Wildlife Encounters - 9th - 12th grade
Lesson 2: Wildlife Populations

Natural History of the Fox Squirrel

squirrel

Diet: opportunistic feeders, foraging on ground, buds, flowers, roots, insects, bird eggs, fruits, berries, seeds, and grain


Habitat: grasslands, forests, cropland, urban/backyard


Movement: no migration


Territory and range: 5 to 40 acres (0.007 - 0.06 square miles)


Conspecific interactions: social interactions mainly between families but "friendships" between squirrels with similar personalities do occur!


Interspecies interactions: hunted by coyotes, foxes, bobcats, raccoons, weasels, hawks, and owls


Reproduction: breed twice a year, 2-5 babies (pups) are born in spring and fall


Care of babies: stay in nest for 10-12 weeks, dad does not help care for babies, pups leave home when they are 4 months old


Behavior: diurnal (active during the day), home range will have a leaf nest or hollow in a large tree, they sleep a lot in winter, they will scamper up a tree when threatened, and will sound an alarm call to warn other squirrels of a predator in the area


Interesting facts:

  • Often carry food to a feeding perch to eat
  • One squirrel can bury thousands of nuts in the fall and find them by smell!

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