Hiking, Snowshoeing, Photography, and Travel in Colorado and Beyond
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
American Red Squirrel
An American Red Squirrel, a type of Pine Squirrel, lunches on a Lodgepole pine cone.
The squawk of the the American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) is larger than life. One can't help but think that the harassing vitriol is coming from a much larger creature, like a Grizzly Bear with a wedgie. Alas it is just a highly territorial rodent. I discovered that if yearling squirrels don't stake out a territory by winter, they will die. No wonder they are so obnoxious. Their lives, literally, depend upon it.
This creature is one of three species of Pine Squirrel in North America and the only one of those three to live in Colorado. Also known as a Chickaree, it is almost exclusively a seed eater but occasionally will eat berries and leaves. Sounds like the perfect "granola".
Are those love handles or does this squirrel have a brood of suckling youngsters?
I have rarely gotten a good look at this squirrel because it has the uncanny knack of racing up and down tree trunks in a blur of motion. I came across this specimen while out Moose hunting (still have not caught one on film). She (are those teats in the photo above?) let me get quite close as she blissfully devoured a pine cone.
The other two species of squirrel in Colorado are the Fox Squirrel and Albert Squirrel.