Saturday, July 25, 2015


Yesterday, I happened to look out the window at just the right time to catch a few glimpses of a newish denizen of San Felipe: a squirrel.

Squirrels are not native to the Lima area and were not present in this part of the city when I was a kid, though there were some living wild on the zoo's grounds.  This squirrel is an example of the Guayaquil squirrel (Sciurius stramineus), which is native to southern Ecuador and northern Peru.  Their home range ends several hundred miles to the north of Lima, but they have been introduced to the city accidentally or intentionally, probably on more than one occasion, at least as far back as 40 or 45 years ago.

Some years ago --maybe five or six-- I spotted a squirrel in San Felipe, but it was being hunted by a hawk.  Subsequently, I neither saw any more nor did I hear a ny further reference to any squirrel here until late last year,  when a neighbor posted a photo of one to FaceBook, indicating that it was the only one.

It may be the only one or one of a small number, but I had seen neither hair nor hide of any until yesterday, when I spotted this fellow (girl?) drinking nectar from the blooms of a balsawood tree.

Anyway, it is interesting to me to observe the changes in the local fauna over time.  Not only is the bird population that lives here different in many ways from when I was a kid, but now I have confirmation of a new mammalian presence.

No comments: