- About 30 centimetres (12 inches) long from tip of nose to tip of tail.
- Weight is about 235 grams (8 ounces).
- Is easily identified by its reddish- to greyish-brown coat on the back and head that contrasts with the pure white coat
on its throat and belly.
- Its tail makes up almost half of its length, and is used for balance as the squirrel jumps from tree branch to tree branch
in its arboreal habitat.
- Red squirrels can be found throughout Alberta’s forested areas.
- Preferred habitat for this species includes boreal coniferous or mixed forests.
- Red squirrels will also take up residence in municipal areas if enough older trees are present.
- Diet consists mainly of seeds and nuts, especially those of spruce and pine cones.
- The red squirrel can also eat a wide variety of other foods, such as:
- Birds' eggs
- Young birds in nests
- Unlike some other squirrels, such as ground squirrels and chipmunks, red squirrels do not hibernate and are active throughout
- In Alberta, red squirrels breed in March or April.
- Four to five pups are born in May or early June in the cavity of a tree, or in a nest built on the branch of a tree.
The red squirrel is classified as Secure in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:
Specific season information is provided in the current Alberta Guide to Trapping Regulations. To view the guide
online or to order a printed copy, visit the My Wild Alberta website at:
Updated: May 13, 2010