Red Squirrels lead solitary lives, and each defends a territory of between 2 and 5 acres from others of the same species and from gray squirrels.
Despite its smaller size, these are much more aggressive than Gray Squirrel, and will chase the larger Gray out of its territory.
They do not hibernate but remain active all year, although they may remain sheltered in one spot for a few days during harsh weather.
The red squirrel is about half the size of the gray, measuring about 12 inches in length (nose to tail-tip) and weighing about 5 1/2 ounces.
In summer its fur is a rusty, reddish-brown turning slightly grayer in winter, and the underside is white.
In summer, a black stripe is pronounced along its sides, separating the white underside from the reddish, upper body. Both males and females are about equal in size.
These squirrels have two breeding seasons, March to May and July to September. Litters of 3 to 6 hairless young are born after a 40-day gestation.
The young develop slowly and may remain with the female throughout the summer.
The nesting habits are similar to the Grays, although they prefer nesting in conifers.
The nest is constructed of shredded bark from a grapevine and located in a hollow or fallen tree, a hole in the ground, a hummock, or a tree crotch. Sometimes red squirrels nest in holes at the base of trees.
If you enjoy having the squirrels feeding in your yard you can attract them using Squirrel Feeders. Their diet can include assorted nuts and cones. They will eat corn offered from feeders or cracked and served on a platform feeder.
On the other hand, if you're trying to discourage them from using your bird feeders you may want to think about using a Squirrel Proof Feeder.
They will store most of their food in a central spot in their territory, This cache of nuts and cones may be in an underground chamber, brush pile, or hollow log.
They are also known to tap sugar maple trees to harvest the sugar in the sap.
They actually bite into the tree trunk to puncture the sap-carrying "vessel" (xylem), leave the tree to allow time for the water in the sap to evaporate, and come back to harvest the syrup remaining on the trunk and branches.
Go to Gray Squirrel Habits
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