|Pentax FA*300/f2.8 @ 500/2.8 Feb 2/2012|
|The pine squirrel likes to pack a batch of cones up on top of something and then they sit down to eat them. The feeding site is usually in an open area and is often well lit and they are very possessive of it making a fairly close approach possible.|
|Pentax FA*600/f4 @160/4.5 +1.4x-L extender 8 Nov 2015|
|All photos with blue borders expand if clicked|
|With Winter Coat|
|With Winter Coat|
|Douglas Squirrel with Winter Coat|
|Douglas Squirrel with Summer Coat|
The Pine Squirrel as it is commonly known is an abundant seed eater in Western conifer forests. When the cones are ripe on the in the Douglas Fir forests these squirrels will cut large numbers of them dropping them to the ground, and then later packing them off to a nearby stash for future consumption.
Note the difference in dress between the photos. The summer dress is grayish or almost greenish brown on their backs, and pale orange on the chest and belly, while legs and feet appear brown. In the winter, the coat is browner and the underside is grayer; also, the ears appear even tuftier than they do in summer.
The squirrels make lots of interesting and distinctive noises often designed to shoo away intruders that may disturb their activities. Careful viewers here will notice that the pine squirrel in the second sequence of photos is not in a Douglas Fir, but rather in a spruce tree. That is only because the tree happens to be in my front yard and on this occasion a couple pine squirrels were playing in the tree within easy camera range.
The third sequence of photos show a pine squirrel having dinner. As is typical of their eating habits, they get into the stash of cones they have stored and they pack them one at a time up on something. Their preferred eating location is close enough to the ground they don't have to go far to get another cone, but high enough to provide some safety and ability to look out. It may be a low limb or a log, but in this case it was an old pallet leaning against a tree. He eats the seeds and drops the 'wings'. As you can see from the pile of wings they are prodigious eaters.
NOTE: There are lots of photos on the right. Scroll down. Almost all photos will expand if you click on them.
Additional information: see Wikpedia -Douglas Squirrel