Duluth News Tribune outdoors columnist Sam Cook explains that while Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel is whiling away her winter in sunny Florida, he’s been driven to “full-skitter alert” for the sound of squirrels as they try to escape the sub-freezing temps and seek a little shelter in his house.
He’s not alone, he writes:
“I hope we are better off than one woman who wrote me after reading of our squirrel issue. She live-trapped squirrels or ground squirrels that presumably were getting in her house — and drowned 36 of them. Despite that, she still had squirrels in her house.”
According to the Telegraph, nurses who work in rural areas in the U.K. are under assault by squirrels, and are now being instructed to “walk in pairs” to avoid violent confrontations and to “make loud noises” to scare them off. (When has that ever worked?)
“One district nurse was left with “reddening of the scalp” after being attacked.
In her “squirrel attack report” she wrote: “On walking up farm access I was jumped upon by a squirrel. Then another landed on my head.” She rated the “severity of incident” as “insignificant to catastrophic”.
That’s quite a big range, no? Insignificant to catastrophic?
The article ends with an equally puzzling sentence:
“Last year, inventor Mike Madden suffered whiplash after a squirrel leapt on him as he tested a head-mounted bird feeding try in Huddersfield.”
(He put a bird feeder on his head? This is like holding out a bloody steak in your hand and then blaming a dog for biting you.)
The Daily Mail has an article today on Pete, a squirrel that hangs around a school in Hampshire, U.K.
What makes Pete so interesting is that he’s purple:
Read the article to find out what may be behind Pete’s purple coat! And here are more photos.
You can’t blame a squirrel for being tempted by all the junk food found in gas station convenience stores. Especially with a stiff winter chill blanketing the Midwest. But you’d think they’d go after the nuts or crackers — not so, apparently:
“As [Ohio cop] Sergeant Doug Hines was talking with a store employee, they heard a rustling coming from one of the aisles and found an adult black squirrel munching on some chocolate snack cakes.
Police say Officer Brandon McCray arrived to provide back-up, and there were some unsuccessful attempts to wrangle the animal out of the store — until the squirrel attached itself to McCray’s back.”
McCray ran outside, where the squirrel was brushed off his back, and escaped, unharmed, tummy full of cookies.
I’m a little late in posting this, but the Washington Post asks: What’s up with no acorns this year? Even the squirrels are unhappy:
“The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn’t find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head.
Then calls started coming in about crazy squirrels. Starving, skinny squirrels eating garbage, inhaling bird feed, greedily demolishing pumpkins. Squirrels boldly scampering into the road. And a lot more calls about squirrel roadkill.”
Read the article to find out just what the heck is going on with the Season of No Acorns!
Sadly, there are no squirrels in my neighborhood to feed, but my parents put out corn for their South Texas squirrels.
In a recent survey, the National Bird-Feeding Society asked what people feed squirrels, and why. I could only