New Ecopsychology
or Spiritual Ecology


(Sciurus vulgaris)

Probably, everyone knows this agile animal with a very nice tail. Its tail is not just very bushy, but as if combed from center to sides. It helps the squirrel to maintain the right position of the body when jumping from branch to branch.

And when a squirrel swims across a river or a brook (it swims very well), its tail sticks out from the water like a flag.

Squirrels always keep the tail very clean.

And their black eyes seem to express much surprise and curiosity when squirrels encounter something new.

… Once, we sat down near a fire to have a dinner and noticed pieces of cones falling on us. What is this? It turned out that a squirrel also decided to have a dinner in a tree’s crown above.

It extracted the seeds from cones very skillfully and quickly: first scales flied to all sides and then — the stripped core of the cone.

There was another interesting case, when we were shooting a film in the forest about ecology. A squirrel came, sat on a tree nearby, and watched us carefully, without move. It looked at us with much interest.

… Squirrels have strong feet. Their hind feet are longer than the front ones. When squirrels leap, they, like hare, put on the ground the hind feet ahead of the front feet.

Squirrels are most active in the evening and early morning. The rest of the time, they sleep in hollows or in drays — squirrel’s nests, which they construct on trees high above the ground. Such nests are ball-shaped and have a side entrance. Squirrels line nests inside with moss, grass or even with hair of elks or other animals, which they find on the ground.

The favorite habitat of squirrels is coniferous forests with mature trees. Squirrels feed on seeds of conifers, berries, mushrooms, acorns, buds, and blooms. If there is no enough such food, they eat bark of trees, leaves, lichens, also insects and mollusks.

Squirrels have to gnaw on something frequently, because their incisors grow continuously throughout the squirrel’s life and squirrels need to wear them down.

In autumn, squirrels store food for winter. For example, they bury acorns and nuts in the ground.

One of the elements of mating behavior of squirrels is their running together in the trees. After several days of staying together, the male has to leave the nest. And 35-40 days later, the female gives birth to young. The young are born hairless and blind. The female suckles them for one and a half months, warms them with its body. When the female has to go out of the nest, it covers the babies with moss. The young squirrels' eyes open after one month. Since that moment, they actively explore the world around. At the age of two months, they become independent in finding food and the mother leaves them.

Squirrels often have two litters per year: in spring and in summer.

Squirrels can live up to 10 years.

They easily get used to people. Living in city parks, they become accustomed to taking food from hands.