13 APRIL 1929, Page 14


An interesting example of the 'peculiar activity of the grey squirrel is told me by a man of science living in Berkshire :— " Two or three days ago my eldest daughter was in a small wood on this property with her Cairn terrier—the wood contains a large number of grey squirrels, and the terrier chased one which climbed a chestnut tree that we estimate to be about 40 feet high. The tree happened to be 'rather isolated, and to my daughter's great astonishment the squiriel, -finding presumably that it could not jump to another tree, took a flying leap from the top of the tree to the ground. My daughter describes the sight as most remarkable—the squirrel's tail was straight out behind it hori- zontally and its four legs were spread out ; it seemed to float through the air, making a whirring noise as it passed over her head. It landed on its feet without the slightest injury or apparent dis- comfort, and afterwards scampered away into the undergrowth. The so-called flying squirrel of Australia is no doilbt capable of such a feat, but I have never heard of any leap of this kind by either the red or the grey squirrel, and I should be interested to know whether any-other instance of this nature has been recorded."

My own experience suggests that all squirrels are in some sort flying squirrels. I have seen the brown squirrel jump from -a very high bough and come to ground, thanks partly to the buoyancy of its extended tail, as lightly as a dancer ; but the brown has not the power of the grey to stretch his body and legs into a plane ; and does not habitually try such daring leaps.