Can Squirrel Eat Grapes?

Squirrels love eating human food, and there are plenty of fruits and vegetables they can safely enjoy. While some make a nutritious treat for them, other fruits and vegetables come with a warning sign.

All varieties of grapes are healthy and tasty. If you are wondering ‘can squirrels eat grapes?’, ‘what are the health benefits of grapes’ or ‘how much is safe’, keep reading. The answers are right here.

squirrel-eating-grapes

Squirrels are known to be extremely fond of sweet treats. Green or purple, squirrels love eating grapes.

Grapes are full of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorous, and potassium which are beneficial to squirrels’ health. The berries also polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that plays a vital role in preventing heart diseases and cancers.

That being said, there are definitely limits when it comes to feeding your pet squirrel grapes. As with all sugary fruits, too many grapes can seriously affect squirrels’ digestion. So, it’s important to offer only small amounts once or twice a week. Also,

Since squirrels have a sensitive digestive system, you might want to sink the grapes in water for a few minutes and thoroughly wash them to remove traces of pesticides. Also, keep in mind to remove the seed of the grapes. While the seeds are edible, too much will cause kidney disorders.

There are various fruits that squirrels eat. Grapes are among them which are safe but in moderation. As a pet owner, or a person who love feeding squirrels in the garden, you should know that a squirrel’s ideal diet can contain only 10-15% fresh fruits, other parts are nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

Benefits of Grapes For Squirrels

Grapes are one of the most nutrient-dense fruits. Besides important vitamins and minerals, they contain polyphenols, catechins, quercetin, lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin.

Dark-colored varieties typically have more antioxidants and phytonutrients than the lighter ones, but all grape varieties are great for squirrels when fed as an occasional treat.

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Grapes are rich in nutrients: Squirrels are one of the most active animals so, they need a lot of nutrients. Grapes happen to provide plenty of essential nutrients including protein, fiber, fat, carbs, and lots of vitamins.

Grapes are rich in antioxidants: Be it humans or tiny critters, antioxidants are essential for overall health and wellness. The antioxidants in grapes act as a shield against the free radicals and their negative effects.

Grapes strengthen bones: You can never see an idle squirrel. He will be either climbing or jumping from tree to tree, leaping from heights, or raiding the garden for food. All these require them to have strong bones. Lucky for the critters, the grapes are rich in bone-forming minerals

Grapes boost the immune system: Squirrels aren’t picky eaters, and some food they eat affects their digestive system and immunity. Poor immunity may put them in a serious spot and won’t be able to fight off infections. Grapes can help with boosting their immunity, they contain immune-boosting minerals and vitamins including vitamin C.

Grapes boost energy levels: Another amazing benefit of eating grapes for squirrels is that it provides them with lots of energy. This energy helps to keep them moving about and foraging for their favorite food. Grapes contain enough carbs and calories to keep squirrel’s energy levels.

Can Grey Squirrels Eat Grapes?

Grey squirrels or tree squirrels are the most common types of squirrels seen in the backyards and parks. They feed predominantly on nuts, as well as tree seeds. However, they also eat fruits including grapes.

What Fruits Are Good For Squirrels?

Squirrels will happily eat all kinds of fruits. The problem is that they do not bother ‘moderation’ and pretty much overeat especially if it’s a delicious and sweet fruit.

Because their body isn’t designed to consume tons of sugar and calories, fruits should be fed occasionally; a few slices a day is more than enough. If you’re filling the squirrel feeder in the backyard, do so once or twice a week. Try avoiding pits and seeds, to prevent choking hazards.

Some good squirrel-friendly fruits include mangoes, apples, melons, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, figs, blueberries, red berries, raspberries, plums, cherries, mulberries, elderberries, lingonberries, pears, peaches, kiwi, and pineapple.

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Keep in mind that some fruits like grapes, bananas, mangoes, strawberries, etc are higher in natural sugar and should be given sparingly.

What Foods do Squirrels Hate the Most?

Squirrels won’t eat onions and garlic. They also show aversion towards foods with a hot or spicy smell. Squirrels avoid eating white pepper, black pepper, spicy bell pepper, and cayenne pepper.

What are Squirrel’s Favorite Food?

Squirrels are opportunistic foragers, meaning they’ll eat just about anything: plant materials, leaves, weeds, fungi, flowers, seeds – the list goes on and on.

Because they cannot digest cellulose in plant materials, they cannot survive off just plants. Instead, they rely on a variety of foods, even eggs, small insects, or tiny birds.

Squirrels love consuming the following foods:

1. Vegetables

Squirrels are primarily herbivores, although they can consume any food.

Their favorite vegetables are radish, okra, beets, broccoli, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, chard, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, beans, radish, tomatoes, and squash. Kale, leeks, lettuce, spinach, and arugula are squirrel’s favorite greens.

2. Fruits

Squirrels are very fond of fruits, especially wild berries and grapes. Mangoes, apples, melons, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, figs, blueberries, red berries, raspberries, plums, cherries, mulberries, elderberries, lingonberries, pears, peaches, kiwi, and pineapple are some of their favorite fruits. Besides providing the energy, fruits help them boost immunity and to get some extra pounds in preparation for cold winter days.

3. Nuts

Squirrels absolutely love nuts. If you have trees in the yard, you will find the critters scurrying about eating or storing the nuts. Nuts provide plenty of proteins, carbs, and fats needed to fatten them up for the winter. Nuts also help squirrels keep their dental health and prevent the incisors from growing too long.

The best nuts for squirrels: acorns, walnuts, beechnuts, Hickory Nuts, butternuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, and pistachios.

4. Seeds

If you’ve ever had a squirrel in your garden, you know that they enjoy eating seeds. Poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, safflower seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc are some of their favorites.

5. Cheese

Cheese might seem an unusual entry in the ‘favorite squirrel food’ list. However, squirrels do eat and love eating cheese. Although cheese is not readily available in the wilderness, squirrels forage around in dustbins for chunks and scraps of cheddar or mozzarella. If they get their paws on, squirrels will eat discarded cheesy pizza scraps, sandwiches, and crackers any time.

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6. Birdseed

Squirrels don’t mind feasting on bird seeds. Bird Seeds usually contain grains, nuts, and seeds – squirrel’s favorite foods. So, it’s quite natural for the critter to get tempted whenever they trespass on bird feeders.

7. Eggs

If fruits, veggies, and nuts are scarce, their survival instinct kicks-in, and squirrels may resort to eggs. Wild squirrels even prey on hatchlings and tiny birds sometimes to keep them alive.

8. Fungi and Mushrooms

If they can eat eggs, then squirrels can definitely consume fungi. Most wild squirrels feed on fungi, oyster mushrooms, or truffles.

9. Cereal

Another highly nutritious food source for squirrels is cereal; it provides them the energy required for all that climbing, jumping, and foraging. Cereals contain sugar which is good for their health. However, too much cereal is bad for squirrels. When feeding cereal to a squirrel, try mixing it with other natural foods so their diet remains balanced.

10. Insects

When food is scarce, squirrels tend to eat insects such as winged bugs, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and crickets. They also eat insect larva.

11. Plant parts

Squirrels consume delicate parts of a plant such as shoots, stalks, and leaves. They also feed on grasses, roots, petals, flower buds, bulbs, and sprouts.

12. Smaller Animals

Sometimes hunger and food scarcity can make squirrels predators. They feed on smaller rodents, birds, or snakes.

Do Birds Eat Grapes?

Some birds aren’t picky eaters but some are. Do birds eat grapes? Of course, they do. Bluebirds, parrots, grosbeaks, mockingbirds, robins, tanagers, and waxwings love eating wild grapes right off the vine. Some species of woodpeckers including Downy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker also eat grapes.

Grapes are delicious and contain a rather high level of fructose. This means that grapes can work to a quick energy boost to the birds. If you have a pet bird at home, fed her sparingly for this very same reason. Too many grapes too often make the birds obese, not to mention the digestive issues.

Reference:

https://squirrelrefuge.org/fooddiet.html

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Sonia Madaan is a writer and founding editor of science education blog EarthEclipse. Her passion for science education drove her to start EarthEclipse with the sole objective of finding and sharing fun and interesting science facts. She loves writing on topics related to space, environment, chemistry, biology, geology and geography. When she is not writing, she loves watching sci-fi movies on Netflix.