Squirrels help? This is how you do it right!

Summer and autumn were so dry – do squirrels still find enough nuts and fruits to eat?? And how do they get through the winter anyway?

© Germund Sellgren / WWF Sweden

In nature, not every year is the same. There are always mast years with plenty of beechnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts (pictured) and apples, often followed by years with fewer nuts and fruits.

The fact that trees and shrubs bear particularly few nuts and fruits after the long drought in Germany, is not everywhere so. In some regions, there are even quite a few.

© Wild Wonders of Europe / Peter Cairns / WWF

But winter is coming, and squirrels generally have a hard time because they don’t find much food then. Squirrels are winter dormant. That means they’re not as super active as they are in the summer, but they still need to feed regularly. To do this, they create food hiding places with nuts now in the fall, which they then dig up and eat in the winter – just like other wild animals that do not hibernate.

Whoo-hoo, I found the nut!

© Wild Wonders of Europe / Peter Cairns / WWF

Where to feed?

In the city! There are few hazelnut bushes, walnut trees, beech trees and acorns here. It’s even better to plant natural forage – such as hazelnut bushes and other fruit-bearing shrubs! This can be done in the garden, in the school garden, or perhaps at a friendly neighbor’s house. With a natural garden, you’re also helping birds and other wildlife!

How can you best feed squirrels?

© Pixabay / hbieser / CC0

– Best in a birdhouse on the tree. Squirrels and birds get along well and this is how you help them both.
– For food, take hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, carrot pieces, unsweetened rusks, fruit such as apple pieces and grapes.
– If young are present, feed nuts without shells (young squirrels can’t crack them yet).
– To prevent diseases, you should clean the feeding places regularly. Tip: Line the floor with newspaper.

Even more important: Give water

Especially after this dry summer thirst can be worse than hunger – not only for squirrels, but also for birds and hedgehogs for example. You can create several watering places in the garden. But also on the balcony a bowl of water helps the animals that visit you here. When you feed, be sure to put water next to it.
Important: Change the water regularly and wipe out the shell briefly at the same time.

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