Squirrels are members of the rodent family. The eastern gray squirrel is the most common tree squirrel. It is usually gray or brownish-gray with a white or lighter grey belly, or completely black. The red squirrel, also a tree squirrel, is smaller and has reddish brown fur with white underparts. Both are active during daylight hours and are primarily herbivores, feeding on roots, stems, bark, shoots, leaves, fruits, nuts, seeds, fungi, flower bulbs, and occasionally insects. Because they have rootless teeth that keep growing, they must gnaw continuously to wear them down. Otherwise they would be unable to close their mouths, and their teeth would continue to grow and eventually prevent them from feeding.
Gray or red squirrels generally build their nests high up in trees, in hollow trunks or forks between thick branches, using moss, twigs, and dry leaves. Sometimes squirrels will live in colonies with several nests shared amongst them. Although they do not hibernate, they will spend long hours in their nests during winter. Red squirrels will stay in their nests for days since they have food stored, whereas grays will go out of their nests every day.
Source: Ottawa Humane Society
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