The Ultimate Guide to American Red Squirrel: Identification and Control

The American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) is a small tree squirrel native to North America. This species is known for its vibrant reddish-brown fur covering most of its body. American Red Squirrels typically measure around 12 to 14 inches (30 to 36 cm), including their bushy tails, accounting for two-thirds of their total length. They have white underbelly and large, alert eyes. In addition to their characteristic reddish coat, some individuals may exhibit variations in color, including gray and blackish tones.

American Red Squirrel

Habitat and Range

American Red Squirrels are commonly found in coniferous and mixed forests throughout North America. They are highly adaptable and thrive in various forest types, including spruce, pine, and fir. These squirrels are particularly abundant in boreal forests but can also be seen in urban and suburban areas, especially where suitable tree cover is present. Their range extends from Alaska and Canada to the northern United States.

Behavior and Diet

American Red Squirrels are highly active and agile climbers. They spend much of their time in trees, building elaborate nests known as “dreys” made of twigs, leaves, and other materials. These nests are often located in the forks of branches or tree cavities. They are territorial and defend their territories fiercely, frequently engaging in vocal displays and chattering. Their diet primarily consists of seeds, nuts, berries, fungi, tree bark, and plant matter. They are known for caching food for future consumption, often burying nuts and seeds in several locations.


American Red Squirrels breed once or twice a year, with their mating season typically occurring in late winter or early spring. The females have a gestation period of around 35 days, after which they give birth to a litter of 3 to 7 young, called kits. The kits are born hairless and helpless, relying on their mother for care and nourishment. They gradually develop and leave the nest at around 10 weeks, becoming sexually mature at around one year old.

Conservation Status

The American Red Squirrel is not considered a globally threatened species. Its populations are generally stable, although localized declines may occur due to habitat loss or fragmentation. These squirrels play an essential role in forest ecosystems by dispersing seeds and helping to regenerate forests.


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