Do Squirrels Eat Hickory Nuts? Uncover the Delicious Answer!

As an experienced nature enthusiast, I have written extensively about the fascinating behaviors of small mammals. Today, I’m here to answer the question on everyone’s mind: Do squirrels eat hickory nuts? With my knowledge and expertise, I can confidently provide the delicious answer to this popular query. Join me as we uncover what these little critters are really up to!

Yes, squirrels do eat hickory nuts. They usually find and store them for later consumption. Squirrels prefer to eat hickory nuts with their soft shells since they are easier to access and often contain more nutritious contents.

Do Squirrels Eat Hickory Nuts?

Squirrels have complex diets that involve a variety of foods. As part of their natural foraging habits, squirrels often enjoy munching on hickory nuts, given the opportunity. Although hickory trees are not always found in every geographic area, they are common throughout the United States and Europe.

The nut of the hickory tree is sweet and flavorful and an excellent source of energy and nutrition for all animals, including squirrels! Depending on the species of hickory tree, the nutshells will differ in appearance and hardness; however, all can offer beneficial snacks for our fluffy friends.

What Are Hickory Nuts?

Hickory nuts are edible nuts derived from various species of deciduous trees belonging to genus Carya. These nuts have long been harvested by humans and are enjoyed around the world as a tasty snack. They add variety to any meal, being both nutritious and delicious.

Its scientific name comes from Greek: Carya meaning nut. The shell of a hickory nut can vary between species but is generally tough to crack open even with a hammer or monkey wrench. Depending on where you live, different species of hickories may be present.

  • Southern Shag bark Hickory
  • Pig nut Hickory
  • Butternut Hickory
  • Mocker nut Hickory
  • Sand nut Hickory
  • Red Hickory

Identifying the type of hickory tree can help in finding the sweetest nut for harvest. Planting hickory trees is also beneficial as it increases biodiversity by providing habitat for small game animals and birds.

Nutritional Benefits Of Eating Hickory Nuts

Hickory nuts are a wild food source that can add variety to meals while providing nutrition, flavor and unique texture. Although they may be difficult to harvest, hickory nuts contain high levels of protein, fat, oil and healthy antioxidants. Eating hickory nuts may help reduce cholesterol levels as they are packed with monosaturated fats, Laurie acid, stearic acid and Olaf fatty acids.

Southern Shag bark Hickory

The Southern shag bark hickory tree is found in the eastern United States. Its fruit has a nutty flavor and its sweetest nuts are most often used for baking pies or making candy. Although not as popular as some other varieties of hickory nut, the Southern shag bark hickory nut is worth seeking out and can be identified by its unique bark that curls at the top and bottom.

  • Sweetest nuts are used for baking pies or candy
  • Unique curl at the top and bottom of bark identifies this type of hickory tree

Pig nut Hickory

Pig nut hickory trees are widespread throughout the southeast United States and their fruit is used for food as well as for wildlife habitat. The pig nut hickory nut is smaller than many other species, and it has a bitter taste. It’s best harvested in early summer when the husk begins to crack open.

  • Produces a small but hardy nut with a bitter flavor
  • Good habitat choice for animals due to easy access to food supply
  • Best harvested in early summer when husk cracks open

Butternut Hickory

Hickory nuts are a beloved treat among animals, especially squirrels! The specific genus of hickory nut is called Butternut Hickory, and they offer an abundance of nutritional values. Not only are these nuts packed with antioxidants and vitamins, such as Vitamin C, B6, and fatty acids like lauric acid, stearic acid and oleic fatty acids, but they also have a higher protein, fat and oil content than other types of nuts. This makes them a great choice for boosting energy levels and lowering cholesterol. Enjoy the deliciousness of Butternut Hickory and reap the many nutritional benefits!

Mocker nut Hickory

The Mocker nut Hickory is a type of hickory tree found across the U.S., and its nuts are both nutritious and delicious. They contain higher amounts of protein, fat, and oil than other nut species as well as antioxidants, vitamins C and B6, and monounsaturated fats! Eating these nuts helps lower cholesterol levels and increases energy levels, making them a great part of your diet for health benefits as well as flavor.

Sand nut Hickory

Yes, squirrels love hickory nuts! This type of nut is a favorite snack for many species of rodent, thanks to their crunchy texture and delicious flavor. The Sand nut Hickory tree produces flavorful nuts that are rich in protein, fat and oil content, making them an optimal source of nutrition for small wildlife. They are also packed with vitamins B6 and C and antioxidants, making the nuts an ideal way to increase energy levels while reducing cholesterol. So, next time you spot a squirrel grabbing one of these scrumptious snacks, know that they’re enjoying some of nature’s finest treats!

Red Hickory

Red hickory nuts are a tasty and nutritious wild food source, high in antioxidants, vitamins C and B6, as well as monosaturated fats. Split husks reveal the sweetest nut possible to harvest — an optimal survival food for its high protein, fat and oil content. Planting hickory trees in your yard can provide habitat for birds and small game animals, all while giving you access to this delicious treat!

How To Feed Squirrels Hickory Nuts?

Do you want to feed your local squirrels with delicious hickory nuts? Follow these simple steps for a tasty treat:

  1. Identify the type of hickory tree near you. This can help you find the tastiest nut for harvest.
  2. Gather some hickory nuts and crack them open.
  3. Find a squirrel-friendly spot, like a park or garden, that’s easily accessible for your squirrel friends to come and eat.
  4. Spread out the cracked hickory nuts and wait for the squirrels to come enjoy their treat!

Can Baby Squirrels Eat Hickory Nuts?

Yes, baby squirrels can eat hickory nuts when they are already eating solid food. Hickory nuts are packed with plenty of nutritious goodness and offer a great source of protein, healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamins C & B6. The sweetest nuts are found in mature hickory trees, making them attractive to squirrels of all ages. Kids should be sure to be careful when handling the hard shells though – they can be difficult to crack!


Which type of nut do squirrels prefer: acorns or hickory nuts?

It’s hard to definitively say that squirrels prefer one not over another. Depending on what region the squirrel is living in, they will likely show a preference for one particular not over another. Acorns and hickory nuts are both a staple of the diet of many types of squirrels and usually found in abundance as well.

Can squirrels crack open hickory nuts to access the contents inside?

Squirrels possess a certain skill set that allows them to break into hard-shelled nuts. A hickory nut is no exception, and squirrels can indeed open these crunchy snacks with ease. They use their sharp incisors combined with a rotating motion to crack into the tough nut, making it accessible to eat.

What type of nut is the most liked by squirrels?

Squirrels are known to be extremely fond of nuts. Their favorite type of not often includes acorns, walnuts, pecans, and black walnuts. These nuts provide squirrels with a nutritious and tasty snack which helps them get through the day. In addition, these specific nuts contain many essential vitamins and minerals that are great for a squirrel’s health.

What type of nuts are most preferred by squirrels?

Squirrels have a penchant for various nuts and seeds, of which there are many varieties. Acorns and walnuts are staples in the squirrel diet, but they also enjoy indulging in pecans, black walnuts, and other types of nuts too. To ensure proper diet, Squirrels should consume two servings of one or more nutty delicacies per day!

What types of nuts are not able to be consumed by squirrels?

Squirrels should not consume macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and chestnuts due to their high-fat content. Additionally, almonds and saffron milk caps can be toxic to squirrels, and so should be avoided. Feeding squirrels processed or sugary foods such as candy, cake, chips can also cause health issues.


So, the answer to the question ‘Do squirrels eat hickory nuts?’ is a definite yes! These delicious nuts are one of the many favorite treats for squirrels and can be found in their stores throughout the seasons.

The next time you find hickory nuts in your own backyard, don’t hesitate to give the squirrels a surprise treat! With their wide availability, you can easily make sure that squirrels have access to the nutritious hickory nuts they need – and are sure to relish!

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