The Daily Squirrel

April 14, 2015 • 3:00 pm

I am a Rodent God, dispensing largesse to my minions. But unlike the Abrahamic God, all my minions are favored—with walnuts today. Here’s one brave squirrel demanding a treat. When I opened the window, it stuck its nose in, and I ran to my office to get my camera. When I returned, it was halfway inside, treating me to a view of its bum:

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Then he/she got the reward.

Step 1: The appraisal:

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Step 2: The approach:

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Step 3: The acquisition:

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32 thoughts on “The Daily Squirrel

  1. I can’t tell you just how many animal shots I have where they are ‘showing the bum.’ Makes perfect sense, though – we are relatively large predators. Even when an animal decides to stand its ground, it is only prudent for it to position itself to be ready to escape from us.

  2. Very nice action shots but I think it’s the same squirrel as before. Has that, Where is the hammer look.

  3. Be careful, squirrels. Sure, it starts out pretty nice, but pretty soon He will want a sacrifice and before you know it, you’ll be called to a Holy War against d*gs and sent out to find nightjars.

  4. Happy squirrel. Can you get shots of one of them opening the walnut? That might be nice to see. I wonder how they do it. Teeth surely, but maybe claws too? I need a hammer or similar blunt force object.

    1. I’ll try. They use their teeth, though, which are fearsomely sturdy and sharp. (I used to crack it with a hammer, but then realized I was depriving them of good teeth-honing actions and learning skills.) They turn the walnut around and around until they can find good purchase with their teeth. Invariably they settle on the pointy end–easy to bite into. After a few gnaws, they’ve cracked the shell, and then it’s just a matter of biting off pieces of the shell until the nutmeat is exposed. It’s very cute to watch, and they’re quite skillful at it.

      1. I’ve been beaned by a squirrel in a tree doing just that with an acorn. The clumsy squirrel dropped it & it still had squirrel spit on it!

      2. exactly what I was wondering! I am aware that the English Dormouse (Gliridae) have a characteristic method for gnawing open hazelnuts, and I had recently found a black walnut that was gnawed in such a wonderfully methodical way with nine different (large one at the top, one on each of the hemispheres), almost perfectly symmetrical openings to get at the nutmeat from every angle. I suppose it was also a mouse of some sort but I know not what. Anyone else see this behavior in rodents in the US? (I’m near KC Missouri) It’s quite beautiful, actually, and I keep it on my nightstand next to the bed.

  5. Great series of photos. You’ve really got them trained.

    When I lived in my last home, I had bird feeders out (and I will admit to working hard to preclude the local squirrels from them). When I would walk out with the pitcher of seeds the little birds would flutter in a little cloud around me, calling, land in the branches of the tree where the feeders were, and then instantly attack the feeders when I stepped away.

    My son was able to feed chickadees from his hand (they were habituated to a feeder):

    http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/PandJ-Family/2013/2013-11-10/P1000688.jpg

    http://www.berettaconsulting.com/barbarossa/PandJ-Family/2013/2013-11-10/P1000622.jpg

  6. I love squirrels but now my neighbor has informed me that a city bylaw forbids the feeding of wildlife and he is the type to squeal

    1. have you checked with the city? If they sell bird seed within city limits, then there may be loopholes. or ask the local Audubon Society or something like that. Don’t give up, don’t give in to a loudmouth j*rk either!

  7. I can just see them getting bolder with time and trust. They may become desk squirrels. And then what?
    BTW, your trees are beginning to leaf out already while ours are still pretty much all tucked inside still rubbing their eyes from the big nap. That’s not really fair because Chicago is at Lat 41-58 and Poughkeepsie is 41-37. What gives? And Poland seems to be ahead of us too. I’m living in a ice pit!

    1. Yeah, ours are a little nubby yet too but then again, my allergies start as soon as the trees decide to flower all at once & brag about all the sex they’re having! I’m at 43°N.

  8. If squirrels are like other rodents, their incisors grow continuously, so it’s probably better for them to have to gnaw through the walnut shells. I’ve had to clip lab mouse incisors on occasion, when the animal has malocclusion or for some other reason isn’t wearing the incisors down normally. Would be nice to be able to give the lab mice some hard-shelled nuts to gnaw on – I’m sure they’d enjoy it, and it might reduce some of the barbering and other maladaptive behaviors. However, the mouse chow pellets are autoclaved, and food can’t be brought in from unapproved sources (for the rodent colonies at least).

  9. Awww…so cute! The feeder ran out of food, so one of our squirrels came up to the front door to remind us that we’re shirking our duties. We promptly filled it. 🙂

  10. We have several squirrels that frequent our backyard. They were determined to climb the poles to get into the bird feeders. I greased the poles to deter them and in an act of detente and friendship, I have been hanging fresh shucked corn out for them to dine upon. This has cut the incursion onto the bird feeder by 95% or more. They have figured out we are friendly but if I come too close they bolt back up the tree. I don’t think I’ll try to hand feed any. My wife and I enjoy just watching them along with the many birds that visit our yard. I have started taking pictures of them which I post to Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/57873672@N07/sets/72157651864837696/ if you are curious. I’ll keep posting pictures as long as the varmints keep dropping in on us.

  11. Jerry, do they gain your windowsill via handy tree branch, or climb up brick walls, or what?

    I do look forward to The Daily squirrel!

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