Recent searches (0)
FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
Squirrels are creatures that almost everyone is familiar with.
Squirrels are adorable little critters who never cease to amuse us. Throughout the day, we find these squirrels gracefully running and jumping from branch to branch in search of food.
Do you know that squirrels are siblings of the rodent family, and one of its most striking and distinct features is their long bushy tail? Its name is originated from the ancient Greek word 'skiouros,' which means 'shadow-tailed,' alluding to their tails. There are around 285 species of squirrels, grouped as tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Ground squirrels prefer to dwell on or in the ground rather than in trees, whereas tree squirrels are typically observed hopping from one tree to another. The ground squirrels play essential roles in forest habitats because they harvest and store tree seeds, which effectively helps new trees to grow. Another group of Marmots is big ground squirrels that are known to hibernate underground throughout the winter. On the other hand, a species group called flying squirrels cannot fly like birds or bats and must instead glide and take lift up to 300 ft (91.44 m) between trees. Prairie dogs are another type of ground squirrel known for their calls, which reflect like a dog's bark.
So, who do you say is the biggest and tiniest among them? The biggest squirrel species in nature is the black giant squirrel. Its head-to-body length is 13.77-19.68 in (35-50 cm), and its tail is yet another 19.68-23.62 in (50-60 cm). That's a pretty lengthy squirrel! While the African pygmy squirrel and the least pygmy squirrel are acknowledged as being the world's tiniest squirrels, reaching 4.7–5.5 in (12–14 cm) in length. The most common type of squirrel found universally, except in Australia, is the gray squirrel. Next, we commonly encounter the fox squirrel, also known as the red squirrel. Out of all these species, one which we found settled to our urban livings such backyards, parks, and farmlands are called tree squirrels or simply named squirrels. In contrast, we can find eastern gray squirrels in extensive regions of mature, deep forest habitats in the wild.
It's always entertaining to watch squirrels hop in the trees or race around in your garden.
You may have encountered squirrels while sitting down in your back yard, they may even come up to you and steal nuts off of your plate, devouring them. It may be interesting to watch as you see them excavating holes and stockpiling them for future use. But in their quest for food, these small rodents may wreak havoc on your grass or garden.
If you love feeding squirrels in your garden, and if you are looking to have something new in your squirrel feeders in addition to nuts to attract squirrels then this article is for you. Before we get into the specifics, let us look at a few interesting facts about squirrels.
If you're wondering if squirrels eat apples, read on. Squirrels like apples and will cheerfully eat them if you offer them this fruit. Squirrels enjoy the delicious sweet taste of apples and eat whole fruit along with the skin and even the apple seeds. It is however recommended that you remove the core from the apple before feeding it to your pet squirrel as the apple seeds contain toxins that can be dangerous to squirrels. In fact, feeding apples to squirrels can be beneficial in many ways as apples are an amazing source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Besides being incredibly nourishing, they have a low-calorie level.
While apples signify health, do you know the apple tree bark is used in traditional medicine for boosting body functions and is also included in classic herbal literature for fevers, stomach relief, and liver and bladder health care? Squirrels might chew your apple tree bark, particularly species such as eastern gray squirrel, which eat a variety of materials, including tree bark, tree buds, and flowers.
In fact, a squirrel may damage trees by chewing and scraping bark and leaves to a large amount. Moreover, its uncontrolled fruit picking affects your harvest too! However, squirrels favor pulling bark off branches rather than the trunk. As a reason, many people often think of squirrels as pests on apple trees.
Most squirrels are herbivores. Squirrels are not fussy eaters and will consume practically any food that they find. Generally, a squirrel diet includes nuts such as almonds, acorns, walnuts, peanuts, and seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and poppy seeds—however, squirrels prefer vegetables and fruit like apples, oranges, apricots, and avocados. A squirrel diet should also include some of their favorite foods including corn, mushrooms, and broccoli.
Adding apples to your squirrel's diet can be beneficial as apples contain protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. However, apples may not be the most suitable alternative to staple food, but they are recommended and relished by squirrels. So while adding apples to your squirrel's diet, you should make sure you serve them no more than two to three slices of fruit per day. Always remember to remove the apple core and you should avoid feeding apple seeds to your pet squirrel since they contain a compound called amygdalin. This degrades into hydrogen cyanide that may be toxic and even life-threatening. Moreover, while newly introducing apples to pet squirrels, the first thing you need to remember is that you should be imitating its natural food pattern with their diet. A sudden shift in their feeding patterns might be dangerous so you should start feeding apples as a treat now and then.
Apples aren't exclusively for squirrels; they're also relished by other animals such as bears, deer, rabbits, raccoons, chimps, horses, turkeys, perching birds, and other rodents. Sometimes apples are discovered to cause major health problems in some animals when eaten in excess.
You ought to be worried if you have an apple tree in your backyard and squirrels pay a visit to you frequently? Do you know why?
Squirrels love eating apples when they are still young and green, as young apples are easier for the squirrels to hold on to. The smaller apples are easier for them to grip hold of and they can run away with them effortlessly. Even if you are not feeding squirrels apples, they will shred your entire tree. This causes a great inconvenience since squirrels destroy many apples rather than consuming one or two of the fruits.
Wild squirrels often upset farmers because they will bite all of the apples and then drop them to the ground. In the winter months, they even eat off the bark of fruit trees when other food is limited. They chew so hard that the tree might die if not cared for. Farmers use a variety of strategies to stop the squirrels from damaging their fruit trees. As squirrels dislike pepper sprays and will avoid them at all costs; farmers will often spray cayenne pepper to keep squirrels away from a fruit tree. Another option is to set up a birdbath full of water. Squirrels that love eating apples are known to eat apples when they are thirsty. Another viable option is to use an animal repellent near your fruit tree.
You may wonder how you can feed both birds and squirrels in your garden. It can be a challenge if you absolutely love feeding squirrels but the squirrels are scaring away the birds and stealing food from the bird feeders. One way to combat this is by using apples as a diversion. Providing apples to the squirrels away from the bird feeders will help stop them from stealing the bird food, especially sunflower seeds, and will keep them from frightening the birds.
Squirrels not only like apples, but squirrels like to eat the skin or peel of the apple too. Even though squirrels will eat the peel naturally, it is advised that the apples be peeled before feeding them because most commercially grown apples are waxed or covered with hazardous chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides to preserve them. To eliminate these poisons, you must thoroughly wash them with fresh water since even a trace of these hazardous chemicals may be harmful to your pet squirrels.
Squirrels are synonyms for hoarders as they dig holes and store food in numerous spots. This is not just for winter, they do this all year round. Squirrels will eat almost anything they can get their hands on.
Squirrels love eating apples of all varieties and they will eat whatever apple you offer to them. If you enjoy feeding squirrels, you should be careful not to them any foods that may be harmful to them. Foods that can be poisonous to squirrels are avocado skin and pits, as well as fruit seed and pits. Furthermore, you should always avoid high-sugar foods such as cookies, candies, and sweetened cereals, as well as high-starch foods such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
Now that you're aware that squirrels eat apples and other fruits, it is important to remember that you shouldn't try to feed wild squirrels with your hands, particularly gray squirrels. Try to keep food at a safe distance and by doing so you can witness a squirrel's natural eating behaviors.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for do squirrels eat apples then why not take a look at can squirrels get rabies or can squirrels swim.
Read The Disclaimer
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.
Remember that you can always manage your preferences or unsubscribe through the link at the foot of each newsletter.