Squirrel Myths & Facts
It’s not uncommon to see squirrels running around your neighborhood, these agile creatures are often admired for their acrobatics and charming antics. Over time many myths and misconceptions have surrounded them. Let’s delve into some myths and facts about squirrels:
Squirrels Hibernate in Winter
Squirrels do not hibernate during the winter. Instead, they are active year-round, and their behavior changes according to the seasons. In preparation for winter, squirrels will gather and store food in caches, often burying nuts and seeds in various locations. They rely on these stored food sources to sustain them through the winter.
Squirrels Remember Where They Bury Their Food
Squirrels are skilled at hiding food in various locations, however, the idea that they remember every single hiding spot is a bit of an exaggeration. Squirrels have a remarkable ability to remember many of their caches, but they likely can’t remember them all. This behavior helps the environment because forgotten caches can lead to the growth of new plants from buried seeds.
Squirrels Only Eat Nuts
Squirrels are well-known for their love of nuts, but they do eat a wide range of other foods. Squirrels are omnivores and eat fruits, seeds, vegetables, fungi, and even bird eggs. Squirrels will adapt their diet based on what’s available in their environment.
Squirrels Spread Rabies
With any wild animal, it is important to exercise caution, squirrels are no exception. Although the risk of a squirrel spreading rabies to humans is rare, it still does exist. It is important never to try to remove squirrels from your home due to the risk of rabies. When a squirrel is threatened it may become aggressive and bite humans and/or pets.
Squirrels Are Amazing Jumpers
You may have seen a squirrel jump from tree to tree or from a branch to a roof. Their jumping ability is quite remarkable. Squirrels can leap distances more than 10 times their body length, aided by their strong hind legs.
Squirrels Can Communicate
Squirrels are able to communicate with each other through various vocalizations, such as chirps and barks. An interesting asset they can also use to communicate is their tails. They can use their tails as visual cues to other squirrels.
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