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The grey squirrel

The grey squirrel
Photo Information
Copyright: jeanpaul Bolduc (jeanpaul) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2097 W: 99 N: 3518] (14962)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-18
Categories: Mammals
Exposure: f/6.7, 1/350 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Tree Squirrels, Nature's cutest [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-30 10:37
Viewed: 8566
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Grey Squirrels
Scientific Name: Sciurus caroliniensis

length - about 18 in., including 9 in. tail
weight - between 1 and 1 1/2 lbs., adult
colour - commonly salt and pepper, grizzled with tan hairs in body coat and white belly

common throughout the university campus and surrounding areas
woodlands and urban areas, especially near oaks, beeches and other nut trees
often seen foraging on ground

nuts, seeds and berries
occasionally vegetation, especially in spring
occasionally bird eggs, nestling birds and insects
2 to 4 young per litter
generally 2 litters per year


active during day
natural shyness can disappear when fed
They don't hibernate in the winter

General information
Of all the species of wild mammals that are native to Leeds, none are more frequently encountered than squirrels. Squirrels belong to the most successful and widespread order in the world, rodents. One of the main differences between squirrels and most other rodents is that squirrels have a rather large, bushy tail. All rodents are gnawing animals. Squirrels have well-developed jaw muscles and chisel-like front teeth that can chew through just about anything. These front teeth are kept sharp by gnawing on hard objects such as woody plant materials, seeds and nuts. This gnawing also serves another purpose. A rodent's front teeth grow constantly, so they must be filed down or they will grow to the point where they inhibit eating and the animal will starve.
Rodents are known for their high reproductive rate. Here in Leeds, squirrels usually produce 2 litters of 2-4 young each year. The first litter is born in January or February while the second arrives in mid-summer. Young squirrels mature rather slowly for a rodent and are on their own in about 2 1/2 months. Leeds' squirrels give birth in nests normally located in trees. This nest also is the centre of the adult's activities throughout the year.
Most squirrels are active during the daytime. This characteristic makes their activities quite noticeable to us. They rely on their keen senses to detect danger when it is still some distance away and then they make a quick escape.
Squirrels basically are vegetarians. They eat a wide variety of plants, but they mostly use fruits and nuts. In the autumn, they are especially attracted to oaks, hazel and beech.

Medium-sized squirrels weigh about 1 pound and are about 15 inches long, half of that being their tail. As their name suggests, their most common color is grey with rust- colored hairs scattered throughout their coat. Under natural conditions, grey squirrels are most abundant in hardwood or mixed hardwood and pine forests. They are common in urban areas though, because they are not very fussy about their habitat needs. They do quite well in residential areas where only a few large trees are present. Oaks are especially attractive to them and they can supplement this food by using bird feeders and gardens.
Squirrels make interesting wildlife neighbours and can often be attracted to your landscape with minimal effort. Attracting squirrels by feeding them, however, is not recommended. If you start feeding a squirrel each day, word soon gets around the squirrel world that there is a new food source and within a week or two you have six or more squirrels coming to your house to be fed. Squirrels can eat a lot of nuts and it soons gets very expensive to feed them all. Also they tend to bury a few nuts for future use. Usually this is in the middle of your lawn or even worse your neighbour's lawn. This isn't too much of a problem as they are very tidy when burying the nuts, the problem comes when you go away for a few days. The squirrels are not now getting their daily ration of nuts from you, therefore they turn to their buried stores. When they dig up a nut they do not mind leaving a mess. You come back from your break and find your lawn looking like a ploughed field.
If despite these warnings you still cannot resist feeding your local squirrels then you need to know what to feed them. They like nuts of all types. These should be raw, preferably in their shells. Do not try to feed them salted or roast nuts. Hazelnuts in shells are particularly favoured, followed by raw peanuts in shells. They also like shelled brazil nuts, sweet chestnuts and acorns. They also appreciate it if you put out a shallow bowl of fresh water for them every day. It is not a very good idea to put out shelled peanuts or other small nuts as these either attract large numbers of pigeons, which also like them, or if they are picked up by smaller birds they can choke on them.
Squirrels are best encouraged by giving them food and cover within your landscape. All squirrels can be encouraged by planting oaks, hazel and beech. Nest boxes can also be constructed when large mature trees are limited. Grey squirrels will use a properly designed wood duck sized nest box. When squirrels cause problems, the methods used to solve them must be specific to the problem at hand. Squirrels can cause a wide variety of problems. Therefore, there is no one squirrel-control method that is appropriate for every problem that might arise. Control measures also should include the elimination of the cause that allowed the problem to occur if at all possible. One major cause of Leeds squirrel problems is feeding, either directly or through a bird feeder. Should this food be reduced or eliminated (you move, go on vacation, quit, etc.) the squirrels often respond by chewing up nearby vegetation. Another major problem associated with an artificially fed squirrel population arises from the usual lack of good nest trees for them to live in. Many squirrels that take up residence in an attic or garage ceiling can be traced to a feeding situation. If your problem has arisen because of this, slowly reduce your feeding program until you stop it completely.

