August 11, 2012
California Grey Squirrel, Ponderosa Pine, and Sugar Pine
Sciurus griseus, Pinus ponderosa, and Pinus lambertiana
What a curious sight - this pile of shredded pine cones scattered throughout the forest floor in the Hodgdon Meadows Campground! Who are the culprits? In this case it was the California Grey squirrel who has been dismantling these Ponderosa Pine and Sugar Pine cones. The piles show the "cob" of the cone, the stripped off scales, and outer coverings of the pine "nuts" held within the cones. These seeds are high in protein and a great source of nutrients for the squirrels. In the campground area, I also saw a laboriously-working Grey Squirrel, who had just been dragging a green and not-yet-opened Sugar Pine cone that was as large as he was.