How often do Eurasian red squirrels use holes in the ground?

A photograph recently added to the Gallery shows a hole that a red squirrel was seen to go down during felling operations in a spruce plantation in Kielder Forest in the north of England. The hole was about 30 cm deep, and the feeding remains around the hole suggest that it was a spot frequently used by squirrels. Red squirrels spend most of their time in the tree canopy, but they do forage on the ground when they have to, and they may bury food items in lots of different places, especially in the autumn (a behaviour called ‘scatterhoarding’). These stores of food are retrieved later in the winter or spring when other foods become scarce. A question is whether this hole was a bolt hole which the squirrel had dug, or whether the squirrel had buried cones in the cool, moist soil environment which would have prevented the scales opening and the seed being dispersed. It would be interesting to know if anyone else has observed red squirrels using holes in the ground.

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