Sciurus niger
(fox squirrel)

Image Caption:
A fox squirrel sits on a snowy tree in winter.  The early months of the year are some of the hardest times for squirrels as their search for food begins to exhaust the seeds and fruit remaining on trees and their buried acorns.  A study by Stephen P. Havera showed that Illinois non-breeding female fox squirrels eat the least food in February when briefly trapped and given the opportunity to eat as much food as they wanted (1979).  Perhaps voluntary fasting helps keep squirrels from starving after consuming winter food too early.

<<  Winter Fasting  >>

Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger rufiventer) sitting on a snow covered branch.
Works Cited:

Havera, S. P.  1979.  Energy and nutrient cost of lactation in fox squirrels.  The Journal of Wildlife Management, 43:958-956.

Image Location: United States, South Dakota, Brookings
Image Date: 2009JAN15
Image Species: Sciurus niger rufiventer 
(EXIF infomation is accurate – stamped in UTC).

Web Page and Pictures By Hannah Leitheiser
Updated: 2009JAN01