Can Squirrels Eat Birdseed?

Can Squirrels Eat Birdseed?

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Can Squirrels eat Birdseed

If you're like most people, you probably think of bird seed as something you buy at the store to feed your pet squirrel friends.  

The most common type of bird seed is sunflower seeds. These small black and white seeds are a favorite of many squirrels. But did you know that there are many different types of bird seed?

In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of bird seeds and what they're used for.

Bird seeds

Birdseed for squirrels is a nutritional supplement meant to focus on the general squirrel population, and include some healthier species across regions.

Squirrels can take advantage of many different types of seeds during migration and non-migration seasons.

While a mixed bird seed typically comprises a mix of milo, millet, mustard seed, cracked corn, sunflower, and other seeds or grains, usually it also includes a small amount of even more appropriate seeds or grains.

Wheat is popular as a filler ingredient but has little nutritional value for squirrels.

Getting Birdseed for Squirrels

If you're looking to attract some feathered friends to your backyard, you'll need to purchase some bird seed. You can find birdseed at most pet stores, as well as many pet and home improvement stores. 

When it comes to choosing a squirrel's seed mix, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider what type of squirrels you'd like to attract. Different squirrels have different dietary needs. 

Second, take into account any allergies or sensitivities that your household members might have. Some bird seed mixes contain peanuts or other nuts, which can be a problem for people with allergies.

The Hunt for Birdseed

Some believe that squirrels have a keen sense of smell that allows them to track down the seed, while others contend that birds are simply better at finding the seed in the first place. 

When it comes to squirrels and bird seeds, there are a few things you need to know. For one, squirrels love bird seeds. They will do just about anything to get to it. This includes climbing trees, raiding bird feeders, and even digging through snowbanks. 

If you have a bird feeder in your yard, chances are a squirrel has tried to get to the seed at some point.

While some people view squirrels as pests, others find them to be cute and entertaining creatures. If you fall into the latter category, there are a few things you can do to keep the squirrels away from your bird feeders. 

One option is to buy a squirrel-proof feeder. These feeders typically have weight-sensitive perches that close off the access hole when a squirrel tries to land on them. 

Why it matters

Squirrels rely on feeders for food more than most people realize. In the wild, squirrels typically eat nuts, fruits, and seeds. However, when squirrels come to our yards, they often find that there are very few of these natural food sources available. 

This is because we have taken over their habitat and changed the landscape to suit our own needs. As a result, many squirrels now rely on the available primary source of food.

While it may not seem like a big deal to us, this is a very big deal for squirrels. First of all, it means that they are entirely dependent on us for food. If we stop putting out bird seeds, they will starve. Additionally, it means that we have a lot of control over what they eat.

5 Bird seeds for Squirrel 

The seed that attracts squirrels to a home or garden farm can’t be ascertained exactly. However, the long list below is a must-sort after among squirrels.


There are two types of sunflower plants—those that produce black oil and those that produce striped seeds. The black oil seeds (oilers) have very thin shells, easy for nearly all seed-eating birds to crack open, and the kernels within have a high-fat content, very valuable for most winter squirrels.

Squirrels find it difficult to crack the large cover of striped sunflower seeds.

If you don't wade in species, you should probably not waste your carefully produced black oil sunflower seed cake. Before anything else, try to switch to striped sunflower seeds.

Cracked Corn

Cracked corn is available in various grinding sizes, as well as seed blends.

It's an economical type of grain that can be found in pet shops, animal feed stores, and garden centers.


Safflower has a sturdy shell that leads to it being very difficult for some squirrels to crack open, but it's a frequently used food for them.

Safflower is popular among finches, grackles, doves, grosbeaks, chickadees, and squirrels. Safflower is said to have become a specialty in some regions among House Sparrows, European Starlings, and squirrels.


Peanuts are well-liked by squirrels, jays, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, and other small animals but are enjoyed by nonhuman predators, too.

Peanuts tend to have high levels of aflatoxin; therefore, they must be consumed as soon as possible.

Peanut shells can be set onto platform feeders or placed on a deck railing or window feeder for squirrels to delight in.

Peanuts and other seeds are often offered in tube feeders. Make sure you change the seed regularly, even during rainy or humid weather, completely emptying the feeder and washing the tubes frequently.

Milo Or Sorghum

A favorite among many types of Western ground-feeding squirrels is Milo. It is usually scattered on the ground or low trays. Prevent offering it if you're sponsoring squirrels.  


Protecting your Bird seeds from Squirrels

There are many squirrel repellents in the market that contain bird seeds. While these products may keep squirrels away from your bird feeder, they can be harmful to the animals if ingested. 

Squirrels are attracted to bird seed and will often eat it, even if it is treated with a repellent. If the repellent is toxic, it can make the squirrel sick or even kill it. 

There are non-toxic alternatives to bird seed repellents that are safe for both squirrels and birds.

Therefore, one way to keep squirrels away from bird feeders is to place the feeder on a pole or other structure that is at least four feet off the ground. 

Another way to deter squirrels is to use a feeder that has a weight-activated perch that closes the access door when a squirrel steps on it. 

There are also various squirrel-proof bird feeders available for purchase. Some of these have weight-activated perches while others have metal cages around them.


Pet squirrels will not always enjoy an all-seed diet; however, that doesn't mean it's bad for them.

Seeds are usually low in important vitamins and minerals while rich in fat.

However, the quality of pet squirrel seeds is often low. Many seed mixes have an artificial color scheme, and are low in diversity, and this might make a pet squirrel feel bored of eating it repeatedly. But squirrels can eat bird seed.

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