Do Squirrels Hibernate

Squirrel in Winter SnowDuring spring, summer and fall there seem to be squirrels in every one’s yard, all throughout the neighborhood, but do you recall seeing any of those squirrels last winter? If not, where were they? Not seeing any squirrels during the winter can sometimes cause people to think that squirrels hibernate. A logical conclusion. But do squirrels hibernate? Surprisingly, the answer is no.

Many kinds of animals hibernate. Bears are probably the animal we think of first when we mention the word “hibernate”. But squirrels, however, do not hibernate and are active all winter long. The reason they are seldom seen is because they build nests in which they take shelter from extreme cold spells, hard winds, and blizzards. When they do venture out, they are often not seen because they are tunneling under the snow searching for the food they buried during the fall.

Throughout the spring, summer and fall squirrels bury all sorts of food, especially seeds. Acorns, sunflower seeds, pine cone seeds, etc.. They do this for two reasons, the first of which is to ensure that they get the maximum benefit from any abundance of food they find. Why leave a bunch of sunflower seeds lying around where the birds will eat them when a squirrel could bury them to have all for himself?

The second reason squirrels bury food, especially in the fall, is to save up and prepare for winter. A squirrel can spend hours each day burying acorns and other seeds. They will bury each nut in a different location. When winter time comes and there are no plants producing seeds, the squirrels are somehow able to locate each of these little buried treasures, enough so to keep them well feed throughout the entire winter.

If you’d like to see squirrels this winter, purchase a squirrel feeder from Amazon, and place it outside where you can view it from a window. Fill it with peanuts, cracked corn or sunflower Seeds. Then sit back and wait, it won’t take long for the squirrels to find it.

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