Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fox Squirrel

I'd like to formally introduce you to the little creature known as the Fox Squirrel. Many of you know that I feature squirrels in very many of my posts. I use them to talk about many different things. Usually when I talk about squirrels, the squirrels I'm referring to are fox squirrels. My evil nemesis, Mr. Nutz, is a fox squirrel.

Squirrels are actually one of my very favorite kinds of animal. Throughout most of my life, fox squirrels were the only kind of squirrels I knew, and they're still the kind of squirrel I see the most. These seem to be the most confident of the squirrels around humans, and they live in many urban areas. They also love small forest areas.

Supposedly they're also known as monkey-faced squirrels or several other different names you can find in one of my links. Like monkeys, people like to use squirrels in humorous stories because of their comical antics. Fox squirrels will interact with humans in all sorts of crazy ways. You can see some of my encounters with them right here.

Fox squirrels are mainly vegetarians, eating things like seeds, grains, fruits, nuts, and other things they can get their little hands on. They will steal that food from humans if they can, so they're often considered pests. A squirrel can get into almost anything because of their climbing ability and their little hands. They sometimes will also eat bird's eggs and even small lizards.

This particular kind of squirrel is the largest of the North American tree squirrels. They spend a lot of time on the ground, but they have little claws that make them very agile climbers. They can also jump as much as fifteen feet easily from branch to branch. I've seen them do acrobatics in trees that would be the envy of any monkey.

Squirrels are also one of the most curious animals. In my experience, curiosity usually equals intelligence. Fox squirrels are some of the most curious of them all. That's probably why they get into so many things. While in the forest, fox squirrels will come running close to me to see what's going on, and then they'll seem offended that I was there.

This particular fox squirrel in my pictures was perched on this stump of a branch when I found it. It was happily eating a nut until it saw me. When it noticed my presence, it stopped eating to turn and stare at me. I guess it didn't like me watching it while it enjoyed its meal. I don't blame it one bit.

After I got my pictures, I finally left it to eat its meal in peace. It was probably angry at me, but it didn't know that it was going to be a fox squirrel star. It couldn't know that I'd use it as an example of fox squirrels everywhere. It should have, because this little squirrel was a fine example.

19 comments:

  1. Those are wonderful shots! A very adorable squirrel..

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  2. I'm watching a sqirrel run across my neighbors roof. Have you ever noticed how they use telephone lines as highways sometimes

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  3. Wow, your camera have a great zoom! This is the first time I saw this fox squirrel. Here in Asia, they are mostly red bellied.

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  4. wow, the fox squirrel look so tiny up there in the tree, good you are able to zoom to give us that really up close picture, and i thought at first the squirrel was perched on that tree yet at eye level to you, i was wrong :)

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  5. His yellowish breast and longggg tail is unique!

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  6. great pics of that little guy. they are fun to watch. thanks for the info on that breed, i always learn something when i stop here.

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  7. Oh he is a Christmas card Squirrel in the middle pic! Wonderful

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  8. Those are great squirrelly pictures! Maybe I'll use one for a model for a picture I'm working on!

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  9. They're cute and I did not know they can jump fifteen feet. I also never realized they can eat small lizards, yikes!

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  10. I love squirrels. We have lots of chipmunks but not many squirrels hanging around so seeing your photos was lots of fun for me.

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  11. In Malaysia we have one species of squirrel which can easily seen in garden or behind our house eating fruits on guava tree. It is the Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus).

    This is great posts. I love squirrels.

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  12. My squirrel here is to swift for me to start loving them; I have no chance to talk to them.

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  13. I love squirrels! Just looking at your posts about them brings back memories of camping when I was young. I don't know what kind of squirrels they were, but I remember feeding them up in the camp sites in the California Sierras and just how brave they would get. I remember one crawling up my pant leg while I was laying on the ground. I had no fear of it, but my mom was sure I would get the Plague or Rabies or some dreaded disease. I can still hear their little squeaks at our trailer door early in the morning just waiting for us to start a day of feeding them.

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  14. Beautiful blog. Beautiful pictures!

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  15. Good photos Ratty, and great information. They are cute little fellas and tons of fun to watch as they play.

    SQ

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  16. Hi Ratty, I just tagged you back in a game :-) See the details at http://myqualityday.blogspot.com/

    Believe it or not my verification word is "cheat." Well, Kath tagged me back, so I'm getting you, cheating or not!

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  17. The squirrels here seem to eat anything they can get hold off. I've witnessed them attacking birds and even (look away now) rats!

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  18. I don't think I've ever seen a fox squirrel. Mine are all Grays. But they are about the same size. I wish somebody would come and take some of mine..Ha! I counted 30 of them yesterday in my yard. I was hoping the foxes would get some but they are too quick I guess. They seem to taunt the foxes while they are out there and then the fox will run after them, only to miss. The fox can climb up the tree a ways too. Love your post Ratty and your photos are great!

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  19. Icy BC - Thanks. This very agreeable squirrel thanks you too.
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    Joe Todd - I think I remember seeing them do that before when I was a kid. The neigborhood squirrels where I live now aren't as social as those back then. They mostly stick to the forests here.
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    Vanilla - The fox squirrels are more red bellied than it shows in my pictures. I think the camera got the color a little different.
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    Betchai - It was kind of small for a fox squirrel. I stood back so it wouldn't go away.
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    The Retired One - I think the camera made him a little more yellow than he really was. He was a little brighter colored than most though.
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    PJ - I think I like the fox squirrels the most. It was fun to put together a little information on them.
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    Glynis - A Christmas card sounds like a good idea.
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    Sharkbytes - He'd make a good model, and he's already smiling in anticipation.
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    Poetic Shutterbug - I just saw one jump like that today. Eating lizards is why I say they are worse than little garter snakes.
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    Mountain Woman - Chipmunks and squirrels are both fun. I don't see as many chipmunks so they're usually a treat for me.
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    Rose - I know plantain squirrels very well now. I like them. I helped identify one for somebody not long ago.
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    Rainfield - Mine are swift too, but there are very many, so I have learned to get these pictures.
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    Scott - Some squirrels like the ones you talk about can be very friendly. They can be very social animals. I think that's also why they're so brave around us humans.
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    Dympha - Thank you.
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    SquirrelQueen - Watching them play is one of the best things. They are some of the funniest animals.
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    Sharkbytes - I'll be over to your site right away. Sorry I'm kind of late right now.
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    John - Squirrels can get very aggresive at times. They seem fearless sometimes too. That aggressiveness is why I have said they can be more dangerous than some snakes.
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    Ginnymo - The foxes will have to outfox the squirrels, but it's going to be hard because squirrels might be trickier than even those foxes.

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