Squirrels -some think they are a nuisance, conversely, others think they are cool when they come across them in the wild.

Squirrels have a reputation

A reputation for theft…of each other’s food caches. They are smart and they remember. They store food in many holes throughout their territory to have food during winter. Consequently, they fake bury their food due to other squirrel pals (or enemies?) and animals sniffing out their hidden nuts and treats. This trick works well.

Have you ever wondered how a squirrel finds its food during the winter? Their noses are extremely powerful enabling them to smell food buried beneath a foot of snow! Meanwhile, during mating season males can smell a female in heat a mile away.

Abert's Squirrel

Squirrel Species

There are over 280 squirrel species that span the earth. They live on every continent except for Australia, though a pop-up of squirrel populations has been seen in recent years. Oh, and they aren’t living in Antarctica because it is quite frigid there.

The biggest squirrel species live in India… and they can grow up to three feet long! In Arizona, however, they are medium-sized and grow up to 21 inches long.

What about Arizona Squirrels?

There are five kinds of squirrels living in Arizona: Abert’s Squirrel, Western Gray Squirrel, Arizona Gray Squirrel, Rock Squirrel, and the Red Squirrel.

Abert’s Squirrels prefer the shade of Arizona forests. They are very territorial and love eating the seeds in pinecones.

The Western Gray Squirrel loves hanging out in the branches of pine and oak trees. Albeit they do still spend time on the ground looking for water and food.

The Arizona Gray Squirrel is social and lives in groups. These little guys can glide through the air using their skin flaps.

Rock Squirrels as their name suggests, live in the crevices of boulders and climb rocks. They even eat lizards oddly enough.

Red Squirrels are not native to Arizona, they were introduced here in the 1950s. They live in conifer forests mostly in Northern Arizona.

Abert's Squirrel

More Wonder Facts about squirrels:

  • In an effort to bring nature and wild creatures back into early urban environments, city officials released squirrels into parks in the 1800s. Every time a park was built and a tree planted, a squirrel was added.
  • They communicate with their tails.
  • A few kinds of ground squirrels hibernate. Scientists have been studying these animals since their brains have less blood flow during hibernation. Research is trying to determine if a medicine can be created with the same properties to aid those people who have suffered from ischemic strokes.

What do you think about these critters?

volunteer events at the Highlands Center-Squirrels

To learn more interesting facts about the squirrel, visit: treehugger.com/happy-squirrel-appreciation-day


To sign up for one of our many nature classes visit highlandscenter.org/adult-programs

Wonder, Explore, Discover!



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