<< Previous Next >>

Tree Squirrel

Tree Squirrel
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-18
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 160
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Date Submitted: 2010-08-26 23:46
Viewed: 4800
Points: 92
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Tree Squirrel / Paraxerus cepapi

Today I want to share one of the cutest little animals one can come across whilst traveling the Kruger National Park. Normally both Loot and I are so captivated when these little rodents starts "laughing" that we usually burst out laughing ourselves each time we hear it. Initially we never realised that the hilarious and entertaining noise we often heard actually came from these little mammals, until one day when we heard it again and then saw one of them from up close while it was packing out a good "laugh". Obviously, after witnessing this comical "laughing" scene, we always knew a squirrel was nearby whenever we heard that specific sound. If you know how it sounds when someone laughs out loud from way down deep from their stomach and increase the pitch some tenfold then you will know the sound of a laughing Tree Squirrel. If you access the link to the source of the species info provided at the end of my notes you will find a sound file where you can hear this "laughing" sound. Especially towards the end of the sound clip you will hear exactly what I meant when I said it sounds like someone laughing from their stomach. Enjoy!

The total length is 350mm, half of which is tail. This species only weighs 200g.The coat colour varies throughout the region. In the western and arid parts it is pale grey, and in the eastern localities more brown. Head and legs are a rusty colour. Colouration on the chest varies from yellowish to brownish in the east, to white in the west. Its belly is white. These alert and ever busy creatures carry their long tails extended backwards.

Primarily vegetarian, but like most rodents will take insect prey. Tree squirrels use their forefeet to manipulate food items when feeding. They scatter-hoard seeds next to tree trunks or grass tufts, thereby facilitating tree regeneration.

In southern latitudes they are seasonal breeders. Courtship and mating occurs during August. They give birth to one to three pups during October to November, after a gestation period of 56 days. Pups are weaned at six weeks and leave the nest to feed on its own at the age of only 19 days.

Social behaviour
Essentially arboreal animals but spend a great deal of time on the ground, foraging for food. When disturbed, Tree Squirrels will always seek the refuge of trees. During the night, territorial family groups nest together in holes in trees. Offspring become sexually mature between six to nine months, at which stage they are forcibly evicted by the breeding pair. The males are mainly responsible for territorial defence, although females will also chase intruders when she cares for dependent pups. To promote group cohesion, a common scent is shared by mutual grooming, which is an important facet of the social fibre of this species.

Inhabits savannah woodlands, inclusive of a wide variety of woodland types. It favoures trees with suitable holes for nesting, such as Mopane. Failing the availability of nesting crevices in trees, will sometimes use holes in the ground. Source

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

cypturk, nagraj, bahadir, joska, haraprasan, marius-secan, yasemin, vanda, jaycee, Argus, Mamagolo2, anel, uleko, duca, Amelia, Alex99, goldyrs, maurydv, pierrefonds, CatherineD, Noisette, Dis. Ac., boreocypriensis, Luis52, tuslaw, maaciejka, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Amelia: Tree SquirrelMiss_Piggy 2 09-01 23:49
To CatherineD: CloseMiss_Piggy 1 08-31 13:28
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna

Thanks for this nice cute photo to start Friday morning with.
I really like the large reflection in its eye:) Great post!
TFS and kind regards,

  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-08-27 0:04]

Really very cute Tree Squirrel in good pose, its coat colors and texture captured very well and also like grooming itself quite often, healthy one. Yes, the 'laughing' sound of this squirrel really interesting. tfs.
sorry, my smiles exhausted.

Hello and good morning Anna,
Lovely shot of this cute squirel while tring to eat something. Pose, details and colours are wonderful.
TFS and regards,

nice portrait, greetings Ori

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-08-27 1:26]

Splendid photo of this Tree Squirrel, TFS!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-08-27 1:51]

Hi Anna, a very professional work! What a timing and what a fantastic quality of the sharpness,isn't easy to go so close a squirrel! I like a lot the light,the perfect focus and excellent composition too.Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano.

Hi Anna,
A nice capture of this beautiful tree squirrel. Beautiful golden colors. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hello Anna,
What a lovely capture with superb details,colours and focus.
Excellent composition. Congratulation!

