Love Your Squirrels

It's Okay to Love Your Squirrels, Too

They may have a reputation for making bird feeding less enjoyable, however, squirrels aren't going away any time soon. Perhaps by looking at them with a different perspective, you can begin to appreciate, if not enjoy, squirrels and their behaviors.

Typically, squirrels have a litter of three to four young in late winter and again in mid-summer. The average life expectancy of these youngsters in the wild is approximately one year, although some captive squirrels have lived up to 15 years.

Hickory nuts, pecans, black walnuts and acorns are squirrels’ favorite natural foods. As you may be aware, their favorite feeder foods are corn, peanuts and black oil sunflower seeds; their least favorite feeder food is safflower seed. Adult Squirrels can consume about one and a half pounds of seeds and nuts each week, which is roughly the equivalent of their own body weight.

A squirrel’s scalpel-sharp incisors grow about six inches per year. As with all the other members of the rodent family, squirrels must constantly gnaw on hard materials to keep them sharp, yet at a manageable size. Squirrels use their tail as a shield when fighting, as a blanket in cold weather, and sometimes as an umbrella during rain storms.

Squirrels can jump up to five feet vertically and eight feet between trees or structures. They have the ability to cling from objects with their back foot toes (with support from their tail) which allows them to hang upside-down and eat.

Squirrels have a highly elevated olfactory sense; they can smell food from great distances. This, of course, makes it easy for them to detect food that is intended for the birds.

You may see squirrels "running" away with food from the feeders. Squirrels frequently hoard food for a later time. In an hour’s time, a squirrel can collect and bury 25 nuts. Unable to remember each nut’s location, they find them again by using their highly developed sense of smell.

Stop by the store or call us to learn more about how you can enjoy the squirrels visiting your yard.