Never heard anything official. But after growing up in the desert I have to doubt it. Other rodents "make" their water from the food they eat, so why not squirrels? Probably depends on the species and location, but I know lots of places with squirrels and no water within the range of short little squirrely legs. :wink:
Yeah I've never seen them going to a "water source" but I don't know if they simply get enough from food, or perhaps it's tiny water puddles trapped on top of the leaves. I have seen them active in winter in snowy ground, no "water" present but taking in a bit of snow from the nut they just dug up..., maybe that's how they do it?
I think, like all things, they do what is easiest to conserve energy and still get what they need.
I have a small plastic "pool" inserted into the ground at one place on my property and I have seen all kinds of animals come to that to drink, including many squirrels. Some hang around it drinking for quite some time foraging then drinking, foraging, drinking.
Squirrels are small and opportunistic...they don't need to go to a larger body of water like a deer does...From the morning dew to a puddle in a tree crotch....to even tree sap, they drink where they can find it...If a creek or bird bath is handy they will take full advantage of that.
Squirrels are also great swimmers...and can cross large rivers...
This morning, while watching my squirrels eat at their feeder, I watched one walk over to a piece of rain gutter I had laying on the ground a few yards away....The cutter had water in it and he bellied up and took a long drink......
Up here in the high pines of N AZ the best way to limit out on tree rats is to sit a water hole. I have limited out more times than not. Course I see em all the time miles from the nearest (known to me) water hole so Yes and no....I guess?