Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Squirrel Story

The squirrels are quite active on our property with about 8 nests total this winter. They typically stay in their dens or nests made of leaves, sticks and fur for several days during the winter and emerge in early dawn or late dusk to feed.  Otherwise, they may bask in the sun on a limb near their nest as I captured this afternoon of a plump squirrel near their nest in the old maple tree near the road.

Currently, we are entering the squirrel's gestation period which lasts about 40-44 days with the first litter expected between March and April. They bear 1 to 9 with 2-3 babies being the average.
Over the years I have observed squirrels chasing others into a busy street. There are hierarchies that determine how they interact with older larger males dominating the smaller ones and females deferring to males unless they have a litter. They do not mate for life and have many partners. Their life span ranges from 6 to 12 years. 
They also do not carry rabies thankfully as we found this past fall when our dog, Sigi, was bitten by one, that was running slowly from the feeder. 

We have as many as 5 squirrels at a time at the feeder which is located inside our fence where our dog roams. Clearly they are not impressed with his ferociousness. I have observed the squirrel that lives up by the road, run down our driveway, over the meadow and over the fence to feed - 1/4 mile just one way.


  1. I would never have guessed that squirrels live so long. They're really interesting animals and it's amazing to think how little we know about them given how closely they live with humans. Great pictures!

  2. I love the picture of your dog! Looks like a cutie!!!