5 Tips to Attract Red Squirrels to Your Backyard

The American Red Squirrel. If you don’t know it to see it, you’ll absolutely be familiar with its call. This feisty little mammal rules the roost in your backyard, shooing other squirrels and barking at potential predators (ahem, that might be you!). They’re like the Jack Russel Terriers of the squirrel world and if you’d like to see their antics in full swing, there are a few things you’ll need to do!

Give Them a Place to Raise Their Young

If your backyard has trees, you’re bound to find an American Red Squirrel scampering about at some point. These spirited mammals adore coniferous trees, but they’re not overly picky – a cozy spot in a deciduous tree will suit them just fine too. Their nests? Leafy and snug, nestled close to the tree trunk. Don’t have a tree in your yard? Don’t worry! These resourceful critters won’t hesitate to claim a nesting box as their own in a pinch.

Give Them a Place to Stay Warm During the Winter

When the winter chill sets in, these feisty squirrels will go on a mission to stockpile snacks and snuggle up somewhere warm. They seek out winter homes that can hold the heat. Keep an eye out for tree cavities in your backyard- you might spot a red blur dashing back and forth! You can also offer them a nesting box for the winter – they’re just as toasty warm as a tree cavity anyway.

Give Them Something to Eat

The American Red Squirrel eats a variety of plants to get all the nutrients they need! Want to roll out the welcome mat in your backyard? Plant some shrubs like wild cherry, Red-osier Dogwood and hawthorn. And don’t forget about trees! These furry fellas can’t resist the temptation of nuts, buds, fruit and even tree sap! Oaks, hickories, beeches, pines, spruces and sugar maples are their top picks. If you’ve got one of these arboreal delights on your property already, you’re in luck! But if you don’t, you might want to consider adding one to your property!

Keep Them in Check

Like any squirrel, the American Red Squirrel can be a bully at the bird feeder. So how do you welcome squirrels to your yard without losing your songbirds? We’ve got a plan of attack for you! Offer Red Squirrels alternative snacks with the shrubs and trees you plant in your yard and install a baffle on your bird feeder. Even the most determined squirrels will struggle to access your feeder. For extra credit, place the feeder strategically away from any squirrel launching pads like trees or fences!

Don’t Feed Them by Hand

It’s hard not to spoil squirrels when they’re so darn cute! But if squirrels get too friendly with you, they might think all humans are friendly. We hate to tell you this but…not everyone loves squirrels. Some people see them as pesky critters! Plus, if they’re feasting exclusively at your table, they might miss out on the smorgasbord of goodies nature has to offer. American Red Squirrels need a well-balanced diet so peanuts, peanuts and more peanuts just won’t give them all the nutrients they’ll need.