October 26, 2012
The American Red Squirrel: Behavior and Traits
The North American Red Squirrel can also be referred to as pine squirrels and chickarees. Red Squirrels differ from other North American tree squirrels in that they are smaller in size and have reddish fur with a white belly. They are actually not much bigger than chipmunks. They can also be much more territorial than the Eastern Gray Squirrel. Red Squirrels are found primarily in hardwood areas. Their diet is specialized on the seeds of conifer cones. A unique behavior trait is that they will eat the seeds of conifer cones and will pile them up against trees, marking the presence of red squirrels.
Red Squirrels nest above ground inside tree cavities, as well as, underground in excavated chambers. Nests can also be made in log piles, bird-houses, rock walls and buildings. They like to nest inside eaves and attics of homes and commercial buildings. It is also known that red squirrels with return to the same location a year later for nesting. They are a somewhat nomadic, sedentary species and often are quite defensive of their territory. It is only during breeding season red squirrels allow some infringement to their habitat. The males tend to wander and females permit males to enter their territory.