Animal #70 — Eurasian Red Squirrel

sciurus vulgaris

Friday, April 19, 2019 — 5:40 pm

Mürren, Switzerland

One day when we were driving somewhere in Europe—I don’t remember where—Andrew said he saw two deer in a field along the road. I looked over my shoulder and saw two dark blobs that may have been deer. Apart from that exciting moment, I only saw two animals while I was in Europe.

After we wandered the streets of Mürren, I left my family at our hotel and wandered on my own for an hour. Near the train station where we had arrived a few hours earlier, I spotted a black squirrel high in a bare pine at the edge of the drop-off into the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It was acting like a typical squirrel, stretching out on the branches to forage for cones.

Red and black individuals can be found throughout this small squirrel’s range. The chief characteristic is long ear tuft. They don’t show up well in my photos, but I could easily see them through my binoculars.

I saw two other squirrels, both black, in the woods near Panzer Kaserne Barracks in Büblingen, Germany. One was foraging on the ground about 40 yards back from the trail in open woods. The other dashed quickly across the trail in front of me. In neither case was I able to get photographs.

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