Fun Facts About Squirrels
Now that you have learned to live with squirrels I would like to share some fun facts and interesting facts about them. The more you know about a creature, the easier it is to live with them and learn to love living with them.
Squirrels are the cousins of prairie dogs and woodchucks. The Squirrels are pretty widespread as their relatives can be seen all over the trees, parks, and woodlands across the world to include Australia, Asia, and the Europe.
Squirrels have a love of nuts, but they have a large and diverse food supply. They are known to eat small insects, tree bark, roots, and leaves. This is why they love everything from your garden to your bird feeders. Squirrels spend their summer foraging for food with enthusiasm. They do this for a reason. They must gather enough food to get them through the winter. Therefore they work very hard in the summer and especially the fall to accomplish this. They will bury all of their food. When winter starts the squirrels will hibernate but as soon as they wake up they seek out their hidden food; as they will be hungry.
Types of Squirrels:
Eastern Grey Squirrels. The average length of the grey squirrel is eighteen inches. Half of that is the tail; The tail is 9 inches on average. An adult grey squirrel will weigh approximately one and a half pounds. They have fur that is white and black peppered. This gives they a grey color, hence their name. They live in rural areas, urban areas, and in any woodland areas. They have a strong love for oak trees, beech trees, and any trees which produce nuts. They gravitate toward these types of trees as they supply them with the squirrels main food source. What sets grey squirrels apart is the winter season. They do not hibernate! You can often see them scurrying around looking for food. Grey squirrels are not vegetarian as you might think, they are scavengers and therefore have been known to eat small birds and their eggs!
Flying Squirrels do not fly. Instead, they glide. They do this using a thin and furred piece of membrane that starts at their wrists and extends to their ankles. They are very similar to other squirrels with the exception that they glide from limb to limb versus jumping. They are very cute little things that have a soft fur that comes in a variety of colors. The colors range from grayish to reddish brown. The belly of the squirrel is typically dark gray but can be tipped with a cream color. These squirrels are very social animals by nature. They prefer to live together in goups. The groups usually consist of males as the females will go off to have their young in separate nests. The females are very protective of their young and therefore the males to not partake in the raising of the babies.
The red squirrel gets its name from its color. They are a rust red color. They have a thin body and very bushy tail. Twice a year the Red Squirrel will shed its fur to accommodate the various seasons. Nuts and acorns are the main diets for the Red Squirrel. They will store the excess in trees. They are very in intelligent as they will store food in multiple places; therefore if one food storage is discovered and destroyed, they will not starve. The female Red Squirrel typically have two litters of babies a year. The typical size of the litter is 2 or 3 babies. When they are born, they can’t see or hear for three weeks. They will be old enough and strong enough to search for their food at six weeks of age. They will stay with the mother until then. The average lifespan of a squirrel is three years of age.
These are just a couple examples of the different squirrels out there. We did enjoy the baby squirrels that we had the opportunity to raise. I do wish they could have stayed with their mother, as that would have been in there best interest. I often think of them and hope that their release into the wild went well and that they were able to live a normal life. Every time I see one scurry across the yard or run across the road, I think of that unique and unusual experience. Please remember that they are better with their mother so if you come across a nest, please don’t disturb it. The mother is most likely nearby and ready to take care of them. I always recommend people tried and educated themselves on a situation before they take action, and that include the removal of a squirrel or any animal for that matter. If you can find a way to live together, that is always the best way!