Red Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image 
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Red Squirrel
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

Chipmunks, Squirrels, Ground Squirrels and Marmots
Squirrel Family (Sciruidae)

Measurement: Size: 30-34 cm Weight: 185-330 g

Description: The red squirrel is the self-appointed watchdog of the northern forest. It is virtually impossible to take more than a few steps into any Rocky Mountain forest without the chip chip call of the red squirrel announcing your presence to all comers. Look for a reddish brown squirrel with a light underside and a bushy tail. Since the only other squirrel is the northern flying squirrel, its distinct gray colour makes the two squirrels easy to differentiate.

Range: Across Canada and extending into the eastern US as well as the American Rockies. They seem to be very flexible in terms of habitat, moving freely through a wide diversity of forest habitats.

Diet: They are versatile feeders that will eat almost anything that presents itself. This includes, but is not limited to, seeds, cones, nuts, berries, insects, eggs, baby birds, and even small mammals. In the Rockies, they show a great preference for the cones of spruce and pine trees, creating huge middens (piles) of leftover cone detritus. In fact they are found across Canada, with only isolated populations It is not uncommon to find yourself beneath a storm of falling cone bearing lodgepole branches as squirrels rush to the harvest. The cone rich branches will be collected later. They will be hidden within the middens.

Squirrels are also fed upon by a diversity of predators including hawks, owls, eagles, fox, coyote, lynx, bobcat, fisher, marten, wolverine and anything with sharp teeth and an empty belly.

Reproduction: Red squirrels produce a single litter of 2 to 7 young each year. They will retire to their nest to give birth., It is usually located within a large midden, hollow log, or rarely an abandoned nest,

Notes:

While they donít' hibernate, they will retire to their middens during very cold weather for short periods of torpor (brief periods of dormancy). They wake up in milder weather to feed upon their store of cones.

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All Material © Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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