Red squirrels are common in Canada. Their unique coat and bushy tails make them hard to miss in neighbourhoods and cities throughout the country. While they are popular and familiar critters, many people don’t know much about them other than to call squirrel removal in Victoria if they invade your attic.
5 Interesting Facts About Red Squirrels
All living things are unique. While there are over 200 squirrel species, each has unique attributes, including the red squirrel. Part of appreciating wildlife is learning about it, and what better way to learn than with a Canadian staple animal? Keep reading to learn five interesting facts about red squirrels.
1. They Aren’t Fully Red
Despite the animal’s name, red squirrels are not entirely red. Many of the species have backs of gray-brown with only hints of rusty red. Also, around the eyes, throats, and bellies, you will find stark white to contrast its other tones.
Despite the variation, red squirrels usually do have some pop of red on their bodies. Also, in some cases, red is the majority of the coat.
2. Their Tail Is Big and Bushy for a Reason
The squirrel’s tail is a tool for communication and balance. When you see the animal twitching its tail and barking at its neighbours, its tail is helping it get a point across, such as this tree is mine.
Still, the primary reason a red squirrel’s tail is so big and bushy is to assist with balance. Half of the animal’s body length is its tail. The massive limb is used to balance and adjust body position as the animal jumps from branch to branch and tree to tree.
3. They Are Omnivores
Most people believe red squirrels are herbivores, only feasting on nuts, seeds, and berries. In reality, the animal is an omnivore. While most of its diet consists of nuts, seeds, and berries, hungry squirrels will eat mice and small birds if the opportunity or need arises.
People likely believe squirrels are herbivores because they watch them forage and gather. Red squirrels and other species gather sustainable foods, like nuts and seeds, for winter, but they often eat meatier options immediately.
4. They Do Not Hibernate in the Winter
People often assume that squirrels hibernate during the winter because they don’t see them too often in colder months. In truth, squirrels do not hibernate and remain active all year.
That said, squirrels will remain in their nests when temperatures are cold, but that is only to keep them warm. You can see red squirrels scurrying about the trees on warmer winter days.
The reason squirrels seem hyperactive in the fall is not in preparation for hibernation; it is only in preparation for colder weather. The animal knows that food supplies dwindle in the colder months and temperatures drop. In the fall, the species collects as much food as possible and gather nesting materials to ensure warmth.
5. They Are Very Destructive When Staying in Attics
Red squirrels can and do make their way into people’s attic spaces. While you cannot fault the critters for finding a warm, protected space to nest, they are destructive. If you believe you have squirrels in your attic or suspect the animals are trying to get inside, contact wildlife removal on Vancouver Island as soon as possible.
Reasons To Hire a Professional Over DIY Methods
Professional and humane wildlife control services do their best to protect the animals and homeowners. Also, unlike DIY methods, professional removal is more effective and often more cost-efficient. If you suspect you have a squirrel problem, contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control and schedule an in-home visit.