After looking through the Pinewoods and Hardwoods forests on WCC campus for two days, my research group and I, in my environmental science class, didn’t see any squirrels whatsoever. Same thing in my backyard, I haven’t seen one squirrel. What influences squirrels to hide? The time of day? The weather? Temperature?
I see squirrels all the time, but when I actually look for a squirrel, I rarely see one. Maybe it was the time of day we went searching for them, or that the temperature was too hot. We saw evidence of squirrels being in the woods because of chewed up pinecones, but we didn’t see any squirrels.
The first day my group and I researched squirrel species that live in Michigan, and their habitat. What we found is that there are different types of squirrels that come out at different times of day because they either live in trees, or on ground. Ground squirrels are almost always hiding because they have a few natural defenses against predators. Tree squirrels stay up in the trees where they are hard to find, and since the tree is their protection, they almost never come down. Lastly, flying squirrels mostly stay in nests, but they do come out and glide in the sky. There are four species of squirrels in Michigan: the red squirrel, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, and flying squirrel.
On the second day, we went searching for squirrels, and just walked around looking in every direction for any signs of squirrels in the Hardwoods. The weather was cloudy with a temperature of seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit. We found chewed up pinecones, and squirrel nests, but no actual squirrels. We decided to go another day of searching, where we changed our strategy compared to the second day. The weather was the same, cloudy, with a lower temperature than the second day, sixty-six degrees Fahrenheit. We went to a different location, the Pinewoods, where we kept quiet, we sat, and we stared, but there was no sign of a single squirrel.
Sadly, no findings of a squirrel led us to the conclusion that the time of day that we went searching wasn’t the right time to search for them. Research suggests that squirrels only come out twice a day, in the morning, and in the evening. We went searching during the afternoon, when squirrels aren’t very active, and that’s why we couldn’t find any squirrels.
“Squirrels, Squirrel Pictures, Squirrel Facts – National Geographic.” National Geographic. Web. 19 June 2014.
“Michigan Squirrel Species.” And Squirrels Found in Michigan Neighborhoods. Web. 18 June 2014.
Elbroch, Mark, and Kurt Rinehart. Behavior of North American Mammals. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. Print.