Do Squirrels Hibernate in Winter? (and Where?)

Written by: Helen Matthew

Updated on:

Do squirrels hibernate in the winter?

That’s the question that came into my mind when I can’t spot Squirrels in my backyard.

In this article, I talked about where squirrels hibernate, at what temperature squirrels hibernate and for how long?

So many questions to answer. Let’s start with:

Do squirrels hibernate in the winter?

Yes, only ground squirrels hibernate in the winter. Other squirrels like grey and red squirrels do not hibernate.

Ground squirrels can be identified with small ears their lighter coloration, and their burrows. These squirrels are found in the wild, mainly located in rocky, mountainous, or desert regions, and live together in large groups.

The majority of them store food for the severe weather of winter.

At what temperature do squirrels hibernate?

Squirrels usually enter torpor when the temperature outside becomes too cold for them to be active (usually below 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

How long do squirrels hibernate?

Squirrels can hibernate for up to 8 months, the tiny mammals won’t eat or drink anything at all. Most squirrels don’t hibernate—instead, they stash food for the cold season and spend the winter snug in their nests.

Do Squirrels Freeze to Death?

As grey and red squirrels don’t hibernate, there are potential risks of freezing. If they have to come out often from their shelter in extremely bad weather then they might have a chance of hypothermia or catching colds.

What do Squirrels do in the Winter?

While ground squirrels hibernate in winter, other squirrels spend more time in their shelter in groups or families. They can dig a deep hole up to 6 feet vertically and 2-5 feet horizontally.

Do Grey squirrels hibernate?

Grey squirrels are common in the US. Grey squirrels don’t hibernate. They will hide in a hole and eat stored foods like nuts, seeds, etc. They can also hide food near trees.

Should You feed squirrels in winter?

Feeding food to animals that don’t hibernate during winter is a good idea. But should you feed squirrels in winter?

Common critters like squirrels are active for only a few hours a day. Sometimes they sleep for 7 days. That’s why it can be a good idea to feed them seeds, fruits, nuts, and leftovers. (near the trees).

How long do squirrels hibernate?

Squirrels can hibernate for up to 8 months straight without eating food or drinking water. Only ground squirrels are capable to do that according to their living environment.

Grey and red squirrels can sleep for around one week straight. However, they stack food in their nest.


We hope that you found this article helpful. Most squirrels don’t hibernate while ground squirrels hibernate and they live in mountains, forests or snow areas.

If you’ve any other questions about this amazing animal then comment down your questions below.

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