With different species of animals surrounding our planet, each of them has unique habits and way of life. Similarly, small creatures like Squirrels too have some particular habits that people trying to feed them should take care of.
Squirrels tend to be foragers by nature and have a habit of collecting different food items throughout the areas they roam around. If you are a person trying to feed a squirrel, you have to take the weight of these aspects of their diet.
Dos of Feeding Squirrels in Summer
Squirrels tend to store food for further use during harsh climates. With their diet being up to feeding 1 pound of food per week, squirrels call for more attention when one tries to feed them.
Weighing different aspects for their proper nutrition is a must while feeding squirrels during the summer season.
1. Offer a Variety of Healthy Foods
Even though squirrels are small creatures, their health depends on a proper and timely diet. With over 200 species of squirrels present throughout the world, one has to take into account their habits to offer food for them.
However, there are some food items available that tend to suit a large variety of squirrels. Some of such food articles include offering
- Tree nuts
- Eggs of small birds, including nestings
- Animals of smaller size
- Carrion or the decaying meats
2. Provide Water or Water Source
Animals, in general, look out for water sources, and during the time of summer, with scorching heat, small creatures like squirrels palpitate for water. Keeping out water for them throughout the summer might come to their rescue.
This action might make your area a safe ground for squirrels and benefit other creatures like birds to survive the heat.
3. Always Maintain a Safe Distance
According to research, one should always maintain a safe distance from small creatures like squirrels since exposure to human threshold tends to disturb wildlife and lead to lower survival power.
Since wildlife is not prone to human existence around them, one should always maintain a safe distance for the consistency of the environment and protection of these species.
4. Cleaning Up Properly
Most animal species, like squirrels, have a habit of cleaning up their surroundings while living in the wildlife. Although, if they come around the areas of your house, then one has to make sure to provide them with a clean environment such that the squirrels come for food repeatedly.
Don’ts of Feeding Squirrels in Summer
Summers come as a harsh climate to adjust within for all types of animals and species. But since squirrels are particular towards some habits, there are some conditions which one should take care of and prohibit themselves from making such mistakes.
1. Never Feed Unhealthy Food
Since squirrels are considered foragers, they habitually collect everything they get their hands upon. Although this nature seems fine while living in the wildlife in urban areas, they tend to get their hands upon such food items, which can make an impact on their well-being.
Contrary to popular belief, one should never let a squirrel feed on peanuts. Peanuts contain aflatoxin, which harms the squirrels and can prove to be fatal.
Moreover, feeding excessive nuts of any type can lead to the risk of developing Metabolic Bone Disease, which makes their bones weak and brittle and has an irreversible effect on the body.
Apart from nuts, there are a few more things that one should forbid themselves from feeding to these little creatures.
- Avocado pit and skins
- Fruit Seeds
- Foods meant for other animals (Pet Foods)
One should always remain cautious while feeding any type of animal since it might play with the well-being of those particular organisms.
2. Do Not Feed Excessive Food
Excessive of anything, even food, can lead to issues in living organisms, including squirrels. Providing more than enough food to them might make them lazy and destroy their habit of collecting and storing food, resulting in an ecological disturbance.
3. Never Let Squirrels Get Dependent
Animals have the instinct to gather food and feed themselves. Providing food daily might ruin the skills and habits of squirrels. In such a way, they might forget to survive on their own.
Moreover, different regions worldwide have different rules and regulations which prohibit people from feeding the squirrels to protect the natural habitat and maintenance of mother nature.
4. Maintain a Safe Distance
Always make sure to maintain a safe distance from squirrels since they roam wildly. Close contact might bring a risk to both the squirrel and your well-being. One might get in contact with different viruses, which might harm your health.
Best Foods for Squirrels in Summers
According to veterinarians, the best food for squirrels in summer includes a mix of different food categories. Some of the best food options include the following mentioned suggestions.
- Vegetables: Calcium-rich vegetables, including beets, bok choy, cilantro, fennel, kale, and turnips, can be included in their diet.
- Wild Foods: To keep squirrels accustomed to their natural habitat, one should offer foods like pine cones, tree cones, roses, and bark.
- Animal Proteins: Since squirrels have an omnivorous diet, one should include animal protein sources like mealworms, crickets, and moths.
- Fruits: Most fruits like dates, figs, raisins, plums, and prunes help squirrels build healthy eating habits. But one should be careful to remove the pits and seeds since they can act as toxins for them.
Points to Consider While Feeding Squirrels
Apart from feeding, the feeder must be well aware of the rules and regulations of feeding squirrels.
- The feeder must know if there is any kind of restriction for feeding any animal. The feeder must check the surrounding about feeding the animals.
- The feeder must know the suitable food items that are safe for the animal to eat. If the food item is allergic or potentially hazardous, it can be deadly for the animal. It is better to check the same priorly.
Feeding animals cannot be considered an issue until people tend to keep a safe distance and act with an open mind while weighing all the risks involved during this act.
Moreover, people should always keep track of the rules and regulations incorporated by the government of their region while performing such activities.
Feeding of squirrels should be made after one has weighed all the dos and don’ts of their habits. Even being small creatures, they can play a huge role in maintaining our environment and affect our lives indirectly.
Hence, one should always consider taking care of different aspects of a creature’s well-being before intervening with its daily habits.
Monty is a founder of How It See. Being a life science student in a reputed university, he always wonders about an eclectic correlation between science and nature. After engaging in various college projects, Monty determined to share all his knowledge with you as a writer. In the meantime, he loves to research and study about the various types of colorful animals.