Q:

What do squirrels do in the winter?

A:

Tree squirrels don't hibernate during the winter, but many species mate, hunker down in their winter nests and live off of food storage during the cold months. These winter nests are distinct from summer nests, and are located underground or in abandoned buildings.

Many species of squirrels spend the winter months reproducing. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, mating occurs any time from early winter to late spring, with many species reproducing twice a year. If the litter is a winter one, the young stay with the mother until spring.

During the summer, squirrels spend their time stashing food in secret locations. Using their sense of smell, they dig up this food during the winter when food is scarce. They rely on this food and their fat stores to survive the cold.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel, one of the most common species in North America, usually live in American beech, American elm, white oak and red maple trees because of the profusion of nuts and seeds they get from these trees. They feed largely on acorns, walnuts, beechnuts, hickory nuts, tree buds and blossoms, bark, seeds, fruit, such as apples and grapes, grasses, insects and even bird eggs.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do squirrels hibernate in winter?

    A:

    The eastern gray squirrel, the type commonly seen in trees, does not hibernate during the winter, but the ground squirrel does hibernate in the winter. Both types of squirrel are common in North America, with the main difference being that the ground squirrel does not make its nests in trees, but creates burrows in the ground.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do gophers hibernate?

    A:

    True gophers, rodents belonging to the group Geomyidae, do not hibernate, but some animals that are commonly called gophers are hibernators. For example, Richardson's ground squirrel, sometimes called a gopher, is known to hibernate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do chipmunks hibernate?

    A:

    Chipmunks hibernate during the winter season, even though they do not store fat. Instead of sleeping throughout that entire time, they wake up every few days.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some smells that squirrels hate?

    A:

    According to RedBeacon, squirrels hate the smell of peppermint and spicy peppers. Peppermint gives off a strong aroma that discourages squirrels from venturing into an area. Spicy aromas, such as that from cayenne peppers, serve as a natural squirrel repellent. Jalapeño peppers mixed with vinegar and water serve a similar purpose in keeping squirrels at bay.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore