Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nuts to you

The Abert's Squirrel or Tassel-eared Squirrel (Sciurus aberti) is a tree squirrel that is native to the Rocky Mountains from United States to Mexico, with concentrations found in Arizona, New Mexico, and Durango.

Abert's squirrels are 46-58 cm long with a tail of 19-25 cm. They are strictly diurnal. A number of subspecies have been described including the Kaibab Squirrel.

The Abert's squirrel does not store its food like other North American squirrels. The vast majority of the squirrel's diet consists of parts of the ponderosa pine. Feeding on the tree's seeds and buds in the warmer months, it depends on the inner bark of the tree for nourishment in the wintertime. Consequently, Abert's squirrels are found in coniferous forests with large populations of ponderosa pines.

The Abert's squirrel typically builds its nest in the branches of the ponderosa pine in groups of twigs infected with mistletoe.


The Abert's squirrel is named after Colonel John James Abert, an American naturalist and military officer who headed the Corps of Topographical Engineers and organized the effort to map the American West in the 1800s.


Holly said...

Ponderosa Pines... mmmmmm.... yummy... it's the next new diet fad!

Christine said...

Mistletoe! All that kissin' makes their hair stand on end!

button said...

Cute skwurls! I had quality time with some Abert's last summer at my aunt and uncle's in Colorado.