Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Going Nuts

Posted by  //  September 29, 2020  //  Articles, Creature Feature

Wild animals don’t need a calendar to tell them fall has arrived. In fact, many are already preparing for winter.  

Squirrels seem especially preoccupied in autumn as they scurry about, fervently gathering nuts, pine cones and fungi.  These edible treasures are cached — or “squirreled away” — for future use. Since squirrels don’t hibernate during the winter, they rely on their pantry when food sources become depleted.  

Red squirrels usually have one enormous cache site that can consist of thousands of pine cones, although they might have some smaller hoards scattered throughout their home range.  Red squirrels fiercely guard their territory and stockpiles.  

Gray squirrels, on the other hand, bury nuts all over the place, often digging them up just to rebury them.  While it appears random and obsessive, this nutty behavior serves a purpose!  They are trying to stay one step ahead of watchful thieves.  You see, some unlucky squirrels lose up to 25 percent of their stores to neighboring squirrels.  Savvy squirrels try to fool would-be robbers by creating false cache sites; they also bury nuts in hard-to-find places, like under bushes or in the mud. 

Article & Photo by Margie Manthey

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm