Luck Favors the PreparedSquirrels who survive the winter with few hiccups prepare through the fall months leading to the big chill. Rather than scrambling as the cold weather arrives, the squirrels who have foraged all fall long are in the best shape for survival before the first flake hits the ground. There are a few identifiable ways that squirrels who do not hibernate prepare for winter.
Bulk UpSquirrels don’t just save up their food for winter; they also save up their fat stores. Fat stores are commonly associated with hibernators, but because the winter is just as chilling to animals that do not hibernate, squirrels put on a solid outlier of fat to help get them through freezing temperatures and inclement weather. Since they may still have to go out to forage from time to time, the outer layer of fat will help them keep warm in the elements.
Stash FoodSquirrels generally have two methods of stashing food for the winter months. They are adept thinkers and planners.
- After finding ideal lodging, they stash their food inside to avoid venturing out into the cold as much. Their stores will be very close by and hopefully safe from weather that could spoil them and be harmful to the squirrel.
- Nature can be brutal, and the squirrel knows it. The squirrel will also bury its winter bounty in many different places, away from the prying eyes of those who may have other, less pure intentions. Squirrels know that their winter nest could be overtaken or damaged at any time. While their indoor winter storage seems like a great idea now, if the only food source they have prepared for winter gets destroyed, damaged, or overtaken, their survival odds grow less and less. Squirrels plan for the best and prepare for the worst, which is likely why they survive the long winter.