In search of Red Squirrels
Their dainty bodies can be spotted darting through broadleaf, conifer, or mixed woodlands, with telltale feeding signs and footprints left behind to look out for when searching for them. One such sign can be found in forests with coniferous trees, where they have an endearing habit of leaving piles of de-seeded fir cones on tree stumps – like corn husks haphazardly piled on top of a tiny dining table.
Bushy tails and tufted ears are two top identification features of the animal itself, with a red coat being its obvious trademark. However it’s worth noting that Red Squirrel coats can vary seasonally, and between individuals, and are often tinged with grey in winter.
As squirrels are diurnal (active during the day), and spend around 70% of the day busily foraging, you’re quite likely to spot them during your explorations in natural spaces, if you’re lucky enough to be in the right place, at the right time. Different populations can acquire local activity patterns, depending upon factors such as human presence, food availability, and the threat of predators – however most tend to be, quite literally, bright eyed and bushy tailed as the sun starts to rise and they head out in search of breakfast.