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

May
25
Sat
10:00 am Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
May 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This workshop will look at on creating diverse, beautiful and functional hedgerows and windbreaks using a variety of native plants. Participants will learn about which plants are best, spacing, planting and maintenance.
Jun
1
Sat
10:00 am Shelter-building for Kids
Shelter-building for Kids
Jun 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Take your fort-building skills to the next level! Get outside with the whole family and learn more about shelter do’s and don’ts and how to hang a tarp securely. Let your wild creativity fly by
Jun
8
Sat
10:00 am Plants of Prince Edward Island w...
Plants of Prince Edward Island w...
Jun 8 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Kate, one of the province’s foremost biologists, will focus on many of the plants, both native and non-native, that you commonly encounter, plus a look at lots of rare trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns. You
Jun
9
Sun
2:00 pm Debunking Forest-Wildlife Myths ...
Debunking Forest-Wildlife Myths ...
Jun 9 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
We are thrilled that Bob is coming over again from Nova Scotia. The well-known CBC Radio Noon guest and advocate for nature throughout the region will explore some of the myths surrounding forests and wildlife.
Jul
27
Sat
10:00 am Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Jul 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Come on out and learn about the native and introduced mammals found on PEI, as well as a brief look at some of the mammals we’ve lost. After a brief slideshow, we’ll head off to

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