Squirrels are usually born in the early spring. The average litter consists of four. This varies with climate and location. A second litter can occur in mid summer, if there is an adequate food supply.
A female squirrel will choose the strongest male during mating season, but is unlikely to breed with that male again. This is natures way of reducing inbreeding, and to preserve the species.
A baby squirrel weighs approximately one ounce at birth, and is about one inch long. They do not have hair or teeth, and are virtually blind for the first six to eight weeks.
Gray squirrels come in many colors. Shades of gray are the most common followed by shades of brown. There are also pure white and pure black squirrels, but both are variations of the gray squirrel.
The common Red squirrel can have an all black coat. While the Kaibab squirrel has a black body with a white tail. Both are found in coniferous forests.
In the summer squirrels are most active two to three hours after sunrise, then they’ll rest in the afternoon. Resuming activity again two hours before sunset. The squirrel will retire to its nest well before dark, and will rarely leave the nest in the dark. In the winter, the squirrel will complete its activities between dawn and mid- day, and will remain in or around the nest until the next day.
During winter storms, or severe cold, the squirrel may not leave the nest for days. But, the tree squirrel does not hibernate!
An adult squirrel normally lives alone. But will, in severe cold, share its nest with other squirrels to conserve body heat. Once the temperature rises, the guests will be on their way.
Kenora, Ontario, Canada.