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Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

Status: Not Listed

Classification: Mammal

Description

The most noticeable characteristics of the red squirrel are the tail and the eye ring. The tree squirrel's tail is bushy and dark red with hints of a white outline. The eye ring is a thick, white circle around the rodent's black eyes. Red squirrels are about 12 inches and have grayish, red, or rust-colored fur with a white belly. Sometimes a black stripe can be seen on the sides.

Range

Red squirrels can be found throughout the United States in the forests of Alaska, the east coast north of Georgia, and the Rocky Mountains. The squirrels prefer coniferous forests.

Diet

Red squirrels mainly feed on the seeds and cones of evergreen trees. However, they will also eat bird eggs, berries, and fruit when they are available. During the summer, red squirrels collect and hide seeds and nuts so they have food storage during the lean winter times. Sometimes they forget to dig up the seeds. This benefits their local habitat because the squirrels are unintentionally planting trees in new places.

Life History

Red squirrels are active throughout the year. During March and April, females have litters of three to seven young.

Fun Fact

To communicate, a red squirrel makes a lengthy, descending trill and a chatter of assorted notes and chucks.

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