Monday, February 14, 2011

Tree Squirrels

Love them or hate them?  They have adapted well to the urban landscape.  The squirrels we have around our house are fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), and as the photos show, they are cute.

They can be fun to watch, I used to unwind in a hammock in my backyard on warm evenings after work. They would scurry about in the trees above my head and scold me with their chattery voices.  Every once in awhile they would run down a branch and take a flying leap to a branch in another tree a few feet away.  Quite a sight.  Sometimes I kept my camera with me, hoping to get a picture of these aerobatics, but I was never quick enough to get a good shot.

These guys can do some damage.  They chewed a hole in our roof and made a nest in our attic.  We could hear them running around up there almost every day.  The roof was quite old and needed to be replaced anyway, but we worried that if the roofers simply closed up the hole, the squirrels would be trapped in there to die.   The roofers assured us they would be working on the roof for a couple of days before they closed up the hole, and with all of the banging and pounding, the squirrels will leave on their own accord.  And they did.

Although they are excellent climbers, I saw one fall about 15 feet to the ground from a tree branch, while fighting with another squirrel.  I say they were fighting as they were making an awful racket with their clucking and chucking.  I can't translate what they were saying, but I am sure it is unprintable in 'G' rated blog.  In any case, the downed squirrel picked itself up off the ground, looked a bit dazed and confused for about 2 seconds, then ran back up into the tree.


  1. We love squirrels. When our kids were little we had the opportunity to raise some baby squirrels who had become orphaned.
    They were adorable and affectionate until they left babyhood when they got snippy and fresh. By that time they were ready to be outside on their own.

  2. This is a message for PAUL YOUNG. I am running a campaign in St Ives Cornwall to stop a development of a Wildlife Corridor. I have by mistake used one of your photos as a update on Facebook. If you go onto Facebook, type in this is the link to my Campaign Page. You will see a post that has your lovely Squirrel up a tree as a photo, this has gone out to Facebook and,Twitter .I cannot stop it and I cannot change it. Please forgive my error as I honestly did not see it was copyright.I do hope this reaches.
    My best wishes,
    Rachael Gurevitch Levine