After over ten minutes of gnawing, a fox squirrel picks out the nut meat of a black walnut (Juglans nigra). The kernel has the texture of cabbage, and, to me, little taste, but the squirrels seem to enjoy it. Even though eating the nuts is time-consuming, squirrels prefer the black walnuts to apples, and some squirrels range several hundred meters to crowd the branches of the walnut trees. When presented with shelled black walnut, squirrels even preferred walnuts to acorns (Smith & Follmer, 1972, Table 1), possibly because black walnut kernels have a higher energy content (6230 cal/g) (Smith & Follmer, 1972, Table 2).
Smith, C. C. &
Follmer, D. (1972). Food Preferences of Squirrels. Ecology. 53:1, 82-91.
Smith, C. C. & Follmer, D. (1972). Food Preferences of Squirrels. Ecology. 53:1, 82-91.
Image Date: 2009SEP06
Image Species: Sciurus
Tree Species: Juglans nigra
(EXIF infomation is accurate – stamped in UTC).
Web Page and Pictures By Hannah Leitheiser