Do you think the squirrels survive the snow storms?

sara_in_phillyFebruary 17, 2010

I have a birdfeeder that attracts squirrels. Normally, I have several of them visiting everyday,sometimes 4-5 at the same time. I am not thrilled but live with it, squirrels have to eat, right?

As you all know, East coast had two monster snow storms in the past couple of weeks. There were no squirrel showed up at the birdfeeder for 8 days during and after the snow storms. Then, one showed up on the 8th day, one for next day, then, none at all.

What happen to the squirrels? Do you think they can survive the snow storms? We had over 40" snow fall.

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paulsiu(5a)

They'll survive. Most have fat reserve that allow them to go without food for a while. The younger ones are more vulnerable because they are leaner. Most squirrels live up in trees so the snow fall doesn't affect them as much.

I think ground squirrels may hibernate if the conditions are bad. Tree squirrels do not hibernte.

Paul

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 9:32AM
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sara_in_philly

Thank you, Paul! I am relieved to hear that they will survive. They are annoying little buggers eating all my bird food, can't believe I am actually worried about them!

How can you tell a squirrel is a ground one or tree one? The ones eating my food used to come all winter long, so that means they are tree squirrels?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 9:52AM
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paulsiu(5a)

In most cases, tree squirrels are the type that go after your feeder since ground squirrel stay on the ground. Most tree squirrels have big fluffy tails. In my neck of the woods, there are two type of tree squirrels, the grey squirrel and the large orange belly fox squirrel. Ground squirrels in my area tend to look like chipmunks with tiny tails. California ground squirrels look sort of like small grey squirrels (and makes lots of holes in the ground)

Most tree squirrel have several survival mechanism. They will fatten up before the winter. They will hide caches of food near where they live. When it snows heavily or rains heavily, they tend to stay indoors in their tree burrows which are lined with leaves. Some squirrels even have several apartments so they can cut down on th commute. Squirrels are extremely good at finding food, much better than the birds. Starvation is generally not that big of an issue if squirrel live near humans. Most died from being hit by cars. The proliferation of squirrel feeders sometimes result in obese squirrel who are then killed by car or eaten by hawks because they can run fast enough.

I am sure that the snow storm may have killed off some of the squirrel, but I think majority of them will be OK and be back to their old habit of hanging around your feeder.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 3:31PM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

The kind of weather you are having is just normal stuff for us. I counted 22 of the critters around my 5 bird feeding stations this morning. When the snow gets deep I do put seed down at the bottom of the trees they use as an arial "highway". They will hold up in their nests for days during bad weather.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 4:34PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Or, to keep them away from the bird feeders, put out food for the squirrels. I feed them unshelled peanuts.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 6:29PM
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sara_in_philly

One squirrel came to visit today.

Paul, Thanks for all the information! I googled squirrel image, mine are grey squirrels.

Lisa, 22 of them! And I thought 4-5 were a lot:-)

Terry, I will try the unshelled peanuts.

Will let you all know how many show up in the spring.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 1:48PM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Sara, I am in a National Forest.....LOTS of these guys, Grey, Black, Fox, Red and Flying and wierd mixtures of all. I would not expect so many in the city. The Fox seems to be the city dwellers around here, but I am 15 + miles from the nearest little city. We call it "out in the sticks"!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 5:59PM
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maifleur01

Just an FYI if you have any trees with hollow limbs watch them during the summer about dusk. If you have squirrels all of a sudden they will start disappearing into the branches. Have two big oaks, burr and chinapin sp? across the street that will be covered with squirrels in a good year. It is amazing that trees that seem very strong will have holes that allow access to the interior.

Lisa I love when people mention mixes of squirrels. I had an argument with a conservation agent that insisted that they do not cross. From just looking at the ones that were in my neighborhood it is easy to tell some of the mixtures. Starting last summer we have had very few squirrels in my area. With mating starting I have only seen two where normally there will be 15 or so chasing each other.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 2:20AM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Maifleur....oh boy do they ever. My Husband and I wittnessed a male Fox jumping back and forth between Grey and Black females on the same tree not 5 feet from each other. This was several years ago. I can tell you we have every sort of mixture you can imagine here....the only mix I dont think we have is the small Reds, I have not seen anything that looks like it has been in the mix with them. They are very fast and agressive and can run one off 3x it's size.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 12:30AM
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sara_in_philly

2 squirrels came together for the past couple of days.

Lisa, lucky for you to live in the forest reserve. We suburbians, on the other hand, only have one kind of squirrels.

Interesting thing is that for the first 5 years we lived here, there were no squirrels and chipmunks in my yard, now I have both. I only have pine trees on my property.

Read on some other entries and other forum (such as 'home disaster') about squirrels chewing through the sidings and get into the house, has any of you run into that kind of problems? Is it a particular kind of squirrels?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 9:57AM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Knock on wood, no, no critters in the house here except for an occasional mouse but not for long with 4 indoor only cats. If you live in hundreds of acres of natural habitat there's not much need to invade others homes. It's where they have lost natural habitat they cause problems to THIER invaders!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 10:36PM
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elulu

I live in Washington, D.C.- squirrel capital of the world!
There are cases of squirrels eating through porch overhangs, siding, getting into roofs and houses here. Even in the nearby Maryland suburbs, people I know have the same problems. I noticed a squirrel out running around during the snow flurries yesterday. I was surprised as he is a "newbie". I have never seen him without one of the older squirrels. They may be fun to watch at times, but because we have so many, they can can be a nuisance. They eat all the seedlings and flowers and dig up all the flowers, especially in pots. Remedies like Ro-pel are short-lived and expensive. Any suggestions on how to deter them? We have grey tree squirrels and the black ones from Canada.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 7:26AM
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momj47(7A)

They'll survive just fine. After our big snow last February, it took a few days for the squirrels to get out of the trees and across the yard. Of course I couldn't get to the feeders, so I just threw seeds, etc, out onto the snow and everyone was happy - birds and squirrels, alike.

If I put seeds on the window sill, they come up there and taunt the cats while they eat. The cats and the squirrels love it.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 11:21AM
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Daylona

They survive all the time. I have a couple of them next door (oops next tree) for several years. They survided all during all snow storms.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 6:36PM
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