American Red SquirrelFamily: Sciuridae Tamiasciurus hudsonicusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy John Read
The American Red Squirrel is adorable, a lively little 'chittering" critter!
The Red Squirrel is also known as the Chickaree or the Hudson's Bay Squirrel. The name Chickaree came from its noisy chattering. And like most squirrels, it is very fond of repeating its cries frequently.
This is a graceful lively little animal. In its natural environment the American Red Squirrel has a tendency to be a bit fearless of humans and often tends to be heedless of human presence.
For more information about the care of American Red Squirrels see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Squirrel
Background: American Red squirrels are found mostly in Alaska and Canada, the Northeast of the US, and also reach down into the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains south of Georgia. They are the most numerous species of the genus Sciurus around New York and the Eastern states.
Regular little talkers, they have a routine call they repeat every minute or so. They also have a chattering alarm, that when sounded will be prolonged for five or six seconds and can be heard up to a quarter of a mile away.
Their homes are in tree cavities or in water-proof leaf nests high up in the trees, sometimes as high as 60 feet. They also dig burrows in the ground, but these are for food storage.
Unlike their larger cousin the Gray Squirrel, which can subsist on a rather small quantity of buds and nuts through the winter months, the American Red Squirrel is extremely active in the snowy seasons and requires large amounts of seeds and nuts. They have a habit of hoarding large quantities of food in burrows, neighboring trees, and in their nests.
Interesting Facts: - American Red Squirrels are hunted in Canada for their fur seasonally.
- They eat a certain type of mushroom called 'Amanita' that is poisonous to
- Their preferred food is pine seeds, and their winter stores sometimes
contain more than 150 pinecones!
- They are active mostly during the day - particularly at dawn and in late
afternoon - and sleep at night.
- They are capable of both swimming and diving.