Urban Wildlife – 1/28/09
I was out and about yesterday, January 29, 2009 and saw this little squirrel scamper up a tree. I pulled off the road into a driveway, rolled down my passenger window as I was on the driver’s side, and just started shooting. I got some great shots of her, isn’t she just precious? She was eating something – she looks a little chubby, maybe some little one’s on the way? I love squirrels. I named this one Frisky because before I was even born, my dad and oldest sisters found a baby squirrel and named it Frisky. My dad has old reel tapes of him and my oldest sister holding Frisky. Photo taken in the city of Oak Leaf, TX in an urban environment!
The Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) is the largest species of tree squirrel native to North America. The Fox Squirrel’s natural range extends throughout the eastern United States, excluding New England, north into the southern prairie provinces of Canada, and west to the Dakotas, Colorado, and Texas. They have been introduced to both Northern and Southern California. While very versatile in their habitat choices, fox squirrels are most often found in forest patches of 400,000 square metres or less with an open understory, or in urban neighborhoods with trees. They thrive best among trees such as oak, hickory, walnut and pine that produce winter-storable foods like nuts. They are gregarious and apparently playful, often chasing each other up and down trees and across yards and clearings. They have a large vocabulary, consisting most notably an assortment of clucking and chucking sounds, not unlike some “game” birds, and they warn the listening world of approaching threats. In the spring and fall, groups of fox squirrels clucking and chucking together can make a small ruckus. They are impressive jumpers, easily spanning fifteen feet in horizontal leaps and free-falling twenty feet or more to a soft landing on a limb or trunk.
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