“Pine Squirrel” “Chickaree”
I asked someone once, “What makes you think of a squirrel as cute and a mouse as dirty?” They said it is the cute fluffy tail that makes the squirrel cute, and the mice are dirty because they have torn apart my garbage bags to make a nest in my shed. Perhaps it is also the enjoyment we have watching squirrels dance in the trees, while mice live more secluded lifestyles. These red squirrels were photographed in a young forest in Nova Scotia, where most of the old growth is now gone due to logging. The forest is now made up of red spruce, red maple, stripped maple, white birch, gray birch, balsam fir, red pine, and aspen . The balsam fir and grey birch seem to dominate. There are signs of deer, rabbits, black bear, and porcupine in the area. Bald eagles are another top predator.
Red squirrels have red/rust colored fir over most of their body, with white fir on their ventral (stomach) side. Where the rust colored fir meets the white belly there is a bit of black fir. Under some lighting the squirrel can also look greyish or brownish, but there are usually red undertones.
They seem to enjoy watching you from far away, but will run away when you get within 10 feet of them. If you have also enjoyed watching these red squirrels check you out on a walk through the woods, please post a comment and let us know where they were located and what type of habitat it was. Our comment section is an invitation for others to share their own personal observations of the same species.
The above Red Squirrel was photographed in a forested area of Nova Scotia. The Red Squirrel below lives in the South Shore suburbs of Boston, hanging out on a “Finch Sock.”