Readers’ wildlife photos

April 25, 2018 • 8:30 am

I’ve received several batches of wildlife photos on the road, but haven’t posted them as it takes a long time to do the travel posts, which I put together in my motel in the evening. Today’s post, from reader Don Bredes in Wheelock, Vermont, is an easy one, though, as it has only two photos. Nice ones, too: squirrels (Honorary Cats™):

His notes:

The sunflower seed feeder is down for the season (more than once I have made the mistake of leaving it up too long), so during the day I feed the chickadees, bluejays, and a few more exotic birds on the deck. That routine pleases the red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), who trust their speed and reflexes to save them from the hulking creature with the camera. We have a single gray squirrel this year, too, heretofore seldom seen out here in the hills. He isn’t nearly so trusting. Eastern Gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) have long been common the valleys and villages, but only in the last two or three years has their range expanded to these hilly rural reaches.
Here in the wooded hills red squirrels are numerous, and they’re not looked upon kindly by most people. They do a great deal of damage to the sugarmakers’ sap lines, for one thing. And they will invade a garage or open barn to nest and raise a litter, chewing through any wood or screen that may interfere with their purposes.

14 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. What a beautiful little mammal! God must have given them the fuzzy tail to add balance to their eye appeal.

  2. How cute! They look too innocent to do any of the damage you’ve accused them of! I have the much larger, yet still very beautiful Eastern Fox squirrels, S. niger, in my neck o’ the woods, though the Eastern gray is common in the cities and ‘burbs. The Fox squirrels are quite timid and totally ignore my feeders (unlike the grays, who are absolute gluttons) but I did catch one trying to store pecans from my trees in between a gap in the roof and gutters! I need to head north and east to see some of your reds, I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly spotted one before.

    1. Destructive??? Even as I type, I can hear the little darlings (grey here in Libby, MT) chewing through the soffit of my law office bldg. And, at home, the pine squirrels (my favs) are denying the birds access to the sunflower seeds in the “squirrel proof” feeders!!!

      1. I know, I was trying to sound sarcastic there. The grays chewed a hole in the wood under the eaves (soffit?) of my parents’ house and they have stolen two metal lids off of my old bird feeders and made off with one of my suet cages! Still, they managed to work their charm on me and I still feed them. I was given an Archie McFee Horse Head squirrel feeder thing but, again, the Fox squirrels ignore everything but the pecan and walnut trees I have. Perhaps Prof. would like one for his bushy-tailed charges? Or maybe it would be too insulting for such refined college critters.

    2. Around here we have lovely chipmunks…until the tomatoes begin to ripen…then they’re little horrors.

      1. I lived in a rental house back in 2007 where the chipmunks would sneak out to the kitchen and get into any foodstuffs left on the lower shelves! Oy what a pain they were! My roommate getting a cat eventually served as a deterrent but while I lived there, no bag of chips, or flour, or, well, any damn thing was safe! However, I cannot abide the vile, cowardly murder by poisoning that so many homeowners gleefully resort to. Cats are one thing, but chemical warfare? Sick bastards. And really, they are so damn entertaining!

  3. I like how red squirrels have a black line separating the red from the white belly. It’s like a seam.

    1. Foxes, I believe, and maybe owls but I’m not 100% on that. I think at least part of the honorary felid qualifications include cleverness and a certain level of charming cuteness, maybe a bit aloof, just for good measure.

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