Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Cameron Way of Fort Collins, Colorado sent a passel of photos that, he said, depicted “playing” in his backyard. He identifies them as fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), but isn’t sure.

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When I asked him if they were playing or fighting, he responded, “I don’t know if they were fighting, but there was a lot of this, also,” and sent two more pictures. Now I have no idea if this is mock copulation between two same-sex squirrels, real copulation, or simply a wrestling hold, but it seems that it wasn’t merely playing. It could have been “practicing.”

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9 Comments

  1. Randy schenck
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Have not seen squirrels doing these behaviors. Lots of running around, chasing and fighting but not this.

    • een
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that’s very Scurius (Sorry…I’ll get me coat)

  2. rickflick
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Perfect for Valentines Day + 1. Love is in the air. As a clue to whether this is real mating, I wonder if these squirrels have a love season and if this took place during that special time.

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Seems like playing, and perhaps that excitement got them all, you know… excited.

  4. eric
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    When I asked him if they were playing or fighting, he responded, “I don’t know if they were fighting, but there was a lot of this, also,”

    I know couples like that.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Could be dominance

  6. darrelle
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Great action shots. Looks much like my young teen boy-girl twins whenever they are in reach of each other. Usually starts as play, usually doesn’t end there.

  7. Posted February 15, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Play often *is* practice, no?

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    It could have been “practicing.”

    I saw a couple of squirrels in Central Park assuming the position in the last two paragraphs. Asked them what they were doing, and they said “trying to get to Carnegie Hall.”


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