Squirrels love to chase each other for a variety of reasons. Whether defending their territory, pursuing a love interest, or just for the total hell of it… it’s hardly uncommon to see them pursue each other on the ground and up in the trees. And as agile and acrobatic as squirrels naturally are, even they’re prone to the occasional slip up might hurt their bodies or just their pride.
Two such squirrels were chasing each other in my backyard tree on an early February morning seven years ago. What made this chase a bit unusual was that it was being done in the lower branches of my tree, and required both squirrels to make numerous hops between the low hanging branches as they circled around canopy.
This was the first picture I got of the duo. As you can see, the chasee has a nut in his mouth, which the chaser obviously thought belonged to him.
This was the second photo, giving you an idea where the squirrels were jumping to and from in their pursuit. Those branches don’t look sturdy enough for fat winter squirrels to be bouncing around on….
And this was the result… the lead squirrel was unable to stick the landing on his next branch and had to cling on for dear life to keep from falling to the ground. Granted, it would have only been about a four foot drop… which is nothing compared to the daring leaps these guys make in the tops of trees. But I’m sure he’d have been laughed at by his pursuer had he fallen…. and probably had his nut taken from him as well!
This action packed dangerous stunt that you won’t need a movie ticket for comes in at #34 on my Top 50 Saturday Squirrels of all time countdown!
omg… playing chase IS dangerous… I hated it as I was a kid.. and I was right.
Especially if you’re the one always being chased…
The Fast and Furious franchise has nothing on squirrels…
If they start crashing cars in my tree, that’s the day I stop putting out the corn…
I love watching them “in the chase” through the trees – they are fast enough when they’re running to avoid some BAD mishaps…..I’ve seen a branch that a squirrel leaped from during an escape from another squirrel break the second the squirrel passed to another branch. And I’m talkin’ WAY WAY UP a very tall oak. I may have had to rescue him had he fallen OR maybe conduct a funeral service……
I’m sure that was totally part of the act. At least that’s what the squirrel said once he got done changing his underwear…
They are fabulous acrobats!
Yes they are!
Is that where the Flying Wallendas got their start?
Yes, before they shaved and cut off their tails…
Great pictures! I’m always amazed at how they run across branches that are so thing and twiggy I don’t see how they can support even the weight of a squirrel. And those are gray squirrels, right? So they much each weigh about a half a pound? Even so, those little branches don’t look like they could support a tree decoration, much less and frisky squirrel.
I’ve never held a squirrel to know how much it weighs, let alone fat winter squirrels…. but they must be all fluff and air. That’s the only thing that could explain it…
I knew a kid who had a pet squirrel who adopted him (the squirrel did the adopting, not the guy) when he was a baby. The squirrel weighted almost nothing. A full grown gray squirrel weighs around 1 pound, give or take a few ounces. Red squirrels weigh less than half that much — between 9 and 12 ounces. Even so, those are REALLY thin twigs.
They must be twitterpated!
God, I feel so stupid for only catching Bambi a few years ago and not realizing that wasn’t a word invented by Twitter….
Great pictures. Wow. Squirrels are just amazing. Even in the cold they’re performing in what I call “The Squirrel Circus” every morning. They’re just so darned cute.
The Squirrel Circus is an all-weather affair. They seem to love playing in the snow here, not that we’ve had much of that (yet)….
He could have called for help if he didn’t have a mouth full of nut.
A mouth full of nut, I’m leaving that one alone….