What Is a Squirrel’s Mating Habits?
Every different squirrel species has its own mating season and special features. Let us take a look at the specifics of the mating season of gray squirrels. Since this is the most common species to all the United States. There are two mating seasons per year, one on December – February and one on June – August.
If you see some female squirrels between those months, they are probably already carrying the little ones.
The Beginning of Mating
The first thing you should know is that there is nothing romantic when it comes to squirrels’ mating. Squirrels do not mate for life that is for sure. It all starts when the female squirrel becomes receptive. This will last only a day, and the scent will attract all the eligible males, from a 500 m distance.
Then, it is time for the males to start competing with each other in order to find which one is the most dominant squirrel. This is the one that is going to mate with her first. Other males will have the chance to also mate with her after the first one is done. Once the mating day is over, the males leave and they never see or interact with the female or the young ones again.
The gestation period of the female squirrel is approximately 45 days. This applies to gray squirrel alone, as smaller squirrel species will need a shorter time period. The female will use this time if order to find a proper nest for the young ones. This can be a day or a hollow tree. If she cannot find an eligible nest into the wild, she might turn to human residencies and choose an attic or a chimney to deliver.
She can have two to four babies, and less commonly she can deliver up to eight babies. The babies will have one-inch length and one-ounce weight. The young ones are born completely naked, apart from their whiskers. They are also blind and deaf. So, you can see how the presence of their mother is very crucial to this point. Young squirrels cannot survive their own.
The young ones will stay protected in the nest for 7 or 10 more weeks. The mother will leave them only for a while every time to search for food and water. The young ones will stay there, until they can follow their mother into all everyday tasks, such as climbing the trees.
After leaving the nest, the young squirrels will stay with their mother for several more weeks. They still need her in order to learn everything they need to in order to be able to survive on their own.
The mother will teach them how to collect food, how to climb and how to protect themselves from any other predator. This is a crucial time for the squirrels’ lives since they are very vulnerable and easy to be caught.
Read the How to get rid of squirrels page for helpful information and to learn more about What Is a Squirrel’s Mating Habits?
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