Raise her paw if friend love pines! pine tree squirrels certain do. They’re connected with all points pine. Castle live in pine tree forests, nest in pines and also depend on pine seed for food. These are the just “pine squirrels” in phibìc America–The Douglas’s, American Red and Mearns’s.

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DOUGLAS’S SQUIRREL(Tamiasciurus douglasii)


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Douglas’s Squirrel. (Steve Voght / Flickr; cc by 2.0)


Naturalist john Muir called the Douglas’s (or Douglas) Squirrel the “squirrel that squirrels” since they own “every attribute peculiarly squirrelish enthusiastically concentrated.” the pretty much specifies these bright, feisty and noisy squirrels, who refuse to be ignored! They’ll quickly seize her attention, even though they’re only about a foot lengthy (30 cm), including their tail.

Under your thick hair is a tiny body weighing only around 0.33–0.66 that a pound (150–300 g). Your hair looks patent different between summer and also winter. In summer, they’re reddish-brown come grayish-brown top top the topside. In winter, they’re much more grayish overall and also may have actually noticeable ear tufts.


Squirrel midden. (hthrd / Flickr; cc by 2.0)


The squirrels are solitary, except throughout mating season, which is late-February to April. The pups (or kits) space born about one month later. They’ll remain with their mother up come a year, for this reason if you see a group, it’s most likely a mother and also her offspring.

In summer, Douglas’s Squirrels develop nests that twigs, mosses, shredded bark and lichens ~ above tree four or in tree forks. In winter, they colony in tree caries or underground burrows.

The squirrels will certainly eat acorns, fruit, mushrooms, buds,and sap, and visit bird feeders for nuts. But, can you guess: v their main diet? Yes, the course, it’s conifer seeds. They have a distinctive means of eating pinecone seeds–from the bottom up, rather than top down. (That’s one in the top photo hold a pinecone in that position.) In the fall, they ask pine cones to eat later on. They additionally sometimes store mushrooms in the fork that trees.

The squirrels frequently use the same spot year ~ year while peeling the scales off pinecones. This refuse piles are referred to as middens. Generations of squirrels may use one, with it farming several feet high and wide.

Douglas’s Squirrels,sometimes referred to as Chickarees, inhabit West coastline pine woodlands from California north into Canada and also Alaska. They’re named after David Douglas (1799–1834), a Scottish botanist who traveled because that a couple of years in NA.

AMERICAN RED SQUIRREL(Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)


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Mother v two of her young. (Gilles Gonthier / Flickr; cc by 2.0)


American Red Squirrels space recognizable by your deep red color and also their tiny size–only about 6–7 inches long (15–18 cm), plus a 6-inch tail.

The females room receptive to adjustment for simply one day, usually about February, and sometimes for one day roughly August. They often compensate for their abbreviated estrus cycles by adjustment with numerous males. Four or 5 babies are born 35 come 40 job later. Juveniles have high mortality in their an initial year, yet if they make it through it, they might live approximately ten years.

The American Red Squirrel is sometimes dubbed a chickaree (same as the Douglas’s’ nickname). It’s one of 25 red squirrel subspecies, with location being the main difference in between them. Lock shouldn’t be confused with the Eurasian Red Squirrel, which is in a different genus,Sciurus vulgaris.

They feed on nuts, mushrooms, fruits, sap, as well as, bark, pine seeds or cones. But, also, insects, young bird or eggs, mice and also newborn rabbits. They additionally build ever-expanding middens.

Red squirrels space the many widely distributed of the pine squirrels, v one subspecies or an additional ranging from Alaska and also Canada come the great Lakes Region, and south and also east follow me the Rocky Mountains. Some populations additionally dip down into the northeastern joined States. An isolated team inhabits south-east Arizona. Named the mount Graham pine Squirrel, T. H. Grahamenis, they ended up being stranded as soon as the area approximately them transformed into desert throughout the critical glacial times, between 22 and 12,500 year ago. All red 설 설 inhabit conifer forests, however occasionally blended forests, too.

MEARNS’S SQUIRREL(Tamiasciurus mearnsi)


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Mearns’s 설 설 live in isolation in the open, dry pine and fir forests of the Sierra de san Pedro Mártir mountain selection in Baja California, Mexico, and the southern border that California. The heaviest of the pine squirrels at around 9.5 ounces (270 g), hereditary evidence suggests they advanced from Douglas’s Squirrels and also became separated about twelve thousand years ago.

They’ve made unique adaptations to their rugged habitat. For instance, various other squirrels are willing to usage leaf nests and also burrows because that nesting, but the Mearns’s will use only tree cavities and only in large diameter trees. This way that suitable live trees and snags are crucial to their survival. One more difference is their jaw strength: when the Douglas and also Red 설 설 can carry pinecones in their mouth, the Mearns’s have the right to hold bigger ones. Also, unlike the other pine squirrels, lock don’t build and defend middens.

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Mearns’s Squirrel babies. (Courtesy of Melissa Merrick)


(The infant Mearns’s shown over were uncovered lying exposed at the basic of a tree. That expected their mother was probably moving them native an old colony to a brand-new one—something she wouldn’t perform without a great reason. Mearns’s researcher, Melissa Merrick, occurred to be adjacent and heard your pitiful cries—they were under strike by an army of ants! detect her method to them, Melissa eliminated the ants, which had already caused wounds, and also left the babies on a big piece of bark top top the ground, hoping their mother would rescue them soon. And also so she did! One by one Mom brought them increase the tree. A happy ending!)

Mearns’s are named for Edgar Alexander Mearns (1856–1916), a naturalist and surgeon in the US army who offered for part years in Mexico. The squirrels are noted as endangered in Mexico due to their low population and isolation. The IUCN¹ perform them as endangered. You deserve to learn much more about the Mearns’s native Nicolas Ramos-Lara’s study, The Ecology that the Endemic Mearns’s Squirrel.

*Top photo: Douglas’s Squirrel eating a pinecone. Jay Maughn / Flickr; cc by 2.0¹International Union because that Conservation that Nature