Depending on the type of person you are, and how much birdseed you’ve been relieved of over the years, your opinion of squirrels might differ. When we ask folks about squirrels we always get a mixed reaction. Some consider them a pest, a nuisance and a drain on their wallet and patience. Some take a more laid-back attitude, and don’t mind feeding the squirrels along with the birds.
Regardless of your position on the “pest” question, squirrels are pretty cool, and represent a species that has successfully integrated itself with humans.
- 285 species of squirrels exist worldwide in five subfamilies.
- Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, which includes rodents.
- Squirrels store or stash their food (nuts & seeds) in colder environments and return later to dig them up.
- Squirrels “zig and zag” when moving to evade predators like birds
- The word squirrel has roots in Greek, meaning “shadow-tailed” referring to it’s busy tail.
- Unlike most mammals, squirrels can descend a tree face down.
- Excellent sense of vision.
- Lifespan of 5-10 years.
- Ground squirrels are social, tree squirrels are not.
- The hardest time of the year for squirrels is spring, because their buried nuts begin to sprout making them unable to be eaten.
- Primarily herbivores, squirrels will turn to eating insects, or even meat if necessary.