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Squirrel Diets

Southern Flying Squirrel Diet (partial listing)

The southern flying squirrel has a diet very similar to that of the northern flying squirrel, however, there are differences - mainly due to food type availability. Food types vary according to geographic location. For example, the southern flying squirrel will eat pecans in the southern part of its range, but not in the northern part of its range, as the pecan tree does not grow naturally in northern climes.

Mast tree crops of all types, including acorn (red oak, black oak, mossycup oak, white oak, pin oak, etc.)
Hickory nut (shagbark, bitternut, pignut); pecan; walnuts; beech nut; horsechestnut; hazelnut; etc.
Seeds of various varieties
Insects (beetles, moths and their larvae, etc.)
Spiders
Slugs, snails
Tree and shrub buds
Flowers (tree, shrub, herb)
Fruits of many trees and shrubs
Berries (most types)
Fungi
Bird eggs, nestlings
Bark cambium
Carrion, especially in winter months
Tree sap


Northern Flying Squirrel Diet (partial listing)

Fungi - partial listing - (Cortinariaceae spp., Tuber spp., Gautieria spp., Elaphomyces spp., Hysterangium spp., Rhizopogon spp., Hymenogaster spp., Boletales spp., Russulaceae spp., Bankeraceae spp., Diatrypaceae spp., Hymenochaetales spp., Zlariaceae spp., Helicoma spp., Sordariaceae spp., Phragmidium spp., Melanogaster spp., Gymnomyces spp., Amanita muscaria)

Lichens - partial listing - (Bryoria fremontii, B. fuscescens complex, B. pseudofuscescens, Ramalina thrausta, Usnea ceratina, U. longissima, Usnea. spp., Letharia vulpina)

Mast tree crops of all types, including acorns (red oak, black oak, mossycup oak, white oak, pin oak, etc.); hickory nuts (bitternut, pignut); beech nuts; horsechestnuts, etc.

Seeds of various varieties

Insects (beetles, moths and their larvae, etc.)

Tree and shrub buds

Flowers (tree, shrub, herb)

Fruits of many trees and shrubs

Berries (most types)

Spiders

Slugs, snails

Bird eggs, nestlings

Bark cambium

Carrion

Tree sap

Ground squirrel

Probably the mis-identified ground squirrel often mistaken for chipmunk and gophers. It resides throughout most of the great plain states all the way from Texas to Pennsylvania to Canada. These ground squirrels will eat just about anything including insects, mice, earthworms, small birds, other Thirteen Lined squirrels, seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruit and flowers. They will produce over 10 young per litter once a year and will live a few years on average.

The Richardson, Columbian and Washington ground squirrels

All reside in the northwest part of the country and like the Townsend, rely more on flowers, plant stems, fruit and seed for diet. They will eat nuts and grains when available and have one litter a year with as little as 2 or as many as 15 young.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel consumes a variety of foods such as inner tree bark, various seeds and acorns, walnuts, and other nuts found in the forests.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel

Will raid bird feeders for millet corn, and sunflower seeds but they are reported to dislike the slight capsaicin content of safflower seeds.[citation needed] So-called anti-squirrel birdseed preparations are available; the seeds are coated with chili pepper. The birds are unaffected because they cannot taste the capsaicin. Mixing hot pepper flakes into regular birdseed works well as a squirrel deterrent. The squirrel is known to dig bulbs from gardens. The squirrel has a high tolerance for humans and inhabits residential neighborhoods and urban parks; it may even be enticed to accept food from people.

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