Wildlife Education - Information, Advice About About Squirrels

About Squirrels

Appearance
If you have never seen a squirrel before, well, aside from being troublesome once they evade your home, they are wonderful creatures. Squirrels are sprightly, bushy tail rodents that are found the whole world.  In the United States, we most commonly deal with the Gray Squirrel. They belong to the sciuridae family which comprises of the marmots, prairie dogs and the chipmunks. This wildlife originates from all over the whole world.



Studies have shown that over 200 kinds of squirrels exist in the whole planet, this is according to IT IS or the integrated taxonomic information system and that they are grouped three different types which include;

-Tree squirrels
-Flying squirrels
-Ground squirrels

These three classifications are further more divided into various squirrel types for example; American red, Arizona gray, white and black squirrels exedra.

Size
There are several kinds of squirrels therefore they vary in sizes, but the smaller one among all of them is the African pygmy squirrel.

Description
  • It weighs simply 0.35 ounces or 10grams
  • It grows to 2.8 to 5inches
  • 7 -13 centimeters in length
The biggest squirrel known ever is the Indian giant squirrel which is further described below;
  • Weighs up to 4pounds or 1.8 kilograms
  • Length; 7-13 centimeters
  • It grows up to 36inches or 1meter
Life cycle of a squirrel
Female squirrels give birth twice in a year, that is in the winter and summer but it all depend with several factors such as weather conditions, food supply as well as habitat. This wildlife is capable of carrying up to eight babies in a single brood. Their pregnancy period is up to two month; what's more the younger ones are given birth without hair with around 13-18 grams.

Lifespan
As a result of hunting and predation, their existence can differ radically. The average life span is in between 5 and 6 years.

Behavior
Squirrels are known to be the top most forest inhabitants and they mainly feed on seeds and peanuts; however fungus, berries and insects is their food too. They also possess a tendency of hiding food in different hideouts when there is plenty of food and as time goes by they end up forgetting to locate some which in time turn into seedlings.

General Biology
One of the most common things among all the squirrel species is that they nest in human-made squirrel boxes, leaf nests, or tree cavities. Even if they have a preference of nesting in cavities, they habitually build leaf nests through constructing a stick frame which is then filled with dry leaves and furthermore lined with corn husks, strips of bark, leaves and other materials.

Habitat
According to BBC, squirrels reside in all continents apart from Antarctica and Australia and because they like to live in trees, they enjoy living in wooden areas however the ground squirrels like digging burrows which is a system of tunnels underground they reside in what's more they hide in there during cold seasons.

Food/Diet
Majority of people have this believe that squirrels only eat nuts but on the contrary, they like feeding on meat and plants meaning they are omnivore's animals. These foods include fruits and nuts; Fungus small insects, seeds, young snakes as well as caterpillars.

Squirrels are also clever animals in the way that they will bury their food in preparation of cold seasons; they ensure that they have plenty of food in store in winter months such that when there is scarcity of food, for them they eat well.

Go back to the Squirrels in the Attic home page. Or read about Do all squirrels have rabies? or the What attracts squirrels? page.

Please be kind to squirrels! They are intelligent animals, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!
If you have any questions about squirrels in attics, just email me at david@squirrel-attic.com