Eastern Gray Squirrel
It was years before we saw one of these squirrels and the first one was on the trail cam. I always thought these guys might be the source of some of the volunteer oak trees but am not completely sure. One piece of information I dug up said the they might nip off the germinating end of the nut before burying. Maybe the don’t do this for every one?
Squirrels love to cache their food and are quite good at finding them again. It’s their sense of smell rather than memory that makes them successful. They can find nuts even under heavy snow cover. They have learned that white oak acorns will sprout soon after they fall, so they eat these immediately and bury red oak acorns because those need to spend a winter underground in order to sprout.
In the spring, you’ll find these guys on the highways and county roads licking the leftover salt from the winter. They are so intent that at times I’ve had to come to a complete stop to keep from squashing one.