The Douglas Squirrel, scientifically known as Tamiasciurus douglasii, is a small tree squirrel species native to the western regions of North America. These squirrels are easily identified by their unique physical characteristics.
They have reddish-brown to grayish-brown fur, with a distinct black stripe running along their sides, separating the upper and lower body colors. Their underbellies are usually creamy white. Douglas Squirrels have bushy tails that are often darker in color compared to the rest of their bodies. They measure approximately 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) in length, including their tails, which can be up to 7 inches (18 cm) long.
Habitat and Behavior
Douglas Squirrels prefer coniferous forests and woodlands as their primary habitat, including areas with pine, fir, and cedar trees. They are excellent climbers and spend most of their time in the trees, building nests called “dreys” made of twigs, leaves, and moss. These squirrels are known for their territorial behavior and can be quite vocal, emitting high-pitched chirps and trills to communicate with each other.
The diet of Douglas Squirrels primarily consists of seeds, nuts, and conifer cones. They have strong jaws that allow them to extract seeds from pine cones with ease. These squirrels also feed on fungi, berries, fruits, and occasionally insects or bird eggs.
Breeding season for Douglas Squirrels typically occurs from late winter to early spring. After a gestation period of around 35 days, the female squirrel gives birth to a litter of 2 to 4 young, called kits. The kits are born blind and hairless, and their eyes open after about a month. They become independent and leave the nest around 12 to 14 weeks old.
The Douglas Squirrel is not currently listed as a threatened or endangered species. However, the loss and fragmentation of its natural habitat due to urbanization and deforestation can negatively impact local populations.
Douglas Squirrels are generally harmless to humans and property. However, they may occasionally cause minor damage to trees or gardens when foraging for food.
Like most rodents, Douglas Squirrels can carry diseases such as ticks, fleas, or mites. However, the risk of disease transmission to humans is relatively low.
It is best to leave baby squirrels in their natural habitat unless they are in immediate danger. If you suspect the baby squirrel is truly abandoned or injured, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center for guidance on how to proceed.
If you’re facing an issue with squirrels causing damage to your property, contact our professional extermination service today for effective and humane solutions. Protect your home from unwanted pests.