The Tree Squirrel
is named because of its association with woodland, and its use of trees
as resting places. They vary in colour throughout their distributional
range, and are diurnal. A conspicuous feature of their behaviour when
under threat is 'mobbing': all the members of the colony make harsh
clicking sounds while they flick their tails, building up momentum and
gradually getting louder. In some areas they are solitary, or are found
in small family groups: a lone tree squirrel relies on its wits when
in danger and always keeps a branch or the trunk of a tree between it
and the enemy. This species regularly forages on the ground, looking
for roots, grasses, leafbuds, berries and insects such as ants.
Tree Squirrel is always alert, and when alarmed, it will run away with great
speed, making for the nearest tree where it will lie motionless, flattened
against a branch. The young (usually 1 to 3) are born in a tree hollow
lined with leaves and grass. The young remain until they are strong
enough to brave the outside world, which is usually about three weeks.
Tree Squirrels are diligent in their grooming and a mother tree squirrel will
hold her offspring down with her forelegs while grooming the little
animal with licks, nibbles and the use of her claws. Food brought back
to the nest is reserved for the parents only, and the young have to
learn to find solid food for themselves from the time they are weaned.
More facts about Tree Squirrels