These lively pine squirrels can be found all along the Oregon Coast. They are active during the day and will often be encountered by hikers or campers. They are territorial and often bold around humans. If you stray too close to their foraging area or nests, it is likely that the squirrel will deliver a chatter-like warning to drive you off.
They can be distinguished from other squirrels by their orange-colored chest. The rest of the fur is typically a mottled gray or brown, except for the tan area around nose and a white eye-ring. Like others of their species, they have a bushy tail and small tufts of dark fur behind each ear.
These squirrels are known as “scatter hoarders,” meaning that they will hide nuts, seeds, acorns and other food in a variety of areas. By doing so, the squirrel helps to propagate the forest as forgotten hoards will usually germinate and grow into new trees. When at rest, the squirrel will usually hide away in ball-shaped nests they create in tree hollows. They are typically hunted by martens, bobcats and predatory birds such as owls.
Douglas’ Squirrel can be found all along the west coast from California to southern Alaska. They prefer old growth forests dominated by Shore Pine, Douglas Fir and Sitka Spruce. They can often be spotted foraging on the ground or in dense brush.