As autumn rolls around spruce cones fall to the ground and the American Red Squirrel begins their harvest. They store these cones in a central cache called a midden. Middens are made up of shelled spruce cones and are typically found under large trees or windfalls. Red Squirrels will use the same midden each year making some of them over a meter deep!
The American Red Squirrel's binomial name is Tamiasciurus hudsonicus. Tamiasciurus is Latin for “hoarder squirrel” or "the steward who sits in the shadow of his tail", while hudsonicus refers to Hudson Bay, Canada, where the species was first catalogued by Erxleben in 1771.
The Red Squirrel is active year round since they do not hibernate. However, it can get quite cold up in the Boreal Forest and middens offer great insulation. When the temperature drops to -30 degrees Celsius red squirrels head underground. So, if you are out on a winter hike and you don't see any Red Squirrels, you'll know what the temperature is.