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December 11, 1929.


Mr. Nelson S. Greensfelder,
Boy Scouts of America,
2 E. 9th Street,
Wilmington, Del.

Dear Mr. Greensfelder:

Your letter of December 7th, in regard to feeding squirrels, is received. I am not sure as to the acorn crop in your vicinity this year, as I have not been up that way. The acorns are practically a complete failure in this part of the country, and also in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky, where I have been recently. Also the nut crop is very short with many species a complete failure. You can easily find out what the conditions are by examining the woods for acorns and nuts, and especially places where the squirrels have been feeding on any of these natural foods. I am afraid the nut shortage is very general over the eastern States this year. In case you find a shortage of squirrel food it would be well to organize a regular feeding system for them in places where they are known to remain. They are fond of any kind of nuts and most grains and seeds. The least expensive foods that I have used are peanuts and rolled oats. They are always fond of peanuts either raw or roasted, and soon learn to eat rolled oats. Corn is a good food also, but it is largely wasted, as the squirrels eat only the small germ from each kernel. Sunflower seeds are greatly enjoyed also by the squirrels, but they are too rich and oily for a full diet and are rather expensive. It is well to mix a few sunflower seeds at first with the rolled oats to get the squirrels to eating the oats. 

A simple way to feed the squirrels without waste is to nail cans of rolled oats to the sides of the tree trunks up as high as you can reach. A long nail through the upper corner and another through the lower corner of the can and into the trunk of the tree will hold it in place firmly. A hole should be cut with a knife near the top of the can, at the side close to the tree trunk and some of the rolled oats scattered on the ground and on top of the can so the squirrels will find the opening. They will then eat through the hole and enlarge it as necessary until the can is empty. A 12 [[cent symbol]] can of rolled oats will furnish a lot of good wholesome squirrel food. The squirrels in my own yard seem to prefer the rolled oats to peanuts but at first they refuse to eat them because they have not acquired the taste. Any hungry squirrel, however, will soon acquire the taste. 

If I can help you further please let me know. 

Very truly yours,

Vernon Bailey,
Chief Field Naturalist. VB/ors

Transcription Notes:
Reviewed. Removed gap in "b y", corrected "teh". -@siobhanleachman