This story is an entry from a biology student's field journal. A great example of the genre, and of how rewarding urban observation and sketching can be.

Field Journal Entry: Eastern Grey Squirrel

Emma Mossington

This observation was from earlier in the year, back in march, but it's my favourite page in my field journal so far. I have always been a bit fascinated with squirrels. They are industrious and meticulous yet also mischievous and playful, and I think they have the most vibrant of personalities.

The squirrel in the drawing has been visiting the property for multiple winters now and I do think it has learnt the lay of the land, as well as which humans are friends versus which are likely to chase it off. It has even made a sort of peace with the old farm dog next door! Also, as a side note, I was back visiting my parents place a few weeks ago, and this little guy is still scampering around looking quite healthy!

Date 03/08/2021

This squirrel was observed making trips to and from the white pine tree and the bare stump throughout the early afternoon, and always seemed to like eating its snacks on the stump. Most common snack appeared to be pinecones, there is a littering of shell debris around the stump, under the pine tree as well as beneath the birch tree and the largest maple.

The squirrel was also observed accosting the bird feeder, though with limited success as it has a squirrel “shield”. It soon returned to the pine tree. I have seen this squirrel repeatedly throughout the past few months. Maybe a nest or burrow nearby?

Tree squirrel – active year round

Grey with white points at ears, tip of tail, and lightening on the belly
Likely an eastern grey squirrel
Habitat observed – Backyard, rural community, partially wooded

Weather – sun & cloud, no wind, -11°c

GPS: 46.09373, - 79.36468

I am a student at the University of Guelph located in Ontario, Canada and am currently studying Wildlife Biology and Conservation.

Powassan, Ontario, Canada