What Do Squirrels Collect: Everything You Need To Know!

Piyali Das

What Do Squirrels Collect: Everything You Need To Know!

Squirrels are one of the most known rodents distributed all over the world(except Antarctica). Let us discuss the things squirrels tend to collect usually.

Squirrels collect and eat different food items including fruits, nuts, seeds, leaves, vegetables, fungi, insects, etc. They mostly leave in tree holes and collect twigs, grass leaves, branches, etc. to make dreys.

Let us discuss the hoarding behavior of squirrels and how they keep the things that they collect along with some other facts in this article.

Do squirrels collect food?

Squirrels are known for their hoarding and caching behavior among all. Let us find out if squirrels collect food or not.

Squirrels collect food. They mostly collect seeds, acorns, hazelnuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, fruits, vegetables, fungi, etc. by smelling their scent and storing them for future use.

Image Credit: Red Squirrel by Robert Taylor is licensed under (CC BY 2.0)

Squirrels are smart enough to differentiate ripe and nutritious food by smelling, hence they collect food that is rich in nutrition and can be stored for a long time.

Do squirrels collect food for winter?

Squirrels are terrific food collectors. Let us find out if they collect food for winter or not.

Squirrels collect food for winter. They start preparing themselves for the extreme cold of winter before winter arrives. They collect and store food items in a safe place mostly in their dens or nearby dens. So that when winter comes they can have their food without coming out for long from their dreys.

Tree squirrels and flying squirrels (non-hibernating) mostly collect food in their dens to survive the scarcity of the winter season. Ground squirrels who go for hibernation to survive in the extreme cold of winter also collect food. The reason behind it is to store food for the post-hibernation period when they wake up and prepare for mating. 

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When do squirrels collect food?

Squirrels collect food so they do not have to come out in the cold. Let us find out when they collect food.

Squirrels start collecting their food mostly in autumn when food is abundant and winter is on the way. They forage for the whole day in autumn and collect plenty of food for themselves. Then they carry it in their mouth and store it in a safe place. Squirrels collect food during summer and spring days also.

Most squirrels are diurnal creatures and mostly forage during the day time preferably in the morning or in the late afternoon.  Whereas flying squirrels are nocturnal in nature and that is why they forage during the night time. 

How do squirrels collect their food?

Squirrels collect their food by sensing its smell. Squirrels have a great sense of smell they are able to recognize hollowed acorns and hazelnuts just by smelling and picking ripe nuts instead. Squirrels collect their food by foraging all day long and smelling it. Then, they carry that food to their place.

Image Credit: Squirrel in tree eating an apple by Joe Mabel is licensed under (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Arctic ground squirrels also collect food and store them under the snow. Male Arctic ground squirrels mostly collect food to store it for future use and females collect food for immediate use. 

What do squirrels do with their food?

After finding food, squirrels bring it mostly to their dens where they stock it for future use. Apart from that, they also store food by burying it underground near by their nest. They scrape a hole in the ground, place the food, and then cover it to hide from others.

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Due to their memory power, squirrels remember the place where they hid food and return there when needed. Squirrels mostly bury their food near a landmark so that they can remember that place better.

What attracts squirrels the most?

Squirrels are colorblind, they do not understand red and green colors properly. Let us know what are things they are attracted to the most.

Squirrels are primarily attracted to nutritious food sources, fresh water sources, etc. Since squirrels have a heightened sense of smell, they are very attracted to nutritious ripe nuts, fruits, orange blossoms, etc.

Do squirrels collect shiny things?

Squirrels often enter gardens and get in touch with humans who feed them. Let us know if squirrels collect shiny things from there or not.

Squirrels do collect shiny things. They are very smart and have brain capacities similar to a five-year-old infant. That is why squirrels often get attracted to shiny objects (like marbles) and collect them in their dens to decorate their place.


Squirrels are known as nature’s gardeners. Their natural instinct to collect and store food under the ground helps in growing new plant from seeds. Hence, squirrels are very significant in the ecosystem.

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