The Squirrels

Did you know they are 3 species of the squirrel family, Sciuridae, native to PEI.

  • American Red Squirrel
  • Eastern Chipmunk
  • Northern Flying Squirrel

Here are some interesting facts about each:

American Red Squirrel

  • largest of the three squirrels
  • long, bushy tails
  • darker fur on their backs when compared to the fur on their belly.
  • can be found in coniferous forests, nesting in tree cavities
  • very adaptable and can survive almost anywhere
  • seed and nut eaters but will eat insects, fruit, fungi and bird eggs
  • do not hibernate during the winter
  • spend a majority of their time storing food, sometimes storing more than they will eat

Northern Flying Squirrel

  • most mysterious of the squirrels
  • nocturnal
  • roughly the same size as red squirrels
  • distinct, large, black reflective eyes for night vision
  • do not fly, instead they glide using their flap of skin on each side
  • make their home in coniferous forests, usually nesting in abandoned woodpecker cavities, old red squirrel or blue jay nests 1m – 10m above the ground
  • do not hibernate


Eastern Chipmunk

  •  the smallest of the P.E.I. squirrels
  • has a tail only a third as long as it body
  • light brown in colour with five black stripes on their backs
  • live along the edges of woodlands, in burrows, where the land is dry so digging is easy.
  • end of July and into fall these squirrels spend their time fattening up for winter
  • ability to puff out their cheeks to collect large amounts of nuts and seeds
  • enter torpor, a form of hibernation, where they spend a majority of their time sleeping, only waking to snack on items from their food stores

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