Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Known aliases include...

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus are known variously as American red squirrels, pine squirrels, boomers, and chickarees. I don't especially care for the first, as "red squirrel" is often used to refer to other species; I've seen Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in Ireland, and even our neighbourhood fox squirrels (S. niger) are often colloquially referred to as "red squirrels".

[Okay, so yes, red...]

"Pine squirrel" is nicely descriptive of their habitat, but applies equally well to other Tamiasciurus species, as well as certain fox squirrel populations—in the Deep South and on the Delmarva peninsula, fox squirrels are habitat specialists associated closely with longleaf and loblolly pine.

[This is hemlock, not pine, but you get the general idea...]

The other two names, boomer and chickaree, are both based on vocalisation, but "boomer" gives the misleading impression that their voices are deep. "Chickaree", on the other hand, is based on a common call, so I guess we should go with that...

In practice, though, I usually end up resorting to "piney". Or, "Look, Jessa, there's another squirrel."

[I don't think any of these are on pine trees, either...]

[A few more just for cuteness.]

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