Depending on the person, squirrels can either be cute and fun to watch or a complete nuisance. Living in the Pacific NW there are plenty of squirrels around; many of which are scurrying up trees in your own backyard. If you take the time to watch them you will quickly discover just how interesting these fluffy tailed critters are.
1. They Bury Their Food
Squirrels are very active during the daytime. Most of this activity is them running around looking for food and then storing it away. One of the things they like to do with the food they find is bury it. Squirrels have a keen sense of smell and even when it snows they can smell food from under a foot of snow. Hiding their food sources in the spring and summer enables them to quickly find a meal during the colder months when it may be harder to find food.
2. Their Front Teeth Never Stop Growing
Squirrels are close relatives to rats and mice and just like these rodents, a squirrel’s front teeth will never stop growing. This is why they are always gnawing and chewing on things. By gnawing they keep their front teeth short and sharp. Since the back of their teeth have less enamel the constant gnawing and chewing create a chisel like shape making it very easy to break through nuts and other food sources.
3. 25 Percent Of The Food They Bury Will Be Stolen
Squirrels work relentlessly to bury their food away for another time which is unfortunate since they can’t really keep an eye on everything they bury. If other squirrels catch the scent of buried food or birds come along it’s highly possible that they will run off with the original digger’s meal. However, there are times when a squirrel is on to the thieving bandits and will intentionally pretend to bury their food to throw off the food thieves.
4. They Help Plant Trees
With all the different nuts that squirrels bury it’s no question that some of those nuts get left in the ground and sometimes when they do they end up growing into trees. Imagine all the trees that have come from squirrels just being squirrels!
5. Squirrels Are Tricksters
If you have ever watched squirrels you can quickly see how they love to play pranks on their fellow brothers and sisters. Running up, down and around trees with obvious intention to rile their counterpart they are quick and agile. They have quite the energy and this is still the case when they are trying to escape predators. If a squirrel feels threatened they will run in a zigzag pattern to avoid becoming prey and often save themselves by doing so in the process.
6. They Get Bulky In The Winter
As with many animals, a squirrel’s fur coat will become extra bulky as it nears winter helping them to stay warm during the colder months.
7. Squirrels Are Here Because Of Humans
Many U.S. parks are full of squirrels because of humans introducing them to these areas. Prior to squirrels over running the cities, they used to just be another common forest animal but that soon changed when people started keeping them as pets. At one time an escaped pet squirrel found itself in New York City where onlookers became fascinated with the animal. A relationship between human and animal was soon born and the rest is history.
If you have squirrels busying themselves around your yard, see them in parks or anywhere else that humans regularly frequent you will quickly notice how relational they have become. You may even be able to entice them with a snack but if you do just know that once you start feeding them they will remember and that means that they along with their friends may just decide to make the surroundings of your home their own. Squirrels are still wild and it’s always best to let wildlife live according to the wild regardless of how relational they have become.