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Fast Fact: Red Squirrels

You’ve probably seen fox squirrels and gray squirrels scurrying around our trees and forests, but you may not have spied a red squirrel in your neighborhood. Red squirrels live in northeastern Illinois, but they are far less common than our familiar fox squirrels and gray squirrels.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Red squirrels look similar to fox squirrels and gray squirrels, but they are much smaller, usually between 10 inches and 15 inches long. Their tails are also shorter and less bushy. Their fur is mostly orangish-red, but they have white bellies. They also have a ring of white fur around their eyes that helps distinguish them from other squirrels. Like their familiar relatives, red squirrels eat seeds, nuts and other plant matter. They prefer forests with pine trees but also live in deciduous forests. Have you ever seen a red squirrel in your neck of the woods?


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