Squirrels: Mating habits

Squirrels are small animals with bodies that are very slender but one characteristic that makes them stand out is their bushy tails. They also have very large eyes, their bodies are covered with fur and their colors usually vary. Just like any other animal, squirrels also mate and give birth to young ones.

Mating and gestation and birth

Gray squirrels
Squirrels usually mate once or twice a year and this greatly depends on their species. The eastern grey squirrels usually mate twice a year; December- February and June- August. The other species mate mostly during the spring season. When male will always sense when the female is close to her fertility period that is when mating takes place. Gestation usually lasts 44 days and they can have two to three babies at a time.

The fox squirrels
The fox squirrels are an interesting species because they usually breed all year round. In their scenario, it is usually a matter of competition especially for the male to determine who can mate faster than the rest. The female are also fascinating because they have they have the choice of mating with multiple partners during a single breed period. After mating, conception takes place which is usually followed by gestation period. The gestation period for fox squirrels is usually 45 days. The mothers will then give birth to either three or four babies. Sometimes they can give birth up to seven babies per litter; a mother can have two litters every year.

The red squirrels
They are notorious for feeding on the bird seeds; their mating pattern is unique because the females are usually fertile for a single day of each breeding season. For breeding to be successful, copulation has to be repeated a couple of times and conception usually occurs almost immediately and they have a shorter gestation period of 35 days, they can also have two litters yearly which can carry up to eight babies. In most cases mothers give birth to four babies and they will fully protect them to ensure that they grow up.

Flying squirrels
Flying squirrels usually mate twice every year in early spring and in the late summer season, after conception, the gestation period is usually 40 days. When the days elapse, the mother gives birth to either two or three babies.

Ground Squirrels
These squirrels usually mate once every year, their mating period commences at the end of their hibernation period. The males and females will mate with a couple of partners and one interesting fact is that a litter of babies are likely to have different fathers because of its size; it can carry up to 15 babies. The gestation period is usually 25-30days. The mother can give birth to either seven or eight babies.

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