Squirrel a nest predator?
The squirrel as a nest predator seems impossible at first glance. You certainly didn't expect this from the cute little animal either. The rodent becomes a nest predator when the food resources from seeds, nuts and co. are not sufficient. On average, the rodent has to eat between 35 and 80 g of food per day.
Bird nests in danger from the nest predator squirrel
Under certain circumstances, the sweet squirrel can become a nest predator. Surely this sounds very cruel to you at first moment, but fortunately it is not the rule. Squirrels still prefer to eat nuts and seeds. If the food supply becomes scarce and the rodents want to escape certain starvation, squirrels become nest predators.
What does nest plundering look like?
The squirrel takes small young birds from the nests. If the cute rodent is also pregnant and needs to cover its increased protein requirements, it will also eat birds' eggs.
It has also been observed many times that squirrels feast on small carrion such as dead mice or dead baby birds.
At this point we would like to tell you that the small amounts of young birds or bird eggs that the squirrel ingests as a nest predator are not a threat to the bird population.
In gardens squirrels and birds get along very well. It is sometimes even observed that they share a feeding place.
Does the squirrel eat birds?
We can reassure you and answer the question with a clear NO. If you are one of the people who would like to have one or more squirrels in the garden, it may be that you will be attacked. Most of the time these are bird lovers.
Especially in old textbooks, the squirrel is still portrayed as a nest predator. It is even considered a bird predator. You are surely asking yourself now, what is the truth of these statements and how dangerous is the squirrel really.
Basically, it can be said that squirrels do not pose a threat to native birds. Only in very rare cases they eat a young bird or already the bird eggs. As a rule, however, there is then a shortage of food, so that the rodent looks for something edible to escape starvation.
What is on the squirrel's menu?
The squirrel usually meets its nutritional needs through a purely plant-based diet. They meet their animal protein needs through insects or other small animals. The diet of a squirrel looks like this:
If you do go to a bird's nest in their distress, they usually eat dead young birds that have remained in the nest.
Garden animal - A life with nature
Welcome to my animal blog! My name is Dirk and I am happy to take you on my journey through the fascinating world of animals and gardening.
Born 54 years ago, I have had an insatiable curiosity for the animal world around me since childhood. Although I have moved professionally in other industries, my true passion has always been animals and nature. It is remarkable how a small garden has become such an important part of my life.
Many of my fondest memories are associated with the animals that share our home. Whether it's the curious squirrels that scurry across the trees in the morning, the colorful variety of birds that visit our feeders, or the busy bees and butterflies that pollinate our flowers, every moment with them is invaluable to me.
This blog is my contribution to share my experiences, discoveries and insights with like-minded people. Here I will share stories of unforgettable encounters with animals, give tips on gardening and creating wildlife-friendly habitats, and take you on my journeys through nature.
Thank you so much for being here!
Dirk aka garden animal