Facts About Squirrels

Squirrels are one of the most commonly spotted wildlife creatures, rather in suburban areas or in the countryside. You have probably seen these adorable little bushy-tailed critters playing and running in your garden or in a park at least a thousand times. Most are incredibly shy and will scamper up the nearest tree if you get too close, they are not aggressive creatures by nature so the likelihood that a squirrel will chase you down is incredibly rare. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can most likely find a squirrel running across your yard or playing in the trees anywhere as there are over 200 species of squirrel spanning all across the world!

A member of the rodent family, squirrels come in all sizes; the smallest becoming the African Pygmy Squirrel which can grow to be about 5 inches, or the largest squirrel being the Indian Giant Squirrel which can grow to 36 inches! Your friendly neighborhood squirrel is more than likely the Grey Squirrel, which are the most commonly found squirrel species in North America.

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Squirrels can be divided into three distinct primary types: Tree Squirrels, Ground Squirrels, and Flying Squirrels. Tree Squirrels reside in trees, of course, this is the type of squirrel family that your common Grey Squirrel belongs to, hence why you can always see them playing in the trees. Ground squirrels make their burrows underground by digging up the earth, they often use these dens to hibernate during the winter. Flying Squirrels will also reside in trees, as they cannot actually fly but rather use the height of the branches and the skin flap protruding from their body to glide through the air. While they are not actually flying, they look rather graceful gliding from tree to tree.

Squirrels are omnivores, which means that they eat both vegetation and meats, which may come as a shock since we are mostly taught that they eat nuts primarily. While seeds and fruits are their favorite meals, squirrels are also known for eating caterpillars and small animals when presented with the opportunity. Most commonly, squirrels are known for burying their seeds during the winter time. This behavior has helped to grow many oak trees, as squirrels will forget where they buried their Acorns and come spring, an oak tree will begin to sprout.