Red Squirrel

Red squirrel Facts
Size 5.9 - 7.8 inch (15 - 20 cm)
Speed Up to 15.5 mph (25 km/h)
Weight 7 - 14.1 oz (200 - 400 g)
Lifespan 2 - 8 years
Food Nuts, seeds, acorns, berries, eggs, young birds
Predators Snakes, weasels, eagles, hawks
Habitat Europe, Asia, Africa, America
Order Rodents
Family Squirrels
Scientific name Sciurus vulgaris
Characteristics Tufted ears during the winter, bushy tail
Tree Squirrels, Ground Squirrels, Flying Squirrels ...

In Europe we primarily know the squirrel that is briskly running up and down trees and collecting nuts. Yet, the squirrel family has more members than most people think.

There are about 280 species of squirrels, ranging from giant squirrels to dwarf squirrels. By the way: Ground squirrels also include marmots, prairie dogs and antelope squirrels.

Red Squirrel Red Squirrel - Photo: Menno Schaefer/Shutterstock

Hard-a-Starboard!

The bushy tail of the squirrel can be up to 9.8 inch (25 cm) long and serves as a control vane. While the squirrel is hopping from branch to branch it can correct its “flight path” with its tail.

Why Do Squirrels Dig Up Our Garden?

Squirrels do not hibernate. They need food every day to survive. This is the reason why they hide lots of nuts and seeds in the ground during autumn.

Red Squirrel Red Squirrel - Photo: seawhisper/Shutterstock

Where Did I Hide This Beautiful Hazelnut Yesterday?

Squirrels are said to often forget the locations where they have buried their “treasures”. Some of them develop into tree sprouts in springtime. This is true, but the squirrels still find enough of their seeds again in order not to starve.

Scientist Dr Peg Halloran tells us how squirrels find their food again: 1. by its smell, 2. by marking the spot, 3. by using their excellent memory. It is said that squirrels have a good memory, but it is more likely that they use their sense of smell.

Bad Squirrel!

Sweet little eyes and a soft fur – we simply have to love squirrels! Do we? Anyway, you should know that they are little thieves and no tame pets. From time to time they like to loot birds’ nests, eat the eggs and the little nestlings.

Red Squirrel Red Squirrel - Photo: Art Wittingen/Shutterstock

The Squirrel Brain

The brain of a squirrel is just as big as a walnut.

Reproduction

Squirrels usually mate at the end of January and the beginning of February. After 38 days, between one and six squirrel babies come into the world, naked, deaf and blind.

After about four more weeks they open their eyes and leave their nest for the first time after six weeks.

Red Squirrel Red Squirrel - Photo: Mr Twister/Shutterstock


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