【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (29) Tight-knit Hokkaido red squirrel siblings bursting with curiosity

Young squirrel siblings touch noses

The place is a small park surrounded by a housing development in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo City. A cute Hokkaido red squirrel peeks out from a former woodpecker nest.
Right before the May holiday week in Japan, newborn Hokkaido red squirrels started cropping up in Hokkaido woodlands.

Young squirrels wait patiently in the nest while mother squirrels search for food in the surrounding area. A young squirrel bursting with curiosity peeks out from its nest for the first time since birth. Wary of its surroundings, it tries coming out but repeatedly scurries back in.

When one squirrel finally leaps outside, the sibling squirrels pop out one after another, as if they had been waiting for their turns. They cannot move far, and several squirrels form a line on the tree their nest is in. When the mother squirrel returns to the nest, it is time to feed on milk. The young squirrels follow their mother back into the nest.

Young squirrels live together in the same nest as a tight-knit family during the breast feeding stage, but will leave their mother several weeks later and start living on their own.
(Words and photo: Shigeru Tadanobu)


Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo City