This squirrel, along with many others, were found at the little wooded park area by Jackson Internation School at the UW. A girl was seen throwing peanuts and cashews at this squirrel (perhaps a female) and another squirrel (definitely a male). They were friendly, unafraid, and approachable. Videos were taken of these squirrels.
Right outside the music building at the UW. This squirrel came out of a garbage can with a piece of bread, but responded when I threw pretzels towards it. He was not afraid of me and let me approach him. He had weird fur, there was a black streak where it appeared he was missing fur. Either he was molting or it looked like he had been hit by a bicycle and had skid marks on his fur. I took videos of this squirrel interacting with me and will put these on my group website: jopaandfriends.blogspot.com
extremely nice and friendly squirrel. let us come very close to it and watch it drink water from a sprinkler. he wasn't bothered by our presence at all. he let me come within inches of touching him before running away when a dog started barking.
definitely a female squirrel. i saw her stand up to look at me and tried to get a picture of her, but couldn't. she let me sit next to her for a long time and watch her eat sunflower seeds.
close to jackson school and communications is a little grassy area with lots of bushes and benches. squirrels appear to love to hang out here. it looks like people feed them because i found sunflower seed shells.
Extremely friendly squirrel drinking from a sprinkler head near the Communications building on the UW campus. This squirrel was male and let me get practically within inches of touching him. An example of how used to people these animals living in urban areas are.
Found outside Sieg Hall on the UW Seattle campus. This male was foraging for food and did not seem very threatened by my presence.
Yet another eastern gray from the Arboretum. Very skittish, ran away as soon as I got within 15 feet of it. Good demonstration of how nimble these squirrels are when it comes to climbing.
Eastern gray specimen found in the copse of trees near the chemistry buildings on the UW campus. Three of these squirrels were eating nuts under the trees and this one in particular took the bread we gave it eagerly. These squirrels are clearly very used to people, an important thing to note when out looking for them.
The defining feature of this squirrel that I would like to point out for the purposes of this project are its large testicles, which can be seen in the second picture. This is a good thing to look for as a casual observer attempting to tell these squirrels apart by sex. This particular eastern gray was found eating seeds off of a maple tree in the Arboretum. He also peed on this tree, which I suspect may have been to mark territory. It is important to note that these squirrels at the Arboretum are incredibly skittish compared to their friendly neighboring squirrels at the UW Seattle campus.
Non-native species to PNW, thought to be related to species decline of Western gray squirrel populations. Much smaller than Western grays with distinct copper-brown coloring in their fur.
For more information on the habitat and vegetation of the area this squirrel was found and on the weather that day, please see the journal entry here on iNaturalist for April 18, 2012. These eastern gray squirrels are common all over the UW Seattle campus and in the Seattle area in general as I see them all the time. This particular squirrel was about a foot long from nose to the tip of the tail and its fur was, as its name implies, gray in color along its back and on parts of its tail. It also had patches of brownish fur and a white belly. It was extremely interested in me and whether or not I had food to offer. I have never seen a squirrel get so close to me before this one. This squirrel is not native to this area. It was introduced to several regions here in the western United States and has thrived ever since, proving that it is a very adaptable species. These squirrels, like most members of the family Sciuridae, is a scatter-horder, meaning that they hide their food in caches for later recovery using their very accurate spatial memory and sense of smell. This species of squirrel breeds twice a year, once in late winter and once in early summer. Wild individuals prefer dense woodlands and those that live near humans can be found pretty much anywhere with trees including backyards, parks, etc.
We are a group of natural history students at the University of Washington seeking to educate fellow students and visitors about the squirrels with which we share our campus.