What Do Squirrels Eat?

Scurrying around our neighborhoods and parks, squirrels seem to be always on the move. But have you ever wondered what keeps these bushy-tailed critters going? Their diet might surprise you!

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From munching on nuts to raiding your backyard snacks, squirrels have a knack for finding food in unexpected places.

Join us as we uncover the culinary secrets of squirrels, exploring their diverse tastes and uncovering the surprising stories behind their meals. So, what exactly do these furry foragers feast on? Let’s find out!

Diverse Diet of Squirrels

Squirrels are synonymous with images of these furry creatures nibbling on nuts and seeds, but how accurate is this popular depiction? Indeed, nuts and seeds form the cornerstone of a squirrel’s diet, playing a crucial role in their nutrition and survival strategies.

Nuts: A Favorite in the Squirrel Diet

Squirrels are particularly fond of nuts due to their high-fat content, which provides ample energy. Among their favorites are acorns, walnuts, and hazelnuts. These nuts not only offer essential nutrients but also serve as a vital food reserve during winter months when other food sources are scarce.

Seeds: A Nutritious Supplement

In addition to nuts, squirrels actively seek out seeds. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are especially popular due to their size and nutrient density. Seeds often serve as a supplementary food source, providing squirrels with protein and fats necessary for their active lifestyles.

Feeding squirrels can be a delightful experience, but it’s important to stick to their natural diet. Offering them a variety of unsalted nuts and seeds can help mimic their natural foraging habits. However, it’s essential to avoid human snacks and processed foods to ensure their health and well-being.

Squirrels do eat nuts and seeds extensively. Understanding and supporting their natural eating habits helps promote the health of these playful backyard visitors, ensuring they continue to thrive and entertain. Many nature enthusiasts often wonder, “Do squirrels eat fruits and berries?” The answer is a resounding yes! Squirrels enjoy a varied diet, and fruits and berries are important components, providing essential vitamins and hydration.

Fruits in a Squirrel’s Diet

Squirrels are not picky when it comes to fruits. They are known to eat a wide range, including apples, oranges, bananas, and peaches. These fruits are not only a source of natural sugars but also provide squirrels with vital nutrients that support their overall health and energy levels.

Berries: A Nutrient-Rich Choice

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are also favorites among squirrels. Rich in antioxidants, berries help support the health of these active creatures. The small size and high nutrient content make berries an excellent snack for squirrels, easy to eat, and full of energy.

Feeding Tips

If you’re interested in feeding squirrels in your backyard, offering them fresh fruits and berries can be a wonderful way to watch them up close. However, it’s important to feed them in moderation to prevent dependency and ensure they consume a balanced diet. Squirrels do eat fruits and berries, which are integral to their diverse diet. By understanding and supporting their natural feeding habits, we can enjoy the presence of these delightful animals while contributing to their health and well-being.

Do Squirrels Eat Vegetables?

When envisioning a squirrel’s diet, nuts and seeds typically come to mind. However, these agile creatures also partake in a variety of vegetables, incorporating them into their diverse diet.
Squirrels are not just opportunistic feeders, they are also quite versatile in their diet choices. Their consumption of vegetables includes a range of leafy greens, roots, and even some garden favorites. Carrots, broccoli, spinach, and kale are among the vegetables that squirrels eat. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals, supporting their overall health and vigorous lifestyle.

Squirrels Eat Vegetables

Benefits of Vegetables in a Squirrel’s Diet

Incorporating vegetables helps squirrels balance their diet, particularly with vitamins like A and C, which are crucial for their immune system and vision. The fiber in vegetables also aids in their digestion, ensuring they can efficiently process the more calorie-dense nuts and seeds they consume.

For those interested in observing or supporting local wildlife, understanding that squirrels eat vegetables can enhance our ability to provide appropriate and safe foods when choosing to feed them. Offering fresh vegetable scraps can be a healthy supplement to their natural foraging. In essence, squirrels do eat vegetables, and these form an important part of their balanced diet. Recognizing this can help us appreciate the complexity of their eating habits and support their health in our shared environments.

Do Squirrels Eat Meat?

Squirrels are known for their playful antics and nimble movements as they scamper through parks and forests. But amidst their foraging adventures, do squirrels ever indulge in a carnivorous feast? Let’s explore whether these bushy-tailed creatures include meat in their diet.

Primary Herbivores:

Squirrels are primarily herbivores, meaning their diets consist mainly of plant-based foods. Their sharp incisors are well-suited for gnawing through nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, which form the bulk of their nutritional intake.