XOTAELE, jaycee, ramthakur, mvdisco, CeltickRanger, gypsygirl58, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To claudine: Rencontrejeanpaul 1 05-02 10:58
To sily: Apareil Photojeanpaul 1 04-30 19:42
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Jeanpaul
Excellent shot of this Grey Squirrel,
Perfect composition and lighting,
Great sharpness and BG,Superb shot.


Hola Jeanpaul.
Una simpática captura, donde antes de abrir tu imagen no se apreciaba debido al camuflaje esta curiosa ardilla.
Bellos detalles y acertado encuadre.
Extensa y completa información.
Hasta luego, JL.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-04-30 10:53]

Hello Jean-Paul,
Great capture of the Grey Squirrel in a cute pose. Fine sharpness and lighting and good blurred natural BG, all nicely presented.
TFS and have a good week!

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-04-30 11:05]

Voilà une belle réussite marquante par son originalité. L'attitude de l'écureuil est impeccable et l'arrière-plan le met bien en évidence.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-04-30 11:23]

Hi Jeanpaul,

Cute little squirrel. The pose is wonderful - he is all head and tail! Nice colors and clarity.


Hollou Jeanpaul.
Very impressive picture. Great colour and composition. Good combination of frame and object. Well done. tfs. Stev

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-04-30 13:28]

Salut Jean -Paul
Excellente photo , j'aime bien la position du sujet.Image nette avec de superbe couleur.Excellent POV
Merci pour le partage Michel

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-30 14:07]

Bonjour Jeanpaul

What a brilliant shot, the pose with the Squirrel wrapped around the Tree trunk is just wonderful, he looks like he is playing peekaboo with you, very nice detail and fabulous colours too.

TFS Hilary :o)

Salut Jeanpaul,
that's soooooooo lovely, such a cute moment you captured so pretty and sharp. You put a big smile on my face, thanks, I like it very much
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Bonjour Jean-Paul,
Excellente composition et un joli point de vue de cet écureuil gris, belles couleurs et pose de curiosité au photographe en lui jettant un peu coup d'oeil.Une excellente note sur son quotidien et sa vie en général..mes salutations

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-04-30 15:22]

Excellent pose Jeanpaul. You have captured the cheeky character perfectly. Nicely sharp



Hi Jeanpaul, splendid composition with wonderful colors, great blurry BG and excellent sharpness, squirrel in lovely pose, very well done, ciao Silvio

Bonjour Jean-Paul
une photo exquise, par les détails excellente sy par la même combinaison de tons marron l'écureuil et des arbres. Mo'aime aussi la pose contorsioniste de l'animal.

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2007-04-30 15:40]
  • [+]

Bonjour Jeanpaul!
Did you get new equipment?because this is technicaly perfect and superb!Very very good photo!

Nice Squirrel shot. Great detail and the backround is nicely done.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-30 17:22]

Hi JeanPaul

Another very beautiful photo from you!
The pose of this squirrel is amazing here and the timing of your shot impeccable!
I also like the BG here, too, which is not overexposed at all as one might probably expect from such a POV.
Lovely colors and details, as usual!

Bravo and TFS

bonjour jeanpaul

belle prise de cet écureuil gris qui à l'air curieux
face au photographe, un beau arrière-plan qui met
le sujet et l'arbre sur lequel il est bien en valeur

j'ai une photo un peu similaire mais moins belle que ta photo,
d'un côté de l'arbre on vois la tête et une partie du corp
et de l'autre côté on vois la queue,
un de ses jours je posterais dans ce forum

Hi Jeanpaul,
Lovely capture of this squirrel. I love the way he has his tail wrapped around the tree and the expression on his face is gorgeous!
Excellent sharpness and details as well, well done and TFS
Cheers Tina :-)

Lovely way this cute squirrel is wrapped around the tree, JP. It is a unique perspective you have used here to great effect. I like the expression on the little creature's face.

bonjour JP
etait il en train de tenter d'attraper sa queue?
une jolie photo pointue et coloré.

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-05-01 16:22]

Bonjour Jeanpaul,
This is an excellent shot of this litte squirrel.
I like the way his tail is around the tree. Very nice pose. Good composition, pov and good focus.
Thanks Paula

Il est vraiment rigolo cet écureuil, magnifique photo composition, lumières, détails et BG, superbes, et le cadre le met bien en valeur.

Bonjour Jean-Paul,
Qu'elle belle prise avec cette pose tout à fait originale! J'aime beaucoup cette prise de vue, les couleurs et les détails. C'est vraiment bien composé et réalisé. Bravo!

PS, tu iras voir sur le forum général, j'ai envoyé un message pour une rencontre de photo le 12 mai prochain. Nous aimerions tellement t'y voir :-) À plus!

Hello Jeanpaul,
rien a dire sur les aspects techniques, qui sont parfaits. Ce que m'étonne est l'expression de l'écureuil: il paraît jouer avec toi, avec sa queue enroulée et les yeux drôles...
Très belle image, TFS.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-05-02 16:00]

salut Jean Paul,
très belle image originale de cet écureuil qui joue à cache cache. Le Bg vient donner une touche de bleu bien agréable.

bien vu

Very lovely pose

Bonjour Jean-Paul,

Une belle image de cet écureuil gris qui regarde le photographe. La photo a une bonne composition, netteté et de jolies couleurs. Bonne journée.


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