699 Bellevue Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
Squirrels of Lake Merritt
Presented by Lila Talcott-Travis from Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue
“Pity the poor tree squirrel. Throughout history, it has rarely been the object of much attention. Ignored both as a heroic beast and as despicable vermin, the squirrel has inspired few myths, poems, or art. What can be the reason?… Perhaps because they are so common, they are overlooked… Whatever the reason, there is much to ponder about the family of squirrels, from their unique tails to their evolutionary development in tune with trees such as the oak and pine.”
– Squirrels: A Wildlife Handbook by Kim Long
In Greek, skia means “shadow” and oura means “tail”. Put them together and you get Sciurus, the genus of squirrels!
Come and learn about the shade-tails on our walk, lead by Lila Talcott-Travis, a longtime wildlife rehabber and student of squirrel morphology, natural history, and lore.
Squirrels have achieved a place of distinction in European and English family crests as a symbol of retirement or retreat into the forest, something we all probably think about living in bustling Oakland. Take a time-out from your busy life to learn about…
- Their acute sense of smell! They can smell a rotten or insect infested nut through the shell, and even find caches of nuts under the snow by sniffing them out.
- Their bushy tails! Tails are used for communication, protection from the elements, balance, warmth, and to confuse predators.
- Their evolution with trees! Squirrels and trees have been evolving together for thousands of years, and some production patterns of nuts and cones are thought to have been influenced by squirrels.
- Lots of other things you didn’t even know you wanted to know…
We’ll see you at the walk!