Unlike other wild animals, squirrels don't hibernate, they hibernate. In other words, they reduce their activities to save energy - and eat less accordingly. Nevertheless, they cannot avoid looking for food if they want to get through the cold season carefree. Nuts and seeds are on their menu, which they hide in trees or bury in the ground. However, there is not always a sufficient variety of food for the animals: This is sometimes due to the fact that there are fewer mixed forests due to changed environmental and climatic conditions, so that squirrels are literally driven into our cities - where there are far fewer trees. In addition, the earth freezes in freezing temperatures and buried nuts are no longer a source of food. Then your help is needed. You can find out what you can do here.
Even if many believe that acorns are a favorite food of squirrels because of the similarity in name, this is a misconception. The animals will certainly gnaw or bury you from time to time - they are usually not eaten. In the wild, the rodents feed on hazelnuts and beechnuts, but these trees and shrubs are often in short supply in urban areas. Since the females in particular have a higher energy requirement in winter, as they become pregnant in January, supplementary feeding in the city is definitely recommended. Make sure you have a balanced mix (you can also buy ready-made) of nuts and seeds:
Important: Squirrels' incisors are constantly growing back, so they need hard shells to grind their teeth on. For this reason, you should not only feed shelled nuts and seeds, but also shelled ones. Walnuts, on the other hand, are better halved so that you can examine them for possible mold infestation - on the other hand, the shell is very difficult for squirrels to crack open. You can also do something good for the animals by offering them a small bowl of water. Because even drinking sources are difficult to find in winter when the water freezes.
Squirrels have an innate escape behavior, so you shouldn't just put the food anywhere, but always near a tree - so that the animals can get to safety when danger threatens. Ideally, you attach a special bird feeder a little higher on the trunk, which you then fill with nuts and seeds via the flap. The special thing about the wooden construction is the rainproof roof, the seating platform for squirrels and the edge-free Plexiglas pane with a narrow slit - through which the nimble animals can skilfully fish out their food. Using the pre-drilled hanger, you can easily attach the house to the tree, so the rodents don't even have to leave their territory to gather food. Alternatively, you can use a classic aviary so squirrels and birds can easily share the food.
Note: Never place the food or the water bowl on the floor. Above all, cats lurk here, who are after the young animals who are not yet able to assess their enemies very well. It is also important that you clean the feeding station regularly to avoid possible mold growth - and the associated diseases.
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