Red Squirrel

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

Rodentia (Rodent order)   >  Sciuridae (Squirrel family)

Red squirrels are tiny, adorable, and ferocious. I once watched a pair of red squirrels fight under a masting black walnut and the winner then carry the limp body of the other out of its territory. They’ll harass animals much larger than themselves at all times of year, their characteristic trill a common sound echoing through a coniferous forest. Though weighing half the amount of a gray squirrel, a red squirrel will readily fend off gray squirrels from its hard earned habitat.

Track ID

Toes: Like all rodents, red squirrel tracks show 5 toes in the rear and 4 in the front.
Foot size:
Their rear feet are significantly larger as they primarily propel themselves by bounding and spend much of their time resting on their haunches, using their much smaller hands to manipulate food as they eat.
Gait: In a typical bound the larger rear feet land in front and outside of the front feet. Moving uphill or when slowing down their rear feet will land behind their front feet. Front feet typically are off set from one another (more so than with gray squirrels, less so than with chipmunks). Red squirrels will occasionally walk on the ground when sneaking.

Common Signs

Like gray squirrels, red squirrels build dreys, globular nests made mostly of leaves.

Red squirrels will cache mushrooms to dry

Habitat/Ecological niche

Written description, including, shade tolerance, life span, successional status, growth rate, natural communities and other details