red squirrel is a very solitary little creature. In fact, each
red squirrel takes it upon him or herself to defend a territory that
ranges in between two acres and five acres. Not only are they
defending the territory from other species of squirrels, namely grey
squirrels, they are also defending from other red squirrels.
As you can thus imagine, these squirrels are considered quite
aggressive, certainly more so than the rather shy gray squirrel.
Although they are quite small in size, they are well known for taking
off after the significantly larger grey squirrels, especially if they
infringe on their territory. They are, however, much like grey
squirrels, because they eschew hibernation during the winter months
and instead remain quite active all throughout the year.
However, they do not like extremely harsh and inclement weather, and
so have been known to seek shelter and remain there during
particularly intense storms.
red squirrel, all told, is approximately half the size of the larger
grey squirrel. Reds rarely measure much more than somewhere
around twelve inches, from their noses to the tips of their tails.
They seldom weigh more than five or five and a half ounces.
During the summer months, the red squirrel's fur is actually a bit
rust colored – it is a brownish red shade when tends to fade into
grey a little bit during the winter months. Its underbelly is
white. Also during the summer, the squirrels will have a
pronounced stripe of black fur going up its sides; it typically
separates the white underbelly from the rust red upper side. In
this species, the females and the males tend to be pretty much the
red squirrels are unique in that the females go through two breeding
seasons. They breed from March until May, and then again from
July until September. Their gestation period lasts for forty
days, at which point they give birth to a litter which contains
anywhere from three to six baby squirrels. They are hairless
when they are born. They tend to develop quite slowly. The
young stay with their mothers over the course of the summer.
squirrels are also similar to grey squirrels when it comes to their
nesting habits. Unlike grey squirrels, however, the reds prefer
to nest in conifers. They make their nests out of shredded bark.
They tend to construct them in trees that have either fallen or are
hollow. Holes in the ground, hummocks, and the crotches of tree
are popular nesting spots as well.
of the reason red squirrels are so territorial is because they store
food in their area, in a central location. Typically, a red
squirrel will use a brush pile, a hollow log, or a chamber hidden
underground to store their food. These squirrels also have a bit
of a sweet tooth, and sometimes tap into sugar maple trees, so that
they can harvest the sugar that is located in the sap.