Occasional Omnivores:

While squirrels primarily gravitate toward plant matter, they are opportunistic feeders and may occasionally consume small amounts of meat. In the wild, this might include insects, bird eggs, or even small vertebrates like lizards or baby birds. However, meat is not a significant component of their diet and is typically consumed out of necessity rather than preference.

Feeding Considerations:

While it’s rare to see squirrels actively seeking out meat, it’s essential to ensure they have access to a balanced diet. For those considering feeding squirrels in their backyard, providing a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables ensures they receive the nutrients they need to thrive without resorting to meat.

While squirrels are predominantly herbivores, they may occasionally incorporate small amounts of meat into their diets. Understanding their dietary preferences helps us appreciate the adaptability of these fascinating creatures as they navigate their natural habitats.

Special Considerations for Feeding Squirrels


A common question is, “Can squirrels eat chocolate?” The answer is no. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to many animals, including squirrels. It’s best to keep chocolate away from them.

Squirrels Eat Chocolate photo

Baby Squirrels:

What do baby squirrels eat? Baby squirrels have different dietary needs and usually thrive on formula if they are being rehabilitated. They transition to solid foods similar to adult diets as they grow.

What Do Squirrels Like to Eat?

Squirrels enjoy a variety of foods, but they particularly love nuts and seeds due to their high fat and protein content, which are essential for their active lifestyles. They also enjoy chewing on items to help control the growth of their teeth, which grow continuously throughout their lives.


Understanding what squirrels can eat helps us appreciate these nimble creatures and their dietary habits. Whether scavenging for nuts or enjoying the occasional grape, squirrels have adapted to enjoy a wide range of foods available in their natural habitat. Just remember, if you’re feeding them, keep it natural and safe! By exploring the diverse diet of squirrels and ensuring we feed them appropriately, we contribute to their well-being and the balance of our local ecosystems. So next time you spot a squirrel, you’ll have a better understanding of what might be on its menu for the day!

As we continue to observe and interact with the wildlife around us, let’s do so with respect and a commitment to preserving the natural balance. After all, every creature, no matter how small, plays a vital role in the ecosystem. With a better understanding of what squirrels eat, we’re equipped to appreciate and protect these delightful animals even more.


1. What is the primary diet of squirrels?

  • Squirrels mainly eat a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Nuts and seeds provide the necessary fats and proteins, while fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and hydration.

2. What are some favorite nuts that squirrels eat?

  • Squirrels are especially fond of acorns, walnuts, and hazelnuts. These nuts are not only nutritious but also play a crucial role in their survival during the winter months.

3. Can squirrels eat fruits and berries?

  • Yes, squirrels can eat a wide range of fruits including apples, oranges, bananas, and peaches, as well as berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. These are rich in natural sugars and antioxidants, which are beneficial for their health.

4. Do squirrels eat vegetables?

  • Absolutely, squirrels eat various vegetables including carrots, broccoli, spinach, and kale. Vegetables provide essential vitamins like A and C, and fiber that aids their digestion.

5. Do squirrels eat meat?

  • While squirrels are primarily herbivores, they are also opportunistic feeders and may occasionally consume small amounts of meat, such as insects, bird eggs, or small vertebrates. Meat is not a staple in their diet and is consumed more out of necessity.

6. Is it okay to feed squirrels chocolate?

  • No, chocolate is harmful to squirrels as it contains theobromine, which is toxic to many animals, including squirrels. It is best to avoid feeding chocolate to squirrels.

7. What should I feed baby squirrels?

  • Baby squirrels typically require a special formula if they are orphaned or being rehabilitated. As they grow, they gradually transition to solid foods that mimic the adult squirrel diet.

8. Are there any special considerations when feeding squirrels?

  • Yes, when feeding squirrels, it’s important to stick to foods that are part of their natural diet like unsalted nuts and seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed human foods and snacks to ensure their health and well-being.

9. Why is it important to understand what squirrels eat?

  • Understanding what squirrels eat helps us appreciate these creatures and contributes to their well-being and the ecological balance. Feeding squirrels appropriately can enhance their health and help maintain their natural behaviors and survival skills.

10. How can feeding squirrels affect them?

– Feeding squirrels can be beneficial if done correctly by supplementing their natural diet and not causing dependency. It is important to feed them in moderation and ensure a varied diet to prevent nutritional deficiencies and health problems.

About Sabrina Tulip

I'm Sabrina Tulip, and I have a deep passion for all things animal world. I'm committed to helping others who loves wild animals. Reach out to me at sabrina@animallists.com for gardening advice and tips. Let's make the world a little greener together!

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