Almost all visitors to the North Rim want to know where to see the illusive Kaibab Squirrel. I usually send them to the campground. But all I have to do is watch quietly around my RV and will usually see one or two daily.
Kaibab squirrel lives in a rather small territory in the Kaibab forest and has a definite love affair with Ponderosa Pines. They build pine needle nests in them which they use all year, not just to raise young, but also to hide in during bad weather or from a predator like Goshawk. However, Kaibab doesn’t usually run up the tree it lives in. Instead it jumps from nearby trees with crossing branches so as not to advertise where it lives.
Kaibab eats the ever ripening nut in the pine cones all summer and into fall yet never caches away a thing for winter when it has to resort to twig tips, minus the unwanted cone bundles, which it chews the bark off and eats the living phloem beneath, then leaves behind piles of chew sticks. Ponderosa has a terp content like turpentine and Kaibab looks for the sweeter trees. It’s probably happy when spring arrives and new flowers appear loaded with pollen that gives it a yellow nose.
Plus its nose leads it to another food source which grows symbiotically with Ponderosa’s roots, a microrizal fungi, which maybe even you have eaten. Truffles grow about 1-3 inches underground and Kaibab digs them up to eat. However, the spores of the truffles don’t digest, so Kaibab leaves them behind when pooping and that will increase the fungi which helps the tree. These two have a pretty good thing going.