Squirrels are more than just cute little climbers scampering through our gardens and parks. They are also an important part of our ecosystem. But how can we help these charming creatures, especially during the cold season? This blog post shows you how to build or choose a squirrel feeder yourself.
- Squirrel feeder
- Why a squirrel feeder?
- So important is a squirrel feeder
- The best place for squirrel feeder
- Squirrel feeder - customize filling
- How do I clean the squirrel feeder?
- Conclusion: squirrel feeder
Why a squirrel feeder?
A squirrel feeder is not only a fun way to watch the cute little animals in your garden or on your balcony. It's also an important way to help support these animals, especially during times when food is scarce. A well-designed feeder keeps the food clean and dry, which not only promotes squirrel health, but also ensures that less food is wasted.
Squirrels are known for their curiosity and amazing ability to search for food in hard-to-reach places. A feeder provides a welcome challenge for them and can also help prevent them from foraging in other places, like your birdhouse.
The importance of proper feeding
The nutritional needs of squirrels are diverse. They like to eat nuts, seeds, fruits and even some insects. By providing a squirrel feeder, you have control over what they eat. This allows you to ensure a balanced diet that is tailored to the specific needs of these animals.
Too many unhealthy foods can be harmful to squirrels. That's why it's important to fill the feeder with nutrient-rich foods. Hygiene also plays an important role. A clean feeder helps prevent the spread of disease.
So important is a squirrel feeder
Feeding squirrels can be a rewarding experience. It allows us to observe these skilled and fascinating animals up close and at the same time do something good for our local fauna.
Nutritional needs of squirrels
Squirrels are omnivores whose diet varies greatly depending on the season and what is available in their environment. Although in the wild they feed mainly on a variety of plants, nuts, seeds and fruits, they may also eat smaller animals and insects.
A well-designed squirrel feeder can help provide the animals with a balanced diet that covers all the necessary nutrients. Therefore, it makes sense to offer a mixture of nuts and seeds that are not only delicious but also nutritious for the squirrels. By using a variety of nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts, you can ensure that your feeder offers a varied diet to the squirrels.
Promotion of biodiversity
Squirrels are an important part of the ecosystem. They contribute to the spread of seeds and thus promote biodiversity in forests and gardens. By feeding the animals, you can contribute to the preservation of biodiversity.
However, it is important to keep feeding in moderation and make sure that not only squirrels, but also other animals feel comfortable around the feeder. The placement of the feeder should be such that it is less accessible to cats and other potential predators.
Especially in winter, when food is scarce, a squirrel feeder is a welcome help for the animals. During this time of year, squirrels have difficulty finding enough food. An automatic feeder can provide crucial support here.
Many squirrels lay in stocks for the winter, but these are not always sufficient or they are discovered by other animals. Therefore, a reliable feeder is an important tool, especially in the cold months, to help the animals survive.
Of course, I'll continue with the section on the best place for a squirrel feeder.
The best place for squirrel feeder
You've successfully assembled your squirrel feeder, but now the question is: where is the best place to put it? The placement of the feeder is crucial, both for the safety of the squirrels and for your viewing pleasure.
Where can the squirrel feeder be hung?
The positioning of the feeder is a critical factor in its success. Some preferred locations might be:
- On a tree: This is often the most obvious choice, as squirrels are naturally fond of climbing.
- On a fence: a sturdy garden fence is also a good option, provided it is accessible to squirrels.
- On a post: A free-standing post in your yard can also be a good choice, especially if you don't have any suitable trees.
How to attach the squirrel feeder?
The attachment of the feeder is another important aspect. Here are some methods:
- With screws: If you want to attach the vending machine to a tree or fence, sturdy screws are often the best choice.
- With ropes: A sturdy rope or chain can also be used, especially if you want to hang the vending machine from a branch.
- With hooks: For some finished models are available special hooks that facilitate assembly.
What is the squirrel feeder filled with?
Now that the feeder is up, it's time to fill it. But what is the best choice of feed?
- Nuts: Hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans are popular options.
- Seeds: Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are also suitable.
- Fruit: Some squirrels also like small amounts of fruit such as apples or pears.
Be careful not to use salted or spiced nuts, as they are not healthy for squirrels.
Squirrel feeder - customize filling
|Season||Recommended food||Not recommended food|
|Spring||Sunflower seeds, peanuts||Bread, salted nuts|
|Summer||Nut mixture||Chocolate, spiced nuts|
|Fall||Hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts||Meat, dairy products|
|Winter||High fat seeds||Fresh fruit, cooked food|
Explanation of the table:
- Spring: The squirrels are active and look for a variety of food. Sunflower seeds and peanuts are especially popular at this time.
- Summer: A varied mix of nuts is ideal, as squirrels need a lot of energy at this time of year.
- Fall: Nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts are especially in demand at this time as squirrels begin to build up stores for the winter.
- Winter: Fat-rich seeds are good sources of energy and help squirrels survive the cold season.
Why high fat seeds for squirrel feeder?
Fat-rich seeds are an excellent source of energy for squirrels, especially during the cold winter months when they need extra calories to stay warm. During this time, the need for foods rich in fats and proteins is especially high.
Sunflower seeds are among the seeds richest in fat and are therefore a good choice. These seeds are rich not only in fat, but also in proteins, which are important for the growth and repair of tissues.
Pumpkin seeds are another excellent option. They are also high in fat and also contain important nutrients such as iron and magnesium. Hemp seeds can also serve as a high-quality source of energy. They are rich in essential fatty acids and have the added benefit of being easily digestible.
However, it should be noted that high-fat seeds should be offered in moderation, otherwise they can lead to an unbalanced diet. It is recommended to combine them with other foods such as nuts to ensure a balanced supply of nutrients.
How do I clean the squirrel feeder?
Cleaning the squirrel feeder is an important aspect of ensuring that the animals have a clean and hygienic food source. A poorly maintained feeder can harbor germs and mold, which can be harmful to the animals' health.
In the following, I will go into the individual steps of the cleaning process:
Emptying the feeder
First, you should empty the feeder completely. Old food and residue can accumulate over time and should be removed before cleaning.
Preparation and cleaning agents
Before you start cleaning, prepare a mild detergent and warm water. You can also use a mixture of vinegar and water, as vinegar is a natural disinfectant.
Cleaning and scrubbing
Take a brush or sponge and thoroughly scrub all parts of the feeder. Make sure to reach all nooks and crannies to give mold and bacteria no chance.
Rinsing and drying
After scrubbing, the feeder should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water. Then let it dry completely before you fill it again.
Regularity of cleaning
Cleaning should be done at least once a month, but more frequent cleaning may be appropriate depending on your needs and frequency of use.
Overall, regular and thorough cleaning of the squirrel feeder is crucial to the health and well-being of the animals. By not neglecting this important step, you will help ensure that the squirrels have a safe and clean food source.
Conclusion: squirrel feeder
A squirrel feeder is more than just a nice gesture for the furry residents of your yard. It's a way to support local wildlife while learning a lot about the behavior of these fascinating animals. From choosing the right materials to the best placement, this project offers a lot of room for creativity and personal preference.
It is important that the feeder is safe and easily accessible for the squirrels and that it is regularly filled with suitable food. Thus, the feeder becomes a real asset to any garden and allows many exciting moments of observation.
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