|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This is a new friend I made while on a hike in the Irving Nature Park in Saint John, NB.|
Red squirrels can be easily identified from other North American tree squirrels by their smaller size, territorial behavior and reddish fur with a white venter(under-belly).
American Red Squirrels are widely distributed across North America. Their range includes most of Canada, and extends into the United States in the Rocky Mountains, the North Central and North East.
American Red Squirrels are primarily granivores, but incorporate other food items into their diet opportunistically. In the Yukon, extensive behavioral observations suggest that white spruce seeds (Picea glauca) comprise over 50% of a red squirrel’s diet (McAdam & Boutin unpub. data), but squirrels have also been observed eating spruce buds and needles, mushrooms, willow (Salix sp.) leaves, poplar (Populus sp.) buds and catkins, bearberry (Arctostaphylos sp.) flowers and berries, and animal material such as bird eggs or even snowshoe hare leverets (baby snowshoe hares). White spruce cones mature in late July and are harvested by red squirrels in August and September. These harvested cones are stored in a central cache and provide energy and nutrients for survival over the winter and reproduction the following spring. The fallen scales from consumed seed cones can collect in piles, called middens, more than a meter across.
Juvenile American Red Squirrels must acquire a territory and midden prior to their first winter. Juveniles without a midden do not survive their first winter. Offspring can acquire a territory by competing for a vacant territory, creating a new territory or by receiving all or part of a territory from their mother. This somewhat rare (15% of litters) female behavior is referred to as breeding dispersal or bequeathal and is a form of maternal investment in offspring. The prevalence of this behavior is related to the abundance of food resources and the age of the mother. In some cases females will acquire additional middens prior to reproduction, which they later bequeath to their offspring. Offspring that do not receive a midden from their mother typically settle within 150 m (3 territory diameters) from their natal territory.
American Red Squirrels experience severe early mortality (on average only 22% survive to one year of age). The survival probability, however, increases to age three at which point it begins to decrease again. Females that survive to one year of age have a life expectancy of 2.3 years and a maximum lifespan of eight years.
American Red Squirrels are preyed upon by Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), Coyote (Canis latrans), Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), American Crow (Corvus brachyrynchos), American Marten (Martes americana), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), Wolf (Canis lupus) and weasel (Mustela sp.). However, predation on adult American Red Squirrels is thought to be relatively low compared to other mammals living in the North (e.g., snowshoe hares).
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Ciao Derek, great portrait of cute creature, fine details, excellent sharpness, splendid light and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
very nice picture with great sharpness and beautiful colours
thanks greeting lou
- [2012-10-05 12:28]
Hi Derek,very nice meeting and great timing to take this unusual and funny moment,great quality too whit the best details and colors,i like it! Have a nice weekend and thanks,LUCIANO
- [2012-10-05 14:14]
Lovely shot with a very good moment captured.
Nice colours and excellent detail and focus.
Have a good weekend