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Old 01-25-2012, 04:10 PM
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olivia olivia is offline
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Default Do Squirrels and Chipmunks Get Along??

I didn't know where to post this thread. I see we have chippies on board. I was wondering if, in areas where squirrels and chippies live, do they peacefully co-exist, in the wild or do they occupy separate territories?
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrel Factor View Post
Peacefully I would say, well most of the time that is. I have a friend in the East in Northern Minnesota that has Eastern Chipmunks, N.A. Red squirrels and Eastern gray squirrels all iving in her yard and region. The Chipmunks are a funny lot, as they will raid another chippies cache, and once that begins the others in the community may join in on a mass raid, looting a cache. As for other species of squirrels, moreover the E. gray doesn't connect much with chipmunks, not as far as i have read or observed on my visit to see this friend. The Grays stay more in the trees and the chippies on the ground and under it, though they may go up to a high spot to make vocalizations. They will defend the inside of their borrows though and route Reds or other chipmunks from them.

Here are some videos of chipmunks and N.A. Red squrirels living side by side. As you will see the Reds are dominant, but the chipmunks are tenacious, though avoid engaging the Reds, they wait for an opportunity to get the food they need. Since the chipmunk has cheek pouches to carry nuts and seeds, they don't have to sit and eat food as the reds to, but will gather it to take to go. For this reason I believe they don't need to then be dominant, but just tenacious in their efforts to collect seeds. If any word describes them tenacious is it. I saw one chipmunk make no less than 25 trips back and from from us offering it peanuts back to it's borrow and then back again. This then gives them an advantage to do well to survive in spite of the more dominant Red squirrels with which they share territory. As you can see in the first and second videos, the Red squirrel is dominant of the chipmunk, not being tolerant of it being in it's territory. Fights though rarely occur, moreover body posturing and vocalizations resolves most conflicts very quickly, and if not then a chase occurs, which then the dominant red will attempt to make it's point by biting the interloper on the highquarters. The Red squirrel in the third video is vocalizing and perculating as they do with their body, to let other squirrels and chipmunks to keep back. In the last video a ground squirrel is challenged by a Red and the ground squirrel postures and stands it's ground, with the Red then retreating. Moreover when one sees Eastern Grays with Red squirrels it is most often the Red that will route the Gray.

http://youtu.be/mrxAI69k2-0

http://youtu.be/XvGJ0MsOeXE

http://youtu.be/IQ4TUZyFBg0

http://youtu.be/BZDdvHcWA3U
Squirrel Factor,

Thank you so much for the information you provided and the videos.
In the first, I enjoyed the cat observing the activities. The Reds are clearly territorial. In the second video, the sounds of the 4 chippies and the Red are beautiful. I guess it's good we can't understand what is being said Due to the smaller size of the Red, I would have thought the Gray would dominate.
I also never thought about the pouches and the advantage they give.
It must have been an incredible sight to see a chippie make 25 trips in front of you. Yes, they are definitely tenacious. Also, the fact that the Grays stay in the trees and the chippies on the ground makes for a more peaceful co-existence. Isn't it wonderful how the sounds say it all. They are clearly communicating. In thinking about it, I imagine all species have a form of language. I remember , having had guinea pigs, the first time I heard their noise, I looked around and couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from Your post is a wealth of knowledge. Thank you.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:32 PM
Squirrel Factor Squirrel Factor is offline
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Whoops, it looks like you caught my first copy I deleted it Olivia. Here are a few more videos added with the same address. Enjoy!

Peacefully I would say, well most of the time that is. I have a friend in the East in Northern Minnesota that has Eastern Chipmunks, N.A. Red squirrels and Eastern gray squirrels all iving in her yard and region. The Chipmunks are a funny lot, as they will raid another chippies cache, and once that begins the others in the community may join in on a mass raid, looting a cache. As for other species of squirrels, moreover the E. gray doesn't connect much with chipmunks, not as far as i have read or observed on my visit to see this friend. The Grays stay more in the trees and the chippies on the ground and under it, though they may go up to a high spot to make vocalizations. They will defend the inside of their borrows though and route Reds or other chipmunks from them. Grays and chipmunks seem to do ok to live peacefully, but the most dominant is the N.A. Red squirrel.

Here are some videos of chipmunks and N.A. Red squrirels living side by side. As you will see the Reds are dominant, but the chipmunks are tenacious, though avoid engaging the Reds, they wait for an opportunity to get the food they need. Since the chipmunk has cheek pouches to carry nuts and seeds, they don't have to sit and eat food as the reds to, but will gather it to take to go. For this reason I believe they don't need to then be dominant, but just tenacious in their efforts to collect seeds. If any word describes them tenacious is it. I saw one chipmunk make no less than 25 trips back and from from us offering it peanuts back to it's borrow and then back again. This then gives them an advantage to do well to survive in spite of the more dominant Red squirrels with which they share territory. As you can see in the first and second videos, the Red squirrel is dominant of the chipmunk, not being tolerant of it being in it's territory. Fights though rarely occur, moreover body posturing and vocalizations resolves most conflicts very quickly, and if not then a chase occurs, which then the dominant red will attempt to make it's point by biting the interloper on the highquarters. The Red squirrel in the third video is vocalizing and perculating as they do with their body, to let other squirrels and chipmunks to keep back. In the next video a ground squirrel is challenged by a Red and the ground squirrel postures and stands it's ground, with the Red then retreating; this heavy weight is really the only species I have seen stand up to a N.A. Red squirrel and win the day. Moreover when one sees Eastern Grays with Red squirrels it is most often the Red that will route the Grays. Chipmunks and Eastern Grays sharing the same hang out moreover with no major conflict. The last video is funny, the chipmunk takes a shot at driving off the gray, then retreats, hit and run tactics; perhaps the gray horned in on a feast, or is too close to it's burrow.

http://youtu.be/mrxAI69k2-0

http://youtu.be/XvGJ0MsOeXE

http://youtu.be/IQ4TUZyFBg0

http://youtu.be/BZDdvHcWA3U

http://youtu.be/M-DqKl88KdE

http://youtu.be/KaQebtUcMEk

http://youtu.be/UEMydnKGHcc

http://youtu.be/RoDssc5w1lg
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:50 PM
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olivia olivia is offline
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Hi Squirrel Factor,

When I pressed "Submit" and saw your post was gone I thought I did something wrong Thanks for the additional videos. I would love to spend the day watching the interaction of Reds, Grays and Chippies

for a great learnong experience.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:18 PM
Squirrel Factor Squirrel Factor is offline
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I really enjoy observing various species of squirrels to see how they interact, each then according to their own nature. One of the first times I got to do that first hand was at my friend's home in N. Minn. At the time she didn't have any Red, yet that is. Once one moved in, with amazing patience and tenacity was able to get one to take food from her hand. She shared that they are the bullys of the yard, that the Grays are the ones that most often, though not 100 percent decide it isn't worth the damage to engage in a fight. Once I learned that they are the most aggressive over all the NE species, I looked on youtube to see video evidence of that occuring, and as you see found more than a few enounters of reds and chipmunks, and E. Grays too. I was so surprise to see a red squirrel with what appears to be a California Ground Squirrel, have to check out where that encounter was located. They all come down to eat, and so there will be some challenges, but it isn't an advantage to engage in a fight as injuries can lead to mortality. Thse animals instinctually know this, so again most of the encounaters don't last long. The longest Iha ve seen is between to syplbing reds and so funny. Thankfully they wern't full grown. Most of the time sparing not fighting occurs with posturing, foot stomping, and loud vocalizations.

This first one is of two syblilngs, play fighting.

http://youtu.be/aJF57A8-ZeY

http://youtu.be/dXNFtAOjscQ

http://youtu.be/Y6SFDv4q6F0


The one is a stand off, with a couple of scraps no worse for wear they continue to eat and chatter at one another.

http://youtu.be/ZGhZHlpSE6k


When it comes to E. Grays and Fox Squirrels, they tend to get along very well in the territory they co-inhabit, even so whether foxer to gray to gray, or foxer or foxer to gray, there will be disputes between their neighbors at times. Here is a video though of one intruder they wanted to drive off. Too funny!

http://youtu.be/_On5it3fcZg

Last edited by Squirrel Factor : 01-25-2012 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:25 AM
Squirrel Factor Squirrel Factor is offline
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http://youtu.be/BZDdvHcWA3U

This was actually a Douglas squirrel, not a N.A. Red squirrel, in this video, that challenged the much larger California Ground squirrel at Mammoth Lake, Ca. . The Douglas is also a 'Pine Squirrel', sharing a similar diet as the N.A. Red, along with being very similar in size, and in form to that species as well. The Douglas also shares a similar temperment with the Red Squirrel, that of a 'big squirrel' attitude in a little squirrel body. Clearly though, the little 'Dougie' is not in the same league as this heavyweight, as it's aggressive attempt at intimidating the larger squirrel to retreat having failed, the little guy quickly withdrew. Likely this Ground Squirrel was on it's way to see if there was a treat to be had from someone out of camera shot.

This video reminds me of a similar encounter I had with a Ca. Ground squirrel, while on vacation at Yosemite National Park. We had stopped to rest from an arduous hike to Vernal Falls, as my husband just reminded me, and taken out our sandwiches we had brought along for lunch; mine a cashew nut butter sandwich, and hubby's, as I recall, PB. Seeing below us, off to the side of the path on a rocky slope, a group of Ca. Ground Squirrels, we like others resting on the rocks that lined the path, decided to offer a few bits to the eager mob. It was rather fun to watch the squirrels run part way up the slope to grab a morsel, and then run off to a spot to eat it up. Yet, after throwing out just a few pieces, one out of the group of squirrels honed in on my nut butter sandwich, and the next thing I knew it was standing on my lap with it's paws up on my chest, in my face, wanting more! I pulled my arms up to protect my face and throat, and obliged the squirrel with a small morsel. I thought it would leave then, but instead it sat down on my leg to eat it; so I downed most of the rest of the sandwich quickly, to avoid a possible incident with the squirrel wanting more. Right then was when my husband took a snapshot of me and the squirrel, each holding a portion of the nut butter sandwich up to our mouths in a very similar position, I then looking rather squirrellie too! That was my very first 'close encounter of the Squirrel Kind', which I will never forget!

From my own observations, and from a number of videos of both Ca. Ground Squirrels, and of the similar Western species, the 'Rock Squirrel', these are two of the biggest 'squirrel begs' west of the Mississippi! Thankfully these animals aren't equiped like skunks!

Last edited by Squirrel Factor : 01-26-2012 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:19 PM
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olivia olivia is offline
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Thanks again for the videos and information. Where are Fox Squirrels found in the U.S.? I've seen pics of Richardson squirrels and I believe they are burrowers. Made me wonder if they live in chipmunk territories , too. Are chippies considered burrowers since they go underground to hibernate, I think. If that's the case, would there be territorial fighting between them?
When I was a kid, I loved watching the Grays and back then, had no idea how many species there are in the squirrel category.
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