Sunday, February 27, 2011

What the Squirrels Saw

 If they squirrels looked up the other day, this is what they would have seen. And they probably would have scurried to hide from this predator. I have never spotted a hawk in the vicinity before.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Squirrel Sex, Rampant, No Stopping Them!

An update on who is pregnant. No word on how or by whom. M-L writes after catching some rays on the back deck:

I was out in the sunshine this morning and noted the number of exceedingly fat little squirrels. More mommies-to-be! The red squirrel is pregnant and so is one of the black squirrels.  I haven't seen Jackie for a week, so maybe she is in the nesting box with her brood. Missy did a disappearing act and came back sans babies inside her now slim belly. 

Oscar was initially eating hanging upside down on a bird feeder, but left when I came out with my greeting "GOOD MORNING SQUIRRELS!!". No one was visible when I filled the seed trays- now with a 6th put out for the nursing mom who will need even more to eat. I shouted "I know you are out there Missy.......TREATS!" After a minute, I hear the stamping of little feet, and turn around to see her standing by the nut tray with a "hurry up" look on her face. I had the camera and now have pics of Missy and the others, but Oscar booted it when he saw what I was doing.  I guess he likes to be a man of mystery.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We Are Great Grand-somethings-or-other

M-L writes presciently and excitedly:

I just got a reply back from our squirrel expert and Missy being fat two weeks ago and now slim, scant abdomenal hair and her nipples showing. She indeed has had babies, but it is two weeks earlier than she has seen before, though she says it is expected with the weather. 

So, I am a great aunt and you are a grandmother! Hopefully she'll bring her babies to visit in May when they are out of wherever she has them.

We are both wondering, who is the father? Mr. Gray or our little lothario, Oscar?

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Feast for a Squirrel

Happened to find half a French Loaf on the sidewalk and knew that the squirrels would like this as an addition tot he apple cores and broccoli stems I'd put out this morning,

Within moments of me putting several chunks of bread on top of the composter, a magnificent gray squirrel, probably one of Oscar's relatives as he was born in my backyard, was down the tree, lickety-split and enjoying a nosh.

However, when he became a trifle anxious, he secured the bread in his mouth and made a dash for the tree, which I was fortunate enough to capture and then up he went. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snow Keeps the Furry-Tailed Ones In Their Nests

With a bit of snow every day for the past couple, the furry-tailed bundles of love are safe and sound in their nests.

I find when there's snow on tree branches, they must know that they can't grip properly and they stay warm and snug in their tree-top lairs.

But don't worry, squirrels let you know when they are out and hungry. There is such a chatter and clatter from outside my window insisting that I provide food immediately, it's like being summoned by the Queen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oscar, the Valliant, Returns

M-L writes excitedly at noon:

Guess who is back?  Oscar!
He was pigging-out on sunflower seeds from where they fall from the bird feeder.  Most of the silver he had in his tail has turned to auburn with silver highlights.  After he ate, he went up the maple tree where the nesting boxes are and scooted into the box that Jackie has not claimed.  A grey squirrel tried to look in after him then withdrew as a fierce little face poked out. Then the grey tried the lower entrance and a small arm flashed out at him. This is now officially Oscar's box when he visits.

Meanwhile, the two red squirrels were having NASCAR races in the fir tree.  Can they move! First one in the lead, then the other as they zoomed through the tree and then dashed into the old cedar hedge for a rip around the obstacle course of the broken limbs. The winner got to chase off the birds and other squirrels feeding on fallen seeds.

I haven't seen Missy in a week or so.  Maybe she has had her babies and is settled elsewhere with the big bad grey squirrels she was hanging out with in the fall and one of whom may be the daddy of her little ones.

Best of all, a mourning dove was eating on the ground under a feeder-- so spring is on the way. Hooray!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Joy of Squirrels

This article is in the Feb.7/11 edition of Maclean's, a Canadian magazine. It isn't online as yet so I am unable to provide a URL. However, let's see how we manage posting the page in its original size. (Oops, the sidebar info. interferes but it's better than not being able to read the article.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bit of an Update on our Favourite Rodents

Jackie's beau and  three of his gray relatives were there early this am.  Jackie is so fickle.  She was chasing the poor wee lad away from the seed dishes yesterday.  He'd cower behind one side of her tree and she'd just wait for him to get brave and come around the trunk to approach the seeds again, and she'd run him off. 
Missy has been gone for a few days, so maybe she is preparing a nest for her babies.
Yikes! We're gonna be grandmothers!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter Lunch

Not too glamourous but the top of the composter is where I feed Oscar's relatives who live in my backyard. Oscar and his harem, Jackie, Missy and Honey, live on the outskirts on Ottawa and enjoy spa-like conditions with nuts and a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables.

In the inner city, however, four-legged and two dine on apples and bread.

Today was a good day for the squirrels as they enjoyed some Rice Krispie squares that fell on the floor. Cats don't eat rice, at least, mine don't, so the squirrels dined lavishly...for squirrels, that it.