Red Squirrels

Red Squirrels at Squirrel Cottage – all these images (and thousands more) were taken at Squirrel Cottage.

If you would like a Red Squirrel Holiday, at a self-catering cottage where red squirrels are regularly visitors, Squirrel Cottage is the place to stay.

Red Squirrel at Squirrel CottageThe squirrels eat a huge amount from our peanut feeders all year round. The numbers of red squirrels at the feeders is dependent on the amount of natural food they can find and the supply of each year’s wild crop of nuts. They love hazel nuts and beech nuts in particular from the wild food supplies. So if there is a plentiful supply of wild food (as we call it), the numbers of the squirrels appearing at the feeders can be greatly reduced, to very low numbers of appearances.

The annual wild food crop for red squirrels generally matures around late August to October. Some years the numbers of squirrels seen at the feeders drop drastically in late August and do not regain high numbers until December (as the wild food crop is consumed). Usually January, February March onwards there are high numbers of red squirrels at the feeders. Obviously as with all wild animals you cannot guarantee anything, they are wild and choose when to appear at the feeders.

Red squirrel in snowIn deep winter, red squirrels will often be seen on the feeders even during a snow storm. The strategically situated peanut feeders in the oak woods at the back of Squirrel Cottage attracts them year round. We are very fortunate to see them regularly throughout the year here in Killiecrankie.

About Red Squirrels – Red squirrels spend almost all their time in the tree tops and occasionally will be seen on the ground searching for or burying nuts from our feeders.

red squirrel in treeRed squirrels are solitary animals that are at their most active in the mornings and early evenings. They can store little body fat, so need to eat regularly so spend up to 80% of their time searching for food.

Red squirrels have a life span up to 7 years. They do not hibernate, during winter months, so need to feed and gather excess food which they hide away underneath the soil for their winter store.

red squirrel tail upFemale red squirrels give birth to 3 to 6 naked, toothless young generally in February & March (not the warmest months), and again between May and August. The young are independent after about 10 weeks. Research shows that up to 80% of the young do not survive the first winter.

red squirrel looking downRed Squirrel Feeders – The squirrels feed by lifting the lid and getting some peanuts out. They will then sit on the feeder ledge and munch away and then back in for another hand full of peanuts. Occasionally one decides to get in to the feeder with the nuts. Occasionally the red squirrels are found on our bird feeders.

Squirrel Cottage is ideal if you are looking for a Red Squirrels holiday.