What about Squirrels: To Feed or Not to Feed?
Have you heard about the recent rash of backyard robberies in the area? Many of them have happened in broad daylight.
They’re none other than your backyard squirrels.
It’s no secret that squirrels can eat all of your birdfood as well as damage your feeders and chase away the birds you want to see. How do you deal with these mischeif makers? Either feed 'em or defeat 'em!
- For those who love 'em... : You can have fun with your squirrels by offering them food on a squirrel feeder like the Squngee®. It will give your squirrels the ride of their furry little lives, and helps to distract them away from your other birdfeeders.
- For those who don't! : One way to defeat squirrels and blackbirds is to offer safflower seed in your feeders. Many songbirds love to eat safflower, but squirrels and blackbirds typically do not. You can also offer your seed in one of our squirrel-proof feeders. These feeders are designed to keep those furry critters and larger birds like blackbirds from dining on your seed.
If you already have a feeder that is not squirrel-proof, using a dome or baffle can help keep them away.
Stop by the store this month if you’ve been a victim of a backyard heist. We know of a variety of ways to foil your backyard bandits, all without issuing an All Points Bulletin.
Fun Facts About Squirrels
- 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.
- 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 a highly developed sense of smell.
- During a harsh winter a squirrel may loose up to 25% of its body weight
Most squirrels are active in the winter only around mid-day, during the remainder of the year they are early risers with a peak activity period during the two hours after sunrise and again during the mid-afternoon.
- The name “squirrel” originates from the Greek words for shade and tail.
- Squirrels will have a litter of three to four young around early January and again in early August. The average life expectancy of these youngsters in the wild is approximately one year, although some captive squirrels have lived up to 15 years.
- Squirrels may den in the ground, tree cavities, and in nests they construct that are called dreys. Summer dreys are located in tree branches and consist of twigs and leaves. Winter dreys are waterproof and have a lining of bark, lichen, moss, fur and leaves.
- Squirrels can jump up to six feet vertically and eight feet between trees or structures. Placing feeders and baffles outside of their jumping range will help to deter them.
- The Grey Squirrel stocks its winter pantry by burying up to 10,000 nuts each fall. It also feeds on grapes, fungi, grasses, larval and adult insects, and amphibians.