Do Squirrels Eat Conkers? Separating Fact from Fiction
Squirrels are very beautiful and cute animals. And you surely have seen them in gardens hopping here and there freely. Squirrels are also found in forests and these are mainly called wild squirrels. There are different types of squirrels and their diet differs accordingly.
But in this article, we will be putting our insights into this question. Do squirrels eat conkers? In addition, we will see what conkers are. And what is the diet of squirrels?
So are you ready to explore all the facts about squirrels’ diet and conkers? Let’s get into it without any further delay.
Do Squirrels Eat Conkers?
Squirrels love to eat different types of nuts and seeds. Moreover, their diet also includes fruits, Mushrooms, cones, and some insects. If you assume that the diet of squirrels is very limited then it is not true.
You can expect squirrels to eat everything that they found on the earth. If you want to know whether conkers are good for squirrels or not then keep reading this guide
Before giving the answer to your question that do squirrels eat conkers? Let us elaborate for you that what are conquers and are they actually safe for animals or not
What Are Conkers?
The trees of conkers are found in Europe and the United States abundantly. Conkers are basically the seeds of the horse chestnut tree. Many people confuse them with the chestnuts, but it is a different seat
Conkers are covered with sharp spikes as their outer protective covering. In summers these have a very fleshy green colour and it looks very attractive. Conkers fall in the autumn season and they split up open.
Conkers then fall down and they show the shiny brown seed, which calls squirrels, and other animals to have them.
As mentioned earlier, many people get confused between conkers and chestnuts. So these are totally different from each other and possess different characteristics. Chestnut has a very soft covering, and it does not have any spikes on it.
On the other hand, conkers have very sharp spines and their smell is also very strong. However, the colour of conkers changes from green to brown in the autumn season.
Here if you want to know, do squirrels eat cheese nuts? Yes, squirrels love to eat chestnuts and if you want to treat your neighbourhood squirrels then it is one of the best options.
These nuts are full of fibres and provide a good protein source. And squirrels can easily digest them.
Conkers Are Poisonous
It is a very clear statement that conkers are highly poisonous nuts. If we compare chestnuts with conkers then both these are totally opposite.
Chestnuts are the ultimate choice of squirrels as well as human beings. The roasted chestnuts are very delicious and full of dietary fibres and protein.
On the other hand, conkers are actually poisonous. Because of the presence of a particular chemical, it makes conkers poisonous and unsafe to eat.
Aesculin is a poisonous chemical present in conkers. This chemical can cause stomach upset and nausea. This might happen to every animal who eats them because it is not suitable for the digestive system.
This nut can also home humans as well. If taken in an excessive amount it can cause a paralysis attack.
So if we say do squirrels eat conkers? Definitely, no squirrels do not eat conkers.
Why Do Squirrels Not Eat Conkers?
It is a gift of God to every living Organism, that they can choose the best food for themselves. Instinctively squirrels do not eat conkers.
Firstly they have spikes on them that are not very appealing to the squirrels. But if we talk about the shiny brown nut. Then it has a very specific smell that is not liked by the squirrels.
As a result, they do not eat it and avoid them completely. The second reason is the presence of a poisonous chemical aesculin in it. Suppose if a squirrel had it once, it would not eat it again. Because this chemical disturbs the digestive system and makes them ill.
However, you might see many squirrels nibbling on these poisonous shells. But do not worry they do not eat it. Firstly because of their smell. And secondly, they taste very bad and it will automatically prevent every squirrel from gulping it down even if they are hungry.
You may also want to know, do squirrels eat fruit? Yes, squirrels love to munch on different types of fruit. Squirrels love to eat apples, oranges, corn, avocados, apricots, and different berries.
Squirrels Food For Winters
Squirrels store an abundant amount of food in their nests for winter particularly. They are very well aware of the fact that after snow, they will not find anything to eat. In order to save themselves from starvation and death in winters they collect seeds, fruits, nuts, and other food.
Interestingly, they also collect conkers and store them in their underground nests. People assume that why do squirrels keep them in their food banks even if they do not eat them.
Yes, it is true that squirrels never eat conkers but due to their hoarding instincts, they collect them. And that is the reason you will find numerous conker shells and seeds in their nest after the winter season.
Squirrels’ Diet And Eating Habits
As we have gone through the major part of our guide , squirrels eat conkers. Now let’s hit on another very important section of this guide.
Even squirrels cannot eat conkers but other than conkers they can have everything in their mouth. These small animals have adapted themselves in all the hard conditions. And they can eat anything in their natural habitat. Following is the list of what do squirrels eat.
· Pine nuts
· Hickory nuts
· Green beans
However, the squirrels do not like to eat insects. And they mainly fill their appetite and take all the nutrition from fruits, vegetables and different types of nuts.
But sometimes when their favourite food is scarce then they rely on insects. Generally, they eat crickets, small bugs, grasshoppers, and caterpillars.
Don’t forget insects are not included in the diet of squirrels. This is the last option for squirrels when they do not find food in their surroundings.
Hopefully, you have got the answer to your question. Squirrels do not eat conkers, even other animals do not eat them at all. The spikes on the outer shell and their bitter taste keep animals safe from this poisonous nut.
However, squirrels eat a lot of other things as their food. For instance, they like to eat different vegetables, fruit,nuts, eggs of birds, and sometimes insects.
The diet of wild squirrels is almost similar to the one you see in your neighbourhood. Hence these are well-adapted animals that can eat anything around them and fill their appetite with these natural present foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Do squirrels eat birds?
No, squirrels do not eat birds. However, they eat some insects only when the food availability is low even in their natural habitat.
Q2.What nuts do squirrels eat?
Squirrels love to eat nuts. Even wild squirrels also have their first choice offered as nuts. They like to eat almonds, Pine nuts, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cashews, Hickory nuts, Ecrons
Q3.Do squirrels eat eggs?
Squirrels are famous for stealing the eggs of different birds. Adult squirrels wait for the mother to fly away from the nest and they get the bird eggs from their nest.
Squirrels eat eggs of sparrows, crows, robins, blackbirds or even hens.
Q4.Do squirrels eat conkers?
Conkers are poisonous nuts. These nuts have aesculin chemicals in them that upsets the digestive system of animals.
Squirrels do not eat them because of their instinctive nature. These nuts smell very harsh and they also taste very bitter.