More on Squirrels

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We were touched and fascinated by the baby squirrel that literally landed in our front yard yesterday. After wishing him well and sending him off with a wildlife rehabilitator, we did some more digging to find out just who these crazy little fuzzballs, that scamper through our yard, really are.
Here's what we found:
- There are 10 species of squirrel in North America, the most common are the red/brown squirrel that lives in evergreens and eats the seeds of pine cones and the gray squirrel that lives in woods of oaks and beeches and eats beech nuts and acorns. The one we found was a gray squirrel.
- Squirrels typically live in trees, in holes in the trunk or treetop crow's nests, called dreys. These dreys sometimes have two rooms and a nursery (about as big as my house).
-Mature squirrels, one year and older, mate one to two times a year, having litters in spring and sometimes again in summer. The female usually has 2 to 6 kittens per litter.
-The kittens nurse during their first seven weeks and are totally blind to about eight weeks.
-Squirrels can live up to 10 to 12 years of age but most live only to 6 years of age. Urban squirrels rarely reach age one before being killed by automobiles.
-Typical predators (of the non-human variety) are hawks, wildcats, foxes, owls, raccoons and opossums.
-Every fall the squirrel spends it's day gathering nuts and seeds and hiding them to last through winter and even into fall. It hides them in hundreds of different locations, marking them with it's scent. This way if another squirrel were to find on the others would still be saved. It hides far more than it will eat or recover, and many eventually grow into trees. Because of this the squirrel is responsible for planting more trees than all of mankind.
For more squirrel fun click here.
Tara @ Feels Like Home said...

That's really great! Some people would not have had the compassion that you did. I applaud you for finding the little squirrel a new home.

Anonymous said...

Squirrels are neat little creatures. Both my kids love watching them scamper about the neighborhood.

I like your Sniglet word of the day idea. I hope you can join me in Pet Peeve Tuesday!


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