Whatcom Magazine

Tree-dwelling Douglas’ squirrel storing seeds, making noise

The Douglas’ squirrel makes plenty of noise whenever people come too close to its favorite cone-bearing trees.
The Douglas’ squirrel makes plenty of noise whenever people come too close to its favorite cone-bearing trees. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

You’re likely to hear a Douglas’ squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) before you see it. The argumentative yet industrious squirrel lets loose a stream of chirps, trills and other noises whenever someone approaches too close in its territorial patch of forest.

The tree squirrel is usually about 7 inches long, with a tale almost as long. The head, back and tail are rusty brown, with perhaps some gray streaks, and an underside that’s orange to gray in color. Their tales, while bushy, a somewhat flattened and end with a black tip.

Douglas’ squirrels store seeds from spruce, Douglas fire and pine cones to subsist through the winter. In the summer, they nest in a ball of twigs, bark and moss on a limb. In the winter, they nestle in a tree hollow or old woodpecker hole, or under piles of forest debris.

Details: North Cascades Institute, ncascades.org

  Comments