My squirrel friends.

My squirrel friends.

Hey there! I'm lucky enough to be staying near the Deschutes national forest, which means I'm getting my daily dose of adorable wildlife. I've spotted three different types of squirrels scampering around my campsite: the Western Gray squirrel, the Douglas squirrel, and the Belding's ground squirrel. Let me tell you a bit about each one!

First up, we have the Western Gray squirrel. These guys are like the Goliaths of the squirrel world, with a body length of up to 20 inches and weighing in at 1-2 pounds. They've got a sleek gray coat and a bushy tail that's darker in color. These expert climbers eat nuts, seeds, and fruit, and they're super important for the forest ecosystem. When they feel threatened, they flatten themselves against a tree trunk like they're playing hide-and-seek, which is just too cute. Plus, their tails are like the Swiss Army knives of the animal kingdom - they use them to balance, communicate, and even keep warm!

Next, we have the Douglas squirrel, also known as the chickaree. These little guys may be small in size, but they've got a big personality! They're about 8-10 inches long and weigh around 7-8 ounces, with a reddish-brown coat and a rust-colored stripe down their back. They're feisty and not afraid to stand up to bigger animals, and their high-pitched calls are so loud you can hear them before you see them. They're expert climbers and jumpers, and they're great at stashing food away for later.

Last but not least, we have the Belding's ground squirrel. These guys are medium-sized, about 8-10 inches long and weighing in at 8-12 ounces. They're found in grasslands and meadows, and they love to burrow. They've got a cute brownish-gray coat with a white belly and a patch of lighter fur around their eyes. When they feel threatened, they do this funny "jump-yip" thing where they jump up and down while making high-pitched noises. It's like they're trying to start a dance party or something! They're social animals that live in colonies, and they're true hibernators - they sleep for up to 8 months out of the year! Talk about living the dream.

So there you have it - my little rundown on the cutest critters around. If you're ever in Bend, OR, keep an eye out for my furry friends!