Food habits and caching behavior of urban grey squirrels

  • Thompson D
  • Thompson P
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Grey squirrels are basically conservative in their choice of diet, selecting items closely resembling those used in habitats containing native vegetation. There is a strong seasonality in the use of various foods. The period of late spring appears to be the most critical for food supply; however, food did not appear to be a proximate limiting factor for this population. Food-caching and recovery behaviors show a strong seasonality. Food caching starts with the maturation of husked nuts and terminates with the onset of winter. Food recovery begins with cessation of food caching and terminates with the appearance of spring foods. Large numbers of nuts are cached and a large proportion (84.6%) of these are recovered. Cached food contributes significantly to the winter diet. The caching of food by an individual squirrel is beneficial to the general population and possibly to tree reproduction.

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  • D. C. Thompson

  • P. S. Thompson

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