Squirrels are one of the most common animals visitors see at Fountain Rock Park & Nature Center. They are frequently found at the bird feeder and near the Nature Center.
(photo used with permission under a Wikipedia creative commons license)
Squirrels belong to the rodent family. Squirrels are relatively small with long bushy tails. They tend to have large eyes and sharp teeth and claws. Squirrels come in many colors. Around Fountain Rock Park & Nature Center most of the squirrels are grayish in color. There are some black and brown squirrels as well. Maryland also has a large number of flying squirrels. The flying squirrels are nocturnal meaning they come out mostly at night. Maryland flying squirrels are usually quite small , looking kind of like a TV remote with a large bushy tail. The flying squirrels have very large eyes for their body size.
Most people know that squirrels eat nuts. Did you know that squirrels also eat seeds, new buds on plants and at times even insects, bird eggs and small birds? Many squirrels live in nests looking somewhat like bird nests, but different. Squirrel nests tend to be about 30 feet off the ground and are often found in oak trees. Squirrels will also build nests in hollow areas in trees.
Squirrels have their young in our area around June each year. The typical squirrel will have three young squirrels born in their nest. The biggest threat to young squirrels (other than cars) is raccoons. Raccoons will hunt squirrels and will eat the young squirrels.
Want to know more? Please stop by Fountain Rock Park & Nature Center and ask one of our staff or volunteers. They will be glad to answer any questions you may have on squirrels.