Baby sqrl!

May 28, 2014 • 12:46 pm

A couple weeks ago I was feeding a fat mother squirrel, whose teats were much enlarged. She was obviously pregnant.  Then she disappeared, and today I saw not only her (much thinner!), but also this little tyke—obviously a several-week-old member of the first brood.

This one hasn’t yet mastered the art of opening sunflower seeds quickly, but it gets the job done.  The gray squirrels here have two broods per year, so I’m looking forward to another batch. Despite having an entire pile of sunflower seeds out of the picture to the right, this juvenile is stealing the seeds from the birdfood. Its butt is up against the water dish, which is weighed down by a piece of cement.


Usually there are several babies born in a litter, so I’m wondering if this one is a singleton.

17 thoughts on “Baby sqrl!

  1. Sometimes sunflower seed spoils, due to high fat content. The rejected seed might be rancid, esp. since it was probably grown in summer of 2013 and sat on store shelves at room temp. since then. Freezing or refrigerating seed helps keep it fresher.

  2. Also, you may find that milo (darker orangy-brown round seed in your photo), while a cheap filler in mixed bird seed, is not eaten by many bird species, and probably not by squirrels. It usually attracts house sparrows, and maybe rats, but you will have to see if the squirrels are really eating that. IOW, you might want to switch away from mixed seed.

    1. I feed straight sunflower in my bird feeders, and my squirrels get what the birds drop.

      I tried several mixes, but no matter what I put out, they ate the sunflower and ignored the rest, so i finally gave in, and now we’re all happy. L

    2. Damn! Didn’t know that about milo (and at first read, my mind flew to Milo, the beverage mixer :D)! I don’t feel too bad about the wastage, as Mr. and Mrs. Mallard come by regularly for the spilled seeds.

  3. Do you not have a tame computer nerd in the department who can rig up Ceiling Cat’s SqrlCam? Avoid the reflections in the glass and the possibility of spooking the targets just as they approach cuteness apogee.

      1. And since ProfCC is the Nom-Providing God of Sqrl-dom … (See WEITs passim, as they say in Private Eye) omniscience is almost de rigeur.
        I might even try to hack into Work’s computer to get video working properly, even though the network will probably scupper it.

    1. Hey, what’s a little reflection? That’s an amazingly clear pic given the circumstances. Wish my windows were that clean. Not every snapshot requires technical perfection–sometimes the goal is just to quickly document the moment.

      1. 90% is good enough. But 100% isbetter.
        [SIGH] I got hauled out of my pit at 00:30 this morning for something that could have been solved adequately given a microphotography set up that was 90% good, instead of the cheap and nasty 50%-good set up that the contractors provided. I’m biased!

  4. as they approach cuteness apogee.

    Or should that be “cuteness peri-cat”? “perikitty”?

  5. I have both grey and red squirrels in my yard. Though the red ones are cuter, my impression is that the grey ones are smarter. I wonder if anyone else has noticed a difference in intelligence between the two species.

    1. In Europe at least, it appears to me that red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) are a bit dim in comparison to introduced eastern greys (S. carolinensis). They are not as agile in the trees and I have read of reds making ill judged leaps and falling to their death – not something I have heard of in greys. Greys are also a lot more ‘predator-aware’ it seems to me; alarm calling and tail flicking more than reds who just appear to blink a bit with surprise when a sparrowhawk goes by. They’re both still cute though.

    2. Yeah, & my money’d be on the Red Squirrels. 🙂 At the least they’re the most pugnacious.

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