Why do Squirrels like nuts? The answer is in this article!

  • By: Alex
  • Date: July 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Have you ever wondered why squirrels like nuts? Well, there are many different reasons.

One of the most well-known is that they act as an excellent food source to sustain them through winter when no other edible plants are available. They also play a part in helping trees produce high-quality seeds for future harvests. 

When it comes to the Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), they are considered biological engineers because of their ability to harvest and bury caches of pine tree seeds.

These seeds remain dormant until the squirrel buries them in a specific area referred to as a midden.

Often, these nuts are forgotten and left to grow into trees.

The Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) also have similar habits, except they do not seem to keep their caches for more than one year, whereas the Red Squirrels will store seeds for three years or more before forgetting them.

However, what is interesting about this behavior is that the Red Squirrels are very picky.

They will often gather seeds from poor quality trees (of inferior genetic stock), not producing seeds every year.

This may seem like it would actually hurt their chances of survival, but they can compensate for this by producing more offspring.

How do squirrels know where they buried nuts?

How do squirrels know where they buried nuts

They use the sense of smell to do so.

After burying a seed, they immediately leave the area to avoid being tempted to eat it too soon.

When they return, their sense of smell will lead them straight back to where they buried the seeds, even if there are no landmarks or other clues as to their whereabouts.

This is good for the trees because it ensures that their seeds are not eaten by other animals or birds, which would destroy them before they have a chance to germinate.

On the other hand, if you were to bury a nut near where the squirrel keeps its midden, there will be no guarantee that it will find it again.

The best way to ensure that the squirrel gets its food if you are trying to help it with an artificial midden is to plant the nuts at the base of a tree trunk, preferably next to where they have already buried seeds.

This way, their sense of smell will lead them right back to it without fail. This is an excellent way to ensure that the squirrels get their food.

However, you should not make it too easy for them because if they are less inclined to look for other buried caches of nuts, there is a good chance that they will eat more of what they can find.

This will keep them from stocking up on too many nuts if there is a bad harvest.

Why do squirrels smell nuts?

Why do squirrels smell nuts

The food they store away is meant for when there is not enough food to eat.

When the squirrels bury their nuts, they will sometimes go back and dig them up if they change their minds or want more.

This means that you might be able to find some nuts that they buried.

To find these nuts, you should try to follow their trails and look on the ground for any nuts which fell on the way.

Many people think that squirrels gather acorns to plant them, but this is not entirely true.

The main reason that they choose acorns is that they enjoy eating them.

Many of the nuts they gather will go to waste since they will forget where they put them, or the nut is eaten by another animal before they get a chance to.

However, there is something strange about their behavior regarding acorns.

It appears that they like to bury acorns near the locations at which they have previously buried other nuts for some unknown reason.

They do this even if there is no way to know that the acorn will grow into an oak tree because of the soil type.

Even more strange is that they typically bury acorns in areas without many oak trees, so it does not make sense for them to waste time on something that they will not get a return on.

Another factor may have nothing to do with acorns, which is the only place to bury them.

This behavior makes it harder to collect acorns because you might dig away some of the nuts they have carefully buried in secret instead of finding them.

What do squirrels like to eat the most?

Squirrels like to eat nuts, particularly acorns. They also like seeds. Squirrels will also eat insects, fruits, and berries if no other food sources are available.

The squirrel will find the buried nut by following its own scent trail that leads it back to where it buried them previously.