat from black walnuts, which is remarkable considering how tough these nuts are to crack. Even for us, using a nutcracker or hammer would be necessary to open them.

If your squirrels have never encountered walnut trees before, it may take them some time to recognize and understand the nuts. However, once they do, they will relish devouring them and might eagerly carry them off to their nests.

Audubon Critter Crunch Food is a specially blended mix, comprising black oil sunflower seeds, corn, whole nuts, and peanuts, perfectly catered to the dietary needs of squirrels, rabbits, deer, chickadees, quail, and woodpeckers. Using this food makes it convenient to fill your feeders or scatter handfuls on the ground to attract them. In just about a month of feeding, my neighbor was able to gain their trust and get them to eat out of her hand.

Squirrels seem to enjoy this mix almost as much as peanut butter, which speaks volumes about its appeal to them.

Best Nuts to Attract Squirrels

Now that you’re aware of the types of nuts squirrels love and where to find them, let’s explore which nuts are best to use for attracting them.

Despite not having large oak or walnut trees in our yard and having limited trees overall, we were initially uncertain if we could lure squirrels to our backyard. However, when we spotted one munching at the bird feeder one day, we realized we had a chance. We began offering peanuts, though we were unsure of our approach at the time.

To successfully attract squirrels, consider putting out any of the following nuts:

  • Acorns
  • Hickory nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts (not really nuts, but legumes they love)

Initially, squirrels might be skittish and cautious. To maintain their interest, you’ll need to consistently replenish the food to keep them returning. However, once they recognize your yard as a reliable food source, they are likely to become more comfortable. In fact, if you have large, sturdy trees, they may even choose to build their nests in your welcoming environment. Patience and persistence will foster a delightful relationship with these charming creatures.

What Are The Best Nuts for Grey Squirrels

These are the typical squirrels frequently spotted in people’s backyards. In fact, they seem to be everywhere, from parks to hiking trails and wooded areas. As opportunistic feeders, they are far from picky. If you wish to entice them to your backyard, consider putting out some of the following treats:

Nuts Good for Grey Squirrels

  • Acorns (of course!)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts
  • In-shell Unsalted Peanuts

Certainly, you can attract them with a variety of foods, as the list of what squirrels enjoy eating is extensive. However, when it comes to providing them with essential protein, nuts stand out as the best squirrel food.

Squirrels skillfully use their little fingers and sharp teeth to remove the shells, granting them access to the nut’s nutritious core. Once cracked open, they can store the nuts in their cheeks, which have excess skin that can stretch significantly to accommodate food. You’ve probably heard the term “squirrel cheeks” to describe this fascinating behavior.

Squirrels exhibit remarkable behaviors when it comes to their food. They diligently carry multiple nuts back to their den to nourish their young, and they also bury nuts in various locations to prepare for the winter when food may be scarce.

All the products mentioned earlier are ideal for feeding grey squirrels, whether in your yard or out in the wild. Additionally, I’ve compiled an extensive list of homemade squirrel food recipes that you can prepare yourself to delight your backyard friends. These homemade treats are sure to bring joy to the squirrels that visit your space.

Best Nuts for Wild Squirrels

It’s essential to be aware of the regulations regarding feeding wild squirrels, as some states have laws prohibiting it. For instance, in California, it is illegal to feed squirrels, but tree squirrel hunting is permitted.

States like Illinois allow people to feed deer but not squirrels. To ensure compliance, I always recommend checking your local wildlife website to determine what feeding practices are permitted in your area. It’s a reliable starting point for gathering relevant information.

In most states, you should have no issues feeding the squirrels that frequent your backyard, garden, or any area on your property. However, I must emphasize the importance of conducting thorough research as regulations can vary significantly from state to state. As I am not an expert, it is essential to do your due diligence and abide by the specific guidelines set forth by your state.

What Are The Best Nuts for Red Squirrels?

Similar to gray squirrels, red squirrels have a fondness for nuts. They eagerly gather and enjoy feasting on the following varieties:

Nuts Good for Red Squirrels

  • Acorns
  • Pinenuts
  • Pine Cones
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Macadamia Nuts

Indeed, the red squirrel diet closely resembles that of the gray squirrel.

The best nuts for red squirrels include those they eagerly consume and adore.

While red squirrels are less common where I reside (I’ve never seen one), they can be found in coniferous and deciduous (broadleaved) woodlands.

If you have gray squirrels in your area, it’s unlikely you’ll spot red squirrels. This is because gray squirrels can pose a threat to red squirrels, as they may carry a disease called squirrel parapoxvirus that can be harmful to their red counterparts.

Just like gray squirrels, red squirrels are attracted to feeders. To entice them, you can fill a feeder or squirrel house with their favorite nuts.

When starting to feed them, offer their preferred food and be patient as they take time to discover it. Once they find it, you’ll have the joy of observing them dining in your yard.

Are Salted Peanuts Bad for Squirrels?

Before feeding peanuts to your backyard squirrels, it’s crucial to be mindful of the type of peanuts you offer. Salted peanuts are definitely a big NO!

Squirrels’ small kidneys cannot handle excessive amounts of salt. If you’ve treated them to some of your favorite nuts, such as Squirrel Nut Zippers or Creme Brulee Almonds (which happen to be some of our favorites), they should be fine.

Just be cautious not to overfeed them. Providing them with substantial portions of salted nuts can prove detrimental and may even lead to fatal consequences in the long run. Ensuring their well-being includes offering them a balanced and healthy diet.

What Do Squirrels Eat Besides Nuts?

Now that you’re aware of squirrels’ fondness for nuts, it’s fascinating to know that they are not picky eaters. These resourceful creatures can consume approximately a pound of food per week. Interestingly, squirrels are resilient and can thrive without relying on human-provided food.

Even during the winter, these savvy animals can survive by relying on their incredible food-storing skills. They diligently gather and stash enough food to sustain them for several months. In their preparations, they bury so much food in various locations that they occasionally forget where they have hidden it all. Nonetheless, their natural instincts and foraging abilities ensure their survival throughout the colder months.

FAQ’s

Which nuts are best for squirrels?

When it comes to feeding squirrels, it’s important to know what types of nuts are best for them. One of the best nuts for squirrels is the black walnut. These nuts are high in protein and essential nutrients that support their overall health and well-being. Another great option is the hickory nut, which is rich in healthy fats and oils.

What should you never feed a squirrel?

Squirrels may be adorable and fluffy, but they have specific dietary needs. While they are known for eating nuts and seeds, it’s important to know what they should not eat as well. So, what should you never feed a squirrel? The list includes anything high in sugar, salt, or fat. This means avoiding foods such as chocolate, potato chips, and candy. It’s also important to stay away from processed foods or anything with preservatives.

Are walnuts good for squirrels?

Walnuts can be a delicious and nutritious snack for humans, but what about for squirrels? The answer is a resounding yes! Not only can squirrels eat walnuts, but they also benefit from them in many ways. Walnuts are a good source of protein and healthy fats, which squirrels need in order to keep their bodies functioning properly.

What nuts are bad for squirrels?

While squirrels are known for their love of nuts, not all nuts are good for them to eat. In fact, there are several types of nuts that can be harmful to squirrels. For example, raw peanuts can contain a toxin called aflatoxin, which can be deadly to squirrels if consumed in large quantities. Another type of nut that should be avoided by squirrels is the macadamia nut, which can cause weakness, tremors, and hyperthermia.

Conclusion

Personally, I find no issue with aiding Mother Nature by feeding squirrels. However, if you decide to provide them with nourishment, it’s essential to focus on offering mainly seeds and nuts while allowing them to forage for flower buds, fungi, and other natural food sources.

Being cautious of creating dependency on humans is crucial. If they become too reliant on handouts, they might struggle to find their own food when you stop feeding them. Even worse, if they associate your home and garden with a consistent food supply and you suddenly cease feeding them, they might intrude and cause disruptions.

In our case, we haven’t encountered any problems with our squirrels, and we ensure our feeder remains filled most of the time. It’s about finding a balance that allows them to enjoy our help while still maintaining their natural instincts and foraging abilities.

Reference

Author Profile
Rahul M Suresh

Visiting the Zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. As a guide, I have the privilege of helping students and visitors alike to appreciate these animals in their natural habitat as well as introducing them to the various aspects of zoo life. I provide detailed information about the individual animals and their habitats, giving visitors an opportunity to understand each one more fully and appreciate them in a more intimate way.

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Visiting the Zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. As a guide, I have the privilege of helping students and visitors alike to appreciate these animals in their natural habitat as well as introducing them to the various aspects of zoo life. I provide detailed information about the individual animals and their habitats, giving visitors an opportunity to understand each one more fully and appreciate them in a more intimate way.

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