How many different species of squirrels are there?
-There are over 365 species of squirrels in the world.  In North America the main squirrels that we see are eastern grey, western grey, American reds, fox
squirrels, northern & southern flyers, and ground squirrels.

What do squirrels eat?
-The gray squirrels diet consists of nuts, seeds and fruit. It will eat bird eggs, bugs, and even an animal carcass if there is no other food source available.

Why do squirrels have such long tails?
Tree squirrels, in particular, have long tails to help them balance as they run up and down and from tree to tree.  Squirrels also use their long fluffy tails
as a a parachute when they land from greater heights an "umbrella" -- to shade them from hot sunlight,  shield them from rain, warm them during cold
weather, and as a flag to communicate with other squirrels.

How fast are squirrels?
Tree squirrels run and jump so fast that they have been clocked at 20 miles per hour. The average squirrel usually scampers at about half that speed.

How long do squirrels live?
The average life span for a squirrel in the wild is 3-5 years. Their main predators are hawks, owls, cats, and predators of baby squirrels can include
snakes, crows and other squirrels.

How often do squirrels mate?
Majority of the squirrels mate twice a year. The female squirrel gives birth to 4 or 8 offspring.

Should I feed the squirrels in my backyard?
We always have a supply of food and water out there for them. We also put more food out in the winter when their food is scarce. You can put sunflower
seeds, pumpkin seeds, fruits, veggies, unsalted roasted peanuts and other shelled nuts out for them. Hazelnuts and almonds are a big favorite here.  
Some people have friendly squirrels that will take peanuts from there hands. Just be careful if you do this. Since their eyes are on the sides of their
heads they can't always see where the nut stops and your fingers begin. A squirrel can chomp right through your nail and into your bone!

Do squirrels make good pets?
Generally no. It is not legal to keep them in most states and they require a lot of maintenance. They also require specific diets to keep them from getting
sick. They tend to be possessive over one person and will often attack anyone who comes near that person. Their sharp little claws are about 1/2" long
and will easily scratch your eye an anything else they may land on. They don't do well around other pets, children or loud noises.  

Other squirrel facts:

  • Squirrels chew on tree branches to sharpen and clean their teeth as well as keep them from overgrowing. Did you know that squirrels teeth can
    grow up to six inches in one year?

  • A squirrel's brain is about the size of a walnut.

  • The average adult squirrel needs to eat about a pound of food a week to maintain an active life.

  • The sweat glands of a tree squirrel are located on their feet, between the foot pads and on their paws between the toes. When hot or excited a
    squirrel will leave wet tracks on a dry surface. This scent is also used to mark the trees in their territory.

  • When a squirrel senses danger, its first instinct is to stand motionless. If on the ground it will race to the closest tree, or other climbable object to
    escape. If it is in a tree, it will circle the trunk with its body pressed tightly to the bark.

  • Did you know that their name came was credited from the old Greek word Skiouros?  The ancient Greek naturalists find their brushy tails
    remarkable as the meaning of Skiouros is “shadow tail”.
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