Monday, May 21, 2012

Squirrel Facts: The Kaibab Squirrel

The Kaibab squirrel is a subspecies of the Albert's squirrel, a large tree squirrel of the Rocky Mountain and plateau regions of the western United States and Mexico. Kaibab squirrels are found only in northern Arizona, in a small area on the north rim of the Grand Canyon around the town of Jacob Lake.

As you can see I am quite unique!

A dark-colored squirrel with a body about twelve inches long, a black or dark-gray belly and a dark-brown patch on the back, the Kaibab squirrel has two particularly noticeable features: long ear tufts similar to those of the Eurasian red squirrel; and a startling snow-white tail.

Like other Albert's squirrels, the Kaibab squirrel is completely dependent on ponderosa pine forests. The most important part of its diet consists of the seeds found on the inside of the ponderosa pine cone. It also eats the inner bark from the twigs of this tree, as well as fungi that grow in the vicinity of the trees. Fruit and acorns also make up part of its diet. Unlike most tree squirrels, the Kaibab squirrel does not hide or store food for the winter.

Female Kaibab squirrels build dreys of twigs and needles high in ponderosa pine trees, usually on a strong limb close to the main trunk. The dreys are roughly spherical and may have a platform that extends from the bottom edge on one side. The mother will often move the young to a larger nest when they are between three and six weeks old.

The Kaibab squirrel is just one of nine different subspecies of Albert's squirrel. The various subspecies have evolved sharply different appearances because of geographic isolation, after the last ice age left stands of ponderosa pine, which grows in cooler climates, separated at areas of high elevation.


  1. Very interesting. I though our european red squirrel, would be the only once with ear brush.

  2. We have an Albert's squirrel on our property that is becoming a nuisance, and when my cats went after him (they are in a netted in patio), instead of being intimidated, he jumped onto the netting and tried to chew through it. Help! Is this normal behavior? Are they that aggressive naturally? Please email me if you have any info on this behavior or know anyone who is an expert on squirrels.

  3. I don't know about dark squirrel..interesting reading..
    Squirrel proof brid feeder

  4. Please correct you typo of the name of this squirrel it is Aberts, not Alberts. That latin is Aberti, so look for that name for confirmation. This mistake has been made often which is why it has gotten passed onto other from other websites.

    The last squrirel picture with the white venter (underside( is not the same subspecies as the Kaibab. Great pics by the way!

  5. I saw a very beautiful subspecies at Sunset Crater NM. They had long ears with short tufts. Most notable was the long gray tail with a fringe of long white hairs. A truly magnificent creature.