Identification: Active on the ground and in the trees, Douglas squirrels, also called “chickarees,” are common throughout Olympic's forests. Though usually gray with orangish chests in the spring and summer, they are often a browner color in the winter with grayer chests.
Their chatter, often mistaken for that of a bird, resonates through the forests. When sensing an intrusion, these little creatures are easily both seen and heard. Rustles in the brush often signify the presence of a Douglas squirrel digging up hoarded fir cones buried at an earlier time. They are preyed upon by cougars, owls, martens, and other carnivorous mammals in the forest.
Douglas squirrels feed on seeds of Douglas fir and Sitka Spruce, acorns, and berries present in the forest.