【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape
In this series, the transformation of four seasons will be introduced through articles on wild animals that are active in the deep forests, marshes, and ocean as if they were being cradled by “Kamui,” which means deity in the Ainu language. The first installment in the series is the Yezo sika deer of Notsuke Peninsula. (Text and photographs by Tadanobu Shigeru from the Kushiro Branch News Secti
【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (35) Hokkaido red squirrel leaps straight for nuts
A Hokkaido red squirrel jumps with its front legs fully outstretched.
A spacious-windowed café in the suburbs of Central Hokkaido’s Chitose City has a wild bird feeder in its garden, and customers can enjoy watching the flying birds while eating and drinking. Hokkaido red squirrels sometimes come from the neighboring forest to try to get at the nuts in the bird feeder. The sight of a Hokkaido red squirrel jumping from tree branches to the feeder looks so much like a momonga flying squirrel from the same Rodentia family gliding on their membrane wings, it is charmingly cute.
Hokkaido red squirrels live in many areas throughout Hokkaido, and even populate environments near human living areas such as urban area parks that have an abundant amount of natural trees. However, because they are mostly active early in the morning, they are not often seen during the day. They spend a lot of time living in trees, and in seasons when leaf growth is thick, they become even more difficult to find.
If I wait until winter, when the tree leaves will have fallen, they will become easier to find and watch then. But I want to catch a glimpse of the cute Hokkaido red squirrel so much, I will continue walking through early summer forests.
(Words and photo: Shigeru Tadanobu)