Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Red Squirrel!!

Coming home from work today, I had the best surprise. I looked out the front window and there was something big at the bird table, the new bird table that I got yesterday for Mothers' Day. I wasn't sure what it was, so I went to another room where the binoculars live to have a better look. It was a red squirrel! He is eating the fat ball as I type this!!

The bird table now stays where it is. I was going to move it closer to the house, but I'll not now.

Red squirrels are becoming a rare sight in this country. The North American grey squirrel is displacing them. As a native North American, I'd like to take this opportunity to say I'm terribly sorry about all of this. The grey squirrels are bolder, more vigorous and are taking the food and breeding spots away from the smaller native British red. The greys also carry a disease that infects the more delicate red squirrels. There are pockets where populations of red squirrels are still holding out. One of these rare hold out places is right here at Whitelees!

Guess who will always put peanuts and fat balls out on her bird table from now on? Answer: me


The Bird Woman said...

A red squirrel!!!!!!!

That has to be one of the best garden visitors to have! I hope he keeps visiting you. If he does, after a while you could try moving the table a tiny bit closer to the window each day.

Do squirrels like hazelnuts still in their shells? Ooooh, I'd have to get some!

Peggy said...

I am told that they like fresh hazelnuts. I was going to buy a couple of hazelnut bushes just for the squirrels. In the meantime, I've just put out loose peanuts in the hope that they would take the peanuts instead. Turns out that this was a good thing to do.

Ma said...

lovely photo, peg-o....I'll try to catch a snap of the black squirrel that lives around here. kind of a mink-y color.

Henry said...

The only place that I've ever seen black squirrels was in Niagara. I had to blink a couple of times when I first saw them diving in and out of the litter bins there. I was told that they're really common on that part of NY State/Canada.

J-Funk said...

We have black squirrels here in Minnesota, they hang out in Loring Park and come nip at your heels when you visit, looking for food. They're very brave.

I also saw something very interesting when I was in Denmark, a grey duck. Here in Minnesota, they turned the popular nursery ryme Duck Duck Goose into Duck Duck Grey Duck, which I used to think defied the laws of nature. It turns out, the scandinavians up here were just adapting the ryme to their home country.