Squirrels couldn’t find any of the hundreds of nuts they stash in the ground if their life depended on it.

The bushiness of a squirrel’s tail is a good indicator of the roughness of the winter ahead.

A squirrel is nothing but a cute rat.

Facts or Urban Legends?

If a squirrels couldn’t find their nuts, the species would have died off years ago.

I don’t know who first said “everyone’s a critic,” but I think it’s a really stupid saying.

I don’t think they’re even cute any more.

your humble TubaDiva
who has unwittingly fed the local squirrels several hundred dollars worth of bulbs over the past gardening seasons, those rotten little bastards

Squirrels are rat bastards, they eat everything I plant, they love the tender roots of newly planted things. They are just rats with bushy tails. Do what I did, get a dog, my husky keeps them trembling in the treetops.

I recently read (will cite if anyone really cares) that squirrels can’t remember where they put most of what they bury but they will find some of it again because the same instincts that tell them this is a good spot to hide something also tell them this is a good spot to find something.

For the record, I still think they’re cute, but they frustrate the heck out of my dachshund who, in spite of innumerable instances to the contrary, still thinks she can catch one.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

If squirrels could indeed find all their nuts (no double entendre) wouldn’t the oak tree have died out as a species years ago?

omniscient offers the following tidbits for our elucidation:

If their lives depended on it? They’re burying those nuts for fun and survive the winter by going to the 7-11 for bags of chips?
Actually, a squirrel retrieves about 20% of the nuts that it buries. Their memories are poor, but their sense of smell (for buried acorns, anyway) is keen. More importantly, perhaps, a squirrel will find nuts that some other squirrel has buried (that squirrel, of course, will meanwhile be busy digging up his trove).
This strategy of hiding food is called scatterhording. The theory behind it seems to be that a parasitic animal would locate and gorge itself on a single cache of nuts, leaving the squirrel to starve. If the nuts are buried all over the place, said parasitcal animal will quickly get bored (or starve) and go off to plunder, say, a 7-11, leaving the widely scattered acorns to be dug up by squirrels (if not always the same ones that buried them).

Pass on this one, although I can’t think of why the squirrel’s tail should have a clue as to what kind of winter it’s going to be.

Well, they’re rodents. They chew up bark, insulation, and furniture. If their tails were bald, they’re look a lot more like rats (although I recommend against catching a squirrel and shaving its tail, or for that matter giving it a poodle cut).
Squirrels aren’t called “tree rats” for the humor value. There’s more to the story, but that a good first approximation.

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

What do you have against rats? My girlfriend has a couple of pet rats and they are very cute and playful. I love 'em.

I think squirrels are fun too, especially when you give them vivarin :slight_smile:


This is NOT my page, I just know the guys that did this.

I can’t recall where I heard the quote but…

“A squirrel is just a rat with good P.R.”

Akat: I did conclude with: “Facts or Urban Legends?”. I didn’t state as a certitude. Many thanks for info, BTW.

Nerd: LOVED the page! Actually, along with pigeons and seagulls, squirrels (mainly the black kind) have become somewhat of an epidemic where I live. At one point, City officials considered a program whereby contraceptive substances would be added to food given to the little…creatures. Nothing, unfortunately, came of it, it would seem.

Just to add some pointless knowledge, they’ ve done experiments (don’t ask who ‘they’ is) where they’d take a squirrel and set it in an empty cage. Toss in a few nutes and watch. The squirrel would take the nuts, run around the cage, eventually picking a place to ‘dig’ a hole and ‘bury’ the nut. Afterwards, the squirrel would set about ignoring the nut, even as it walked around the otherwise empty cage.

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Talk about squirrels and their nuts - whoa!


Not really an answer to any of the questions, but an observation. A while ago I received an ultrasonic rat blaster, which most claim don’t work - I think they’re probably right, but home testing is difficult because rats are shy about public appearances. Squirrels aren’t and I just thought I’d share that tonight when I got home I found my couple-of-months-now nemesis sunning himself on the conduit where the utility lead comes in to the house. He’s had the rat blaster plugged in and pointing at him from ~8 feet away for 2 hours. He did turn and look when I plugged it in, but as far as I can tell he thinks it’s Steely Dan for squirrels.

I can verify that squirrels often forget their nuts. In our old 'hood, there were tons of squirrels, and we’d watch them bury their food. Then we’d keep an eye on the spot for a while, and it turns out that many nuts were left buried, because the little fellas forgot where they put them.

Are any of you bird watchers/bird enthusiasts? I used to have five feeders at the other house, and attracted roughly 30 different species to my feeders. I’m telling you, there is nothing worse than squirrels getting into your expensive bird feed, and having those little pests scare away shy birds. Well, to make a long story short, I’m not too fond of the little guys, although they are kinda cute.


Ok, I am no squirrelologist, so I can’t say for sure whether they forget the nuts or not.

However, it would seem likely they would ‘forget’ the location of at least some of the nuts they hoard underground. After all, we are a supposedly better at such things and we can’t even remember where we left the pen we were using 15 minutes ago.

Seriously, assume that a squirrel is spending acorn season busily burying nuts. He buries only 10 in any given day. He has maybe 30 days of prime nut season, after which, if he is a lazy slob who preferred to watch MNF on the tube rather than get his tail out and work at hoarding, the nuts are mostly taken by the neighbors, who never liked how his kids always tromp through their yard. So that would be 300 nuts buried. Now, I can recall many an Easter Egg hunt where my folks didn’t manage to remember where the last egg was hidden, and we had only 30 - 40 hidden.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it wouldn’t be necessary to remember, just necessary to be able to find them when things were lean in the food department later, like when the freezer had nothing but leftover eggplant parmesan.

We now return you to scientific answers :wink: