How Does a Squirrel Survive?

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Infants

  • A mother squirrel will have two litters of babies a year. There will be two to five babies each time the mother gives birth. She provides mother's milk for the tiny, nearly blind and fur-less babies. The mother squirrel raises her young by herself. The spring set of babies will be weaned when they are between 10 and 12 weeks old. The mother will teach her young how to forage for food, live in the environment and how to act around other animals. She will then drive them out of the nest to survive on their own. A male squirrel can detect a female in heat from up to a mile away. The winter babies will be allowed to stay with the mother longer, even when she comes into heat again.

Adults

  • Adult squirrels live alone. They will allow another squirrel in their nesting place only when it is cold and extra warmth is needed. They live on flowers and buds during springtime. In summer, the hardest time for them to survive, they find fruit to eat. They will steal eggs and baby birds when there is no food available. They may also attack small birds at feeders. Squirrels gather, eat and store acorns and other nuts for winter. The squirrels frequent bird feeders to steal suet and eat seeds. They can eat their weight in food daily. You may see them cutting cones from trees with their teeth and dropping them to the ground. They will later retrieve the cones and carry them away one by one for hours. Squirrels are most active during the day. They can jump up to 20 feet to get to their habitat or escape from a predator. Their hind legs are very muscular and double-jointed.

Squirrel Habitat

  • Squirrels live in hollowed out openings in trees created by rot or damage. They build large nests of leaves and sticks in trees, oak in particular. They will invade a human home when seeking shelter. They will shred any material that is accessible to them for nesting including insulation. They are highly destructive when they get into a house through an attic or exterior opening.
    A squirrel will leave its nest and build a new one if the habitat becomes infested with fleas.There may be more nests in an area than there are actual squirrels.

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