Hi Anna.. Excellent photo of this cutest animal...Very good catch...Nice composition and great details and colors...TFS.
Best wishes

Ciao Anna, great capture of lovely creature in nice pose, wonderful details, beautiful natural colors and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Great details and I like that rock perch Anna.
Also like the diagonal aspect that splits the frame.
Cute shot, definitely a boy here :)
Well done & have a nice weekend!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-08-27 9:03]

Hello Anna,
Excellent photo of this Tree Squirrel. Technical superb and very beautiful. The sharpness, details, natural colours and DOF are outstanding. Attractive pose and a very good timing.
Have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2010-08-27 9:20]

Hi Anna!
What a cute squirrel! Its look is lively and clever :)
You have done it a very good portrait. The focus is perfect and the details of the fur are excellent.
Ciao! Vanda

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-08-27 11:02]

Hi Anna,

What a coy pose! This squirrel is precious as he hams it up for the camera. Fine details of his face, eye, little ears, clasped paws, and fur. I just love that bushy tail! A superb composition on the big rock.


hello Anna
great pose of this Beauty
super good details and great sharpness with beautiful colours
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-08-27 12:18]

Hello Anna,
A fine one from your archives, this excellent capture of an African Tree Squirrel!
The POV and pose are well composed on the rock and taken with excellent sharpness and lighting. The eye contact is nice too.
Must be great to hear its laughing sound!
Thanks and have a great weekend,

Hola Anna

Una bonita composición de esta ardilla comiendo en la roca, colores muy agradables y perfecta nitidez.

Un saludo de Antonio

I agree, Anna, the Kruger tree squirrels and Kgalagadi ground squirrels are hours of fun and very photogenic. This is a good example. Great shot, pin sharp and true colors, well done.

WOW!! this is a beaut Anna. You just know how to capture the animals beautifully. Beautiful bushy tail and colors. Beautiful eyes. Very well done my friend and thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-08-28 4:17]

Hello Anna,
Very cute indeed these laughing squirrels! Your picture is well taken with its vertical framing and the natural attitude of the animal. It didn't seem to be too much afraid of photographers.
Lovely posting. Thanks and kind regards

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-08-28 8:05]

Hello Anna,
I love Squirrels and this one is very cute! I'd love to hear its laugh! I like the low POV, the sharp focus on the eye and fine details and colours. A lovely composition too.
TFS and est wishes, Ulla

I guess they laugh the same way internationally; I remember them in Goa, in Angola, in Moçambique and now here in Canada... their cries are quite similar.
Humans tend to overfeed these species just to photograph them; that is sad. I love to view them in the wild. We enjoy their company right here in our own backyard. 4 different types.
Love the tail on these fellows, even "as is" in this one; but when then are agitated the tails FLARE up; it becomes MAGNIFICIENT.
Great eye contact.
Lovely shinny coat; looks quite healthy.
Excellent register. Loved your notes too.
Regards to you and all your loved ones.
Bernardete & M. your servants 4ever in Canada.

  • Great 
  • duca (14)
  • [2010-08-29 20:19]

Hello Anna,
Very beautiful "bokeh". The focus is perfect. Bravo!

This link had me laughing out loud Anna - such an infectious laugh, almost giggling as well. So I played it a couple more times before I came to the photo. I am surprised that so few have mentioned the sound track!

And now to the photo. He does look so very cute. Beautiful moment, and I have a lovely sense of being there with you, because the photo is so clear and sharp. He looks quite tame, you and Loot must have posed no threat to him. And what a bushy tail as well.

Do these squirrels pose a threat to young trees, as the grey squirrel in the UK does?

Warm wishes, Amelia

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-08-30 5:32]

Hi Anna.
Once more exceptional 3D-image from you. His animal is really is the most charming. Large stone is an amazing stage for pictured creature. Diagonal composition created by it and remote BG looks perfectly. However, the most stunning element is outstanding image of the squirrel. It's all details are superb. Bravo and all my compliments.
P.S. Now I go to Loot :).

This shot is razor sharp, Anna!
Simply outstanding!
I love the timing, or rather the pose...
Yes, I agree with you, their laughter is very infectious.

Hi Anna,very nice capture.TFS

Hallo Anna,
a superb portrait of the Tree Squirrel taken from an excellent POV in a lovely posture, fine detail and marvellous natural colours, a very nice composition with a great eye contact.
Best regards

Hi Anna,
nice and original squirrel :-)
Beautiful photo, excellent detail and POV with perfect focus.
Very good and congratulations!


Hi Anna,

The squirrel is well placed in the frame. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the tree squirrel. It is clear and sharp. The afternoon light is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.


Ciao Anna. You've obtained the best DOF with razoe detaisl and top sharp. Impressive focused eye. Magnificent capture.


Hello Anna,
What a cute animal and great capture. It's amazing how you came so close of him! He was fully concentrate on his dinner that he didn't notice your presence, maybe. Details are very impressive. Excellent note two and it's very amusing to hear his thanks the link you provide. Good night!

Hello Anna
This lovely Tree Squirrel has very different appearance from ones of the genus Sciurus here. But it is also very beautiful and lovely as much as ours.
you greatly captured it when its feeding time and on rock. sharp focus, POV/DOF and light using great. it gave a great pose to you. greatly composed and noted with good information. thanks for showing us this beauty. have a good night and best regards to you and dear Loot.

Hello Anna
what a great quality shot of this Tree Squirrel in a very lovely pose,
his fur and his face are superbly detailed, excellent lighting and coloration
i have never heared a squirrel laughing before, thanks a lot for sharing the link "source" with us
have a good night

Hello Anna,
Good capture of this Tree Squirrel from a nice angle.
Sharp details and nice colours. I like its natural environment in the background and the composition is excellent.
Ciao, Melania.

Hello Anna,

what a very cute photo from this Squirrel.
Good pov and details.
Fine colours.
Good note's.
I have been seen today also a Squirrel but it's raining and no camera with me.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-09-03 13:31]

Hello Anna.
Excellent focus and sharp details,the clarity is wonderful.The low POV is very good and you have captured very nice catch light.TFS
Best regards Siggi

Bonsoir Anna
Ils sont tellement mignons ces écureuils, mais ne ressemblent pas à ceux de chez nous.
merci pour ce spécimen

Good Morning Anna,

The squirel's facial expression is what makes this shot so special. Cuteeee:)))
Great shot, great composition MF!
TFS and have a nice day!


  • Great 
  • john1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
  • [2010-09-07 14:21]

Hello Anna,

Splendid shot, I like very much the squirrel.
I often encounter when I walk in the woods.
Here, beautiful sharpness and excellent installation.
I especially like the texture of his coat, a beautiful shot. I congratulate you for this great work.
Good evening and greetings from Belgium, TFS.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-09-07 15:50]

Hi Anna
so that you also have a squirrel here in your beautiful gallery. They are small rodents that look a beautiful skin, and that on occasions behave very diverse and curious.
Your photo very beautiful and full of fine details.
Greetings Anna.

Gracias por tus observaciones a mi fotografía Anna.
La luz que conseguiste en tu toma está muy lograda,
así como la pose del pequeño mamífero. Por aquí ya
nos quedan pocos ejemplares.
Saludos: Josep Ignasi.

Nice shot. The sharply focussed eye looks lively.

  • Great 
  • Aleks Silver Star Critiquer [C: 31 W: 0 N: 14] (14)
  • [2010-09-15 14:04]

Hi Anna,

I have had a better looks at a few of your photos. Some better than other but overall superb photography.

This one is a fantastic shot in my opinion. The moment captured is fantastic, the colours and the sharpness just amazing.

Thanks for sharing


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-09-18 19:47]

Hello Anna,
Your absolutely right about the laughing sound they make, I got on your link and listened to their sound. This is really a cute little squirrel which reminds me a lot of our Grey Squirrels. Excellent detail and beautiful colors with just the right exposure. Great work!!

Hi Anna,
I love all Your pictures. This one for example - such natural pose of this squirrel. Amazing contrast. Beautiful colours. And compostition!!!
Great job,

Hello Anna

Very beautiful close-up of this Tree Squirrel
with fine POV, DOF and the lovely eye-contact,
beautiful light, great focus, sharpness, details, TFS


Calibration Check