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Scurrilous and Somewhat Scrofulous – The Red Squirrel

March 15, 2013

There may still be some who think that Red Squirrels are cute little animals. Not those who have had dealings with these tiny scamsters. Red Squirrels are supreme opportunists. Scurrilous? I can only imagine the quality of the insults the local squirrels regularly hurl at me and my dog. Scrofulous, I admit may be a bit out of line – perhaps scruffy would be more fitting. What do I have against Red Squirrels? Give them something to gnaw – including hockey equipment out to air – and they will gnaw at it. No bird nest is safe from their foraging activities and heaven help you if they find a home in your attic!

But…I do have a grudging admiration for these brash survivors. Females establish territories that they share with their grown young – even to the point of leaving to find a new territory for herself. Squirrels store conifer cones and the remains of their meals can be found in “middens” that accumulate below a favourite feeding perch – such middens can be a source of tree seedlings and feed other animals in the bush. Squirrels seem to be a favourite food of the local Cooper’s Hawks but many manage to survive the winters feeding on their stored food and in a snug little tree nest. I suppose that – despite their hockey equipment chewing ways – they are interesting little animals.

Squirrels also liven up grey winter days and seem to be just as happy as I am that spring is on its way. And, admittedly, they are quite photogenic. Enjoy the squirrel photos!

hanging by your toes - getting that hazelnut

hanging by your toes – getting that hazelnut

enjoying your food

enjoying your food

taking over a flicker hole

taking over a flicker hole

raiding a chipmunk nest

raiding a chipmunk nest

out on a spring day

out on a spring day

waiting for that opportunity

waiting for that opportunity

all photos and writing copyright Joanne Siderius 2013

  1. I love them :)!!!!

  2. A fine, informative vignette accompanied by excellent story-telling shots of the red squirrel.

  3. Great photos! Squirrels are cute until you get one in your attic. πŸ™‚

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