Monday, March 7, 2011

Animal of the Week - Squirrels

Image from

This time of year squirrels, like this grey squirrel, may be the most common visitor to your bird feeder. Many birds are starting to find some juicy bugs and seeds that were covered with snow and our squirrel friends are still waiting for the ground to defrost before they can dig deep to find their hidden caches of nuts.

Squirrels' primary habitat is mature woods - woods with big trees and some under brush, but because they can find food there, many squirrels are moving into places like parks and suburban neighborhoods.

In the winter, squirrels will nest in a cavity, often one left by a bird. They will store some food and line the nest with sticks, leaves, and sometimes fur for insulation. In the summer, squirrels build a nest of leaves and sticks a bit bigger than a basket ball. This summer nest is called a drey.

Unlike most other species of squirrel, the grey squirrel will eat birds and eggs in addition to the traditional squirrel diet of nuts, seeds, mushrooms, pine cones, fruits, and bark.

We love to watch the squirrels at our feeders. We have three grey squirrels and at least on red squirrel. They are quite bold and very funny to watch as they seem to play with each other and carry on great conversations.

1 comment:

  1. I love watching the squirrels from my office window - great source of entertainment.