I’ve been seeing this squirrel up in the trees of the Native Plant Area for weeks without being able to capture it on camera. It moved so fast! Then I stood watching a California Towhee fly up into a pine tree, and I noticed that someone was up on a branch watching me. My observer paid little attention to the bird, which hopped past just inches away. The squirrel’s curiosity must have got the best of it; it held its position on the branch for many seconds, just twitching its tail a bit, looking at that crazy human creature on the ground with his black box mounted on spider legs. Then it got bored and scurried off.
Not being any kind of squirrel expert, all I could say confidently is that this was not one of the hundreds of ground squirrels that inhabit the park. It’s a tree squirrel. But what kind? Checking the online sources when I got home, I went out on a limb and said that this is a Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger, but I invited knowledgeable readers to differ. One did:
Update: Thanks to Rana B., a wildlife biologist and squirrel expert, the verdict is that this also could be an American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), as well as a Fox Squirrel. Rana was sure it was not a Douglas squirrel, but not sure whether Fox or Red. Thank you Kevin S. for referring this to Rana. Readers who are squirrel experts are invited to check in.