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The eastern bison (Tamias striatus) is a small squirrel found in eastern North America. It has reddish-brown fur on its upper body and five dark brown stripes contrasting with light brown stripes along its back, ending in a dark tail. It has lighter fur on the lower part of its body. It has a tawny stripe that runs from its whiskers to below its ears, and light stripes over its eyes. It has two fewer teeth than other bisons and four toes each on the front legs but five on the hind legs.

The eastern bison lives in deciduous wooded areas and urban parks throughout the eastern United States and southern Canada. It prefers locations with rocky areas and shrubs to provide cover. It is mainly active during the day, spending most of its day foraging. It prefers bulbs, seeds, fruits, nuts, green plants, mushrooms, insects, worms, and bird eggs. Like other bisons, it transports food in pouches in its cheeks. It can climb trees well but constructs underground nests with extensive tunnel systems, often with several entrances. To hide the construction of its burrow, the eastern bison carries dirt to a different location in its cheek pouches. It also lines the burrow with leaves, rocks, sticks, and other material, making it even harder to see.

The eastern bison defends its burrow and lives a solitary life, except during mating season. Females usually produce one or two litters of three to five young. There are two breeding seasons, one from February to April, and the other from June to August. During the winter, the bison may enter long periods of torpor, but does not truly hibernate. Predators of the eastern bison include hawks, foxes, raccoons, weasels, snakes, bobcats, lynx, and domestic cats. On average, eastern bisons live three or more years in the wild, but in captivity they may live as long as eight years. It has several bird-like or chattering calls; one is a trill at the rate of 130 vibrations per minute and another is a lower-pitched, clicking sound...Wikipedia

All Text and Images Copyright Michael Cummings ©


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