Do Squirrels Eat Bird Eggs?
This is a question that has puzzled many people for a long time. There are many myths and legends about the topic, but what does the scientific evidence say? In this guide, we will take a comprehensive look at the question whether or not squirrels eat birds’ eggs. We will examine the nutritional value of eggs, as well as look at different studies on the subject.
After reading this article, you will have all the information you need to make an informed decision on this matter!
What to know about squirrels?
Squirrels are omnivorous animals, which means that they typically eat both plants and animals. Their diet comprises a variety of items, including tree bark, leaves, nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. In terms of animal prey, squirrels typically go after small birds, lizards, snakes, and rodents. Given their wide range of dietary options, it is not surprising that squirrels are suspected to eat birds’ eggs. Here are some things you can feed to squirrels.
Nutritional value of egg
The first thing to consider when trying to answer this question is the nutritional value of eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, fat, and vitamins A, D, and E (which are all important for squirrels). They also contain phosphorus, potassium, and selenium (which help with cell growth and metabolism). They are also relatively low in calories, making them a perfect food for animals who need to watch their weight. So, from a purely nutritional standpoint, it makes sense that squirrels would want to eat eggs.
However, there is more to consider than just nutrition
Studies on the matter
There have been several studies conducted on this topic, and most of them seem to suggest that squirrels do indeed eat birds’ eggs. One study, which was published in the journal Northeastern Wildlife, observed a group of gray squirrels raiding a bluebird nest. The researchers found that the squirrels had eaten all the bird’s eggs, as well as some of the baby birds themselves.
Another study, which was published in the journal Canadian Field-Naturalist, looked at whether red squirrels prey on eggs laid by songbirds. The study found that, while red squirrels do eat eggs, they typically only take a few from each nest. This suggests that songbirds are not a major part of the red squirrel’s diet.
Also, a study published in the journal PloS One found that, while eastern chipmunks rarely eat birds’ eggs, they will if given the opportunity.
So, do squirrels eat birds’ eggs?
The answer is yes – they will if they need to! However, it is not their first choice of food and they would much rather eat something else. Eggs are a rich source of nutrients, so if a squirrel is hungry enough, they will not hesitate to snatch one up.
How to keep squirrels away from bird nests?
If you’re worried about squirrels getting to your bird’s eggs, there are a few things you can do to deter them.
First, make sure the area around the nest is clean and free of debris. This will give the squirrels fewer places to hide and make it more difficult for them to get to the eggs.
You can also try installing a wire mesh around the perimeter of the nest. This will create a physical barrier that squirrels will not be able to cross.
Finally, consider spraying the area with a repellent made specifically for squirrels. These products usually contain ingredients like hot pepper or garlic, which will discourage squirrels from entering the area.
In conclusion, squirrels will eat birds’ eggs if they need to, but it is not their first choice of food. It is important to note that squirrels are more likely to eat eggs when other food options are scarce. This means that, if there is a shortage of nuts or seeds, squirrels will turn to eggs as an alternative source of food.
Additionally, if a squirrel is sick or injured, it may also be more likely to eat eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of nutrients, so the squirrels will go for them if there is nothing else available. However, squirrels prefer to eat other things, such as nuts and seeds.
I hope this article helped to answer your question. Now you can make an informed decision next time you see a squirrel raiding a bird’s nest!
Thanks for reading!