An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Red Squirrel Sign

If you find a mushroom hanging in an unlikely spot, such as from tree branches or tucked into the bark of a tree where it didn’t grow, it’s likely that you have happened upon the work of a red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus).  Red squirrels are known for their habit of snipping mushrooms and hanging them from branches and rough bark in order to dry them before collecting them and caching them for dining on later in the winter.   Unlike beavers, which share their stored cache of winter food with family members, red squirrels keep their cached fungi all to themselves.

7 responses

  1. Marie Kirn

    Mary – You are truly a wonder!!! Thank you for this bit of almost unbelievable info . . . one more miracle in this wondrous world of ours. M

    October 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm


    Hi Mary, Just heard about your new fox book coming out! Are these some of “our foxes” from Fairway Dr.? Would like to order 2 copies. One for me and one for grand kids . Can I do this thru you and get them signed. Exciting! Babs

    October 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm

  3. Deb Fountain

    Mary, We were hiking in Ponemah Bog in NH this week and found clumps of sphagnum moss, cotton grass and ends of pitch pine branches hanging on high shrub branches. Could this be the work of red squirrels too?

    October 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    • Hi Deb,
      That would be my guess, but it’s only a guess!

      October 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

  4. Susan in NH

    I have seen this and wondered. Now I know why!
    The red squirrels in my neighborhood seem to have an interest in plastic containers. One recently ran across the road in front of my car carrying a whole plastic bottle (by the cap) and another tried to run off with a large yogurt container I use to scoop birdseed, which I accidently left on the porch! I wonder what they use them for? Nest material? Storage?

    October 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    • Hi Susan,
      I’m afraid I am at an absolute loss of explanation for why a red squirrel would be collecting plastic, other than perhaps it once contained something that smelled appealing to the squirrel?

      October 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm

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