Feeding squirrels in winter

Many animals are currently hibernating, but others will need enough food and shelter to get them through the cold season. In winter, squirrels are active for only a few hours a day. In this time, they need to find all the food they need. Squirrels are often unable to find their hiding places again — for example, if they hide food in parks or gardens that people regularly work on and change. That's why it can be a good idea to feed them.

Should you feed squirrels and, if so, what should you give them? Squirrels mainly eat seeds, nuts and flower buds, but also fungi and chestnuts. The type of food they eat will vary depending on the season. Before winter arrives, squirrels will store food in many places around their habitat and will return to these caches during the winter months. In general, giving squirrels additional food will not harm them. As squirrels are already beginning their gestation period in January, the females in particular need a lot of food in the middle of winter. The first of their young are born in February and will start looking for food themselves in March and April.



The best thing to feed squirrels is a mixture of hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chopped carrot, unsweetened rusk, watermelon, chopped apple, grapes, kiwifruit and lots of fresh water.

If possible, set up feeding points at different places in your garden so that the squirrels can avoid each other, as in general you will find that you get multiple visitors. Setting up a special squirrel feeder will make sure that no birds or other animals can get at the food.

squirrels eatinmg

The best thing to give to squirrels is a feed mixture. Suitable food includes:

  • Walnuts

  • Hazelnuts

  • Beechnuts

  • Hornbeam seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Dried maize kernels

  • Chestnuts

  • Raisins

  • Apple

  • Pear

  • Carrot

  • Cucumber

  • Courgette

  • Broccoli

frosty christmas tree