Douglas Squirrel; Photo: Darlene Betat

Cortes Species Highlight: Douglas Squirrel

— by Shannon Hogan, 5 November 2022

The Douglas squirrel has to be one of the cutest residents on Cortes! I swear, every time I see one of these tiny, speedy and very LOUD little creatures, my heart metaphorically bursts.

They are probably one of the most common mammals you’ll see skittering around the island (apart from the deer). They’re chatty, bold and very charismatic. A perfect combination of personality traits that will make you fall head-over-heels in love with them! Besides their main name, Douglas squirrel, they go by many other names, such as pine squirrel, chickaree and sometimes “Pillillooeet,” in imitation of its characteristic alarm call.

These guys prefer mature forests, specifically old-growth forests. Our beautiful forests are the reason why we see so many on Cortes! If you’re walking through Carrington Bay Park, Children’s Forest or Kw’as Regional Park, I guarantee you’ll have the chance to observe many of them in their natural habitat. Keep your ears honed and ready to hear their many calls. Their most typical calls are their territorial calls. Anyone walking through one of their valiantly defended territories will know instantly, as you’ll quickly hear an array of continuous chirps, “chirr” or “pillillooeet” sounds.

Follow these links to learn more about this adorable little squirrel:

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