| Mearns's Squirrels occupy a very limited range in the mountains of Baja California, Mexico, more than 300 miles south of its cousins from the United States and Canada, Tamiasciurus douglasii and T. hudsonicus. All three red squirrels are small and agile. Because of their small size, they can forage on the thin branches of conifers where seed cones form. They harvest unopened pine and spruce cones, store them in caches, and open the cones as needed to eat the seeds. They also eat nuts, fungi, including some mushrooms that are poisonous to humans, and take eggs and even nestlings from birds' nests. They are solitary, and defend their territories with screeches, growls, buzzes, and rattling vocalizations. They also have a loud "chirp" alarm call. Females have litters as large as 8, but usually 4-6. The youngsters are weaned at about 7 weeks, and ready to leave their mother and find their own territories by about 18 weeks.
Head and Body: 165-230 mm; Tail: 90-160 mm
Townsend, 1897. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 11:146.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).