Eastern Gray Squirrels have adapted to eating unman foods such as potato chips, seeds, fruit, etc. But have Eastern Gray squirrels become so adapted to eating human foods that they prefer easily accessible human food over their own natural food such as nuts? This question leads to my experiment of squirrels food preference, corn (human food) or acorns, one of the eastern gray squirrels primary food. The experiment will located In Bush Pasture Park In Salem, Oregon where Eastern Gray Squirrels are thriving within an urban area.
My hypothesis is that squirrels will prefer the more easily accessible human food, corn. Material and Methods: To start the experiment many resources were gathered. A 1 lb. Bag of acorns were bought and a can of less sodium corn. The experiment took place In Bush Pasture Park In Salem Oregon where Eastern Gray squirrels are thriving wealth an urban community, to better replicate the Eastern Gray Squirrels desire for human food. The entire was placed in a clear 8 ounce bowl on a green picnic table so it would, again, replicate a human environment.
Next, then 10 acorns were placed randomly around the picnic table. The acorns were placed within 45 feet of the table so the experiment would be closely monitored. The squirrel’s food preference would monitored within a 6, 1 hour time frames. The first 3 were taken on Sunday, June 1, and then Monday, May 2nd. Within each one hour, the squirrel’s food preference was recorded. Results: Raw data from the experiments was collected in a data table (see Table 1) with the processed data presented in graphical form (see Figure 1). The number of squirrels that chose either acorns or corn were recorded.
Table 1 2 3 4 5 Acorn Corn Total Figure 1: The graph above shows that the acorns were move favored than the human provided corn. Discussion: Based on my data, I have come to the conclusion that The Eastern Gray Squirrel prefers acorns rather than human provided corn. Therefore, my experiment shows adapted to receiving their food from humans they still prefer their more primary food. A couple of issues presented themselves within this experiment. It was very difficult to make sure that the experiment remained uninterrupted by random people within the area.
Though the Eastern Gray Squirrels are very common at Bush Park, not many came near the food. To make this experiment more successful for next time, I would tape of the area I was using and put up signs saying that an experiment was being conducted so there would be less disturbances form people within the park. I would also set up a camera and record it for several hours over a longer period of time (days) so I would have more data and the experiment would be (hopefully) 100% human free. Bibliography “Eastern Gray Squirrel.