Mother Nature has work for squirrels to do. They are part of the food chain. They also bury nuts (mostly acorns) in the ground. They eat most of these nuts during the winter, but some nuts grow into new trees!
Squirrels are fun to watch. They move quickly, and when they are eating, they fluff out their tails and curl them over their backs. They sit up to eat, holding the food in their front paws so they can nibble on it. If you look carefully, you can see that their eyes are always open, watching for larger animals that might bother them.
This year, the oak trees where we live did not make enough acorns to feed the squirrels through the winter, so they will be getting hungry about now. They will have trouble finding food until spring comes with its new plants and seeds for them to eat. We know this because scientists have studied it and told us about it.
You can help the squirrels this winter by putting crumbled bread, nuts, and cereals (all called grains) in your yard. Not too much, though. Squirrels are small and do not need a lot of food.
Be careful. Squirrels should not eat salt or sugar. Cereal that has sugar in it is not good for them. It isn’t good for you either, so be happy when your parents buy un-sugared cereal. Too much salt is not good for squirrels’ hearts. Do not give them nuts that have been salted.
Never try to catch or touch a squirrel. They are wild animals, and might bite or scratch you if they are frightened.
Squirrels will not usually come eat grains you put out for them if you are near. Sometimes, you have to go away, and later see that the squirrel food is gone! But if you look out the window, you might see them munching away in your yard.