what squirrels do. Be careful not to include anthropomorphic references in these
definitions or include why the animal is doing what it did; describe only what it did!
After determining the 5 or 6 behavior categories you would like to focus your
observations on for the written project, construct 2 data sheets with which you can return
to the field and utilize. On these data sheets you should have the behavior types or
categories as column headings and increments of 30-second intervals (60 total) rows
below these columns. This will allow you to efficiently quantify your subject’s behavior
in the field. See example below.
Part 2: During the next two observational periods you will utilize the “focal sampling”
method to determine squirrel time budgets. You will record the activity of one individual
in an urban or suburban environment and another in a natural setting. Try to conduct
your two observational periods at the same time of day. Conduct these sessions as
1. Allow the subject to become accustomed to your presence; while doing so you can get a
general feeling for its behavior.
2. Once you begin, every 30 seconds record what the subject is doing at that instant by
checking off one of the categories you have in its proper column of one of your data sheets
at that time space. Try to follow the same individual for the entire session if possible (if
not use different individuals to complete the period of observations at each habitat
3. At the end of your observation session add up the number of times each type of behavior
was noted and calculate the percentage of time spent in each activity.
4. While gathering this focal sample data you may also want to note any additional
5. Make a table summarizing you focal data for each individual. The table should be neat,
clearly organized, and concise, and should have a clear title (legend) explaining what the
table is presenting to the reader in a complete sentence or two.
Part 3: Write a short paper utilizing the following sub-titles
Introduction – introduce the ecology and behavioral characteristics of eastern gray squirrels.
Ethogram – Give me your ethogram with the 5 focus behaviors. Describe the behaviors you
decided were pertinent to observe in several clear and complete sentences.
0 Results – present your data you collected in table form that summarizes your field
observations for each of your two subjects (a clearly organized description of “what” your
squirrels each did), and compare the two squirrels time budgets. Note! I do not want your
data sheets with the 30-second checkmarks! Just the summary table or graph giving the
percentages of time spent in each activity by each squirrel in the paper!
0 Conclusion – did there seem to be any difl‘erences in the behavior of your two subjects and
can you relate these behaviors to the habitats these two subjects live in.
Your report should avoid any anthropomorphic inferences as to why the squirrels did
what they did. Concentrate on what you saw and relate your observations to the
environment each squirrel must survive in! Your report will be graded on the basis of
Organization, Clarity, and Thoughtfulness (and obviously good grammar).