Friday, January 26, 2018

Squirrel Invasion

There's been quite a change in our squirrels since I last reported on them nearly a month ago.  Black Squirrels have invaded, and now share the feeding space with our Grey Squirrels.  The spiral chases up and down and around the tree trunks are fun to watch, though impossible to photograph.


Until January 12th, we only had Grey Squirrels visiting, usually only one, but sometimes two.


Then a single Black Squirrel showed up, appearing to be a little hesitant at first.  Maybe he heard on the squirrel grapevine that this was a good source of spilled birdseed.

Soon there were more, and I thought they were going to drive the Grey Squirrels away.  The most I've seen is four black ones, here.

But over a few days they seemed to accommodate to each other, and fed close together, the feeding interrupted by wild chases up and down the trees.

One day I was sure we had a Red Squirrel visit.  I first noticed it because it was so much smaller than the other squirrels, but it seems definitely red, not grey.  It hasn't been back though.

The squirrels seem to have become more active and more wary compared to during the heavy snows we had after Christmas. 

There's a great deal of chasing, tree climbing and tail flicking going on.  This is the tail flicking posture, even though you can't see it flicking.  Perhaps you can imagine it.

It's hard to believe the spiral chases up and down the tree trunks.  And they happen so fast and are over, that I doubt I'll ever capture a photograph.  Is this squirrel aggression, or the start of mating?

We've had as many as 6 in the yard at once, and here I captured five of them.  But today there was only one lonely Grey Squirrel for a few hours.  In spite of all these squirrels, they have not gone after the bird feeders, just gathered seed on the ground.  Our feeders are apparently actually squirrel- proof.

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Walking - I've been working at building up my walking again, trying to get back to either 10,000 steps a day, or one hour of brisk walking (the cardio guideline I was given 3 years ago).  I'm almost there, and got in two walks that were an hour this week, and one day when I hit 10,000 steps.  I've discovered that my iphone has an automatic step counter that I can check anytime all day long, and I downloaded the 'MapMyWalk' app which provides me with a map, plus duration, distance and pace for my actual walks.  They both seem to push me at least a little, which helps.  Good progress for me, but of course it's all matched by an hour+ nap afterwards!

Linking to:

19 comments:

  1. Walk, eat, then rest, just as all those gorgeous squirrels do. Those tails, the upside downs on tree trunks, and YES, the news spread far and wide to come and get your meals here. Wonderful photos.

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  2. A few years back there was a squirrel population explosion here. It only took two hawks to get the population back to normal.

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  3. Squirrel antics are fun to watch. You have a perfect viewing spot too.

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  4. I cover about 7,000 steps a day many days and only 3,009 on others but my fitbit does not count my exercise times which I input. I run over 3 miles on my elliptical...but only twice a week! I should do more, but the artist in my soul makes me work on art.

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  5. You have an awful lot of squirrels! I find them interesting but very annoying and destructive. I can't see how any of them could get onto your feeders, so maybe you've found a solution. I use my iphone counter for my steps, but it only works when you have it with you! :-)

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  6. Hello, looks like I am not the only person being invaded by squirrels. I only have the grey squirrels here though, I would like to see the black squirrels. I have noticed my iPhone tracking my steps and miles I walk. The app sounds interesting. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

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  7. :]

    I've counted twelve squirrels on my patio.

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  8. Fun times watching the squirrels! They sure clean up the overflow!
    Good for you getting your steps up. A nap is a good reward and encouragement to doing it again the next day.

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  9. I've watched them chase each other up and down trees. Sometimes it feels like territorial behaviour, and other times it looks more like they're just goofing off and having fun.

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  10. Squirrels are such fun to watch! Great photos!

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  11. I am not a real fan of squirrels----glad we one get one at the feeders maybe one a month. Kinda cute though--maybe--rats with bushy tails. I did have a pet chipmunk once.
    MB

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  12. Wow that is a lot of squirrels. I'm getting my walk back up too after being sick. Up to 4.2 miles this morning.

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  13. I think the black ones really outnumber the grey ones in Toronto.

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  14. I've never seen so many squirrels. Lovely series of pictures.

    All the best Jan

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  15. Good to hear you're back to walking a distance, keep up the good work. Those black squirrels are melanistic individuals of the ubiquitious gray squirrel. They occur in all populations of gray squirrels, but are much more common in parks and cemeteries where predators are less common -- black stands out and makes those individuals more vulnerable to predators.

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  16. Hello!:) Most enjoyable series of photos. Squirrels are such fun to watch, chasing one another round the trees, and the annoyed swishing of their tails, at each other, and when our dogs appear. They also make a kind of amusing clucking sound when they are disturbed. We see at least five at one time in our garden, but they are all red,...no grey or black around here.

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  17. Your backyard is popular with the squirrels! Cute pics.

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  18. The squirrels in my backyard remind one of a biblical plague at times!

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  19. Too many squirrels, I think. I'm not very happy with Map my Walk- it seemed the least accurate of the ones used on our hikes last summer, and the steps things on phones only work if you carry them around all the time.

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