Why Do Squirrels Love Puddles?

Posted by on Jun 8, 2022 in Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

squirrel drinking from city puddle

photo by vincent dipietro

Squirrels can find almost everything they need up in the branches of their leafy homes, Trees are their restaurant, shelter, storage bin, nursery, and playground. Trees even provide water–by nibbling juicy buds and tender twigs, squirrels can get a lot of the moisture they need. But when the temperature rises and the summer heat sets in, squirrels need more water than they can get from the drooping leaves. They have to come down to earth to drink.

But squirrels, those ultimate birdseed thieves, are themselves food for a number of predators. Hawks, foxes, coyotes, owls, weasels, and domestic cats all prey on squirrels. Even dogs–so dedicated to fine art of squirrel-chasing–occasionally manage to catch one. Not to mention the hazards of cars, kids on bikes, and all the other perils of the terrestrial environment.

When a squirrel ventures down from the tree, it’s asking for trouble. Every hop they take on the ground puts them farther from the safety of the high branches.

So a long hike to a waterhole is a dangerous affair for a squirrel. Especially for urban squirrels, streams and rivers to drink at may be very far away. So what’s a thirsty squirrel to do? Even a tiny puddle can be a life-giving, crucial water source.


To find out more about puddles and the amazing variety of wildlife that depend on this odd, ignored habitat, please check out my picture book: Hello, Puddle!



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