Red Squirrel


Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Identification:

The common red squirrel is the largest of our squirrels, with a long-tail and fur that is dark above and light below. In winter the rusty colour seems very bright, while in the summer the colour darkens noticeably. It is one of our best-known mammals, whether it is raiding bird feeders for sunflower seeds and peanuts, or in the woods scolding visitors. What’s a walk in an Island forest without meeting a red squirrel high above on a branch, stamping its foot and trying to drive you out of its territory. They really make the woods seem alive. While this might seem like aggression, they are just as likely to come down and bum some food if you happen to be eating a cookie or peanuts.

 

Habitat:

Though ideally suited for forest life, being quick, agile climbers, red squirrels can be nuisances around homes. They think nothing of using an attic for a den, or digging holes under your house to store winter food. Red squirrels are very adaptable, at home in coniferous forests but able to thrive just about anywhere. They prefer to nest in tree cavities but will sometimes live in rotted stumps or piles of stones.

Feeding:

Red squirrels are known as seed and nut eaters – everything from balsam fir seeds to beaked hazelnuts and acorns. They will also eat insects, fruit, fungi and birds eggs, and spend much of their time storing food. In good years, they put away far more than they can eat, spreading seed throughout a wide area.

Conservation:

Of our native squirrels, the red squirrel has been most successful at adapting to the changes in the Island landscape. While they are an integral part of Island forests, they seem well able to survive. Some seed bearing trees and a place to den meets most of their needs.

Upcoming Events

Oct
3
Sat
9:00 am SWE Woodland Ecology I: Introduc...
SWE Woodland Ecology I: Introduc...
Oct 3 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Woodland Ecology I: Introduction to Forest Stewardship This course helps landowners gain the knowledge and skills they need to enjoy, improve and manage their own woodlot whether it be creating better access, harvesting wood or
Oct
11
Sun
2:00 pm Autumn in the Forest
Autumn in the Forest
Oct 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
A walk along the trails of Macphail Woods, looking at both plants and animals. This is a great outing for people of all ages.
Nov
7
Sat
9:00 am SWE Basic Chainsaw I: Safety and...
SWE Basic Chainsaw I: Safety and...
Nov 7 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Basic Chainsaw I: Safety and Felling Spring Session: Saturday, April 11th Fall Session: Saturday,November 7th When trying to manage a forest, being informed about the specific composition of species, soils, water and light is a
Nov
8
Sun
9:00 am SWE Basic Chainsaw II: Maintenan...
SWE Basic Chainsaw II: Maintenan...
Nov 8 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Basic Chainsaw II: Maintenance and Felling Spring Session: Sunday, April 12th Fall Session: Sunday,November 8th This course will continue to build on skills learned in Basic Chainsaw I. The morning will be devoted to learning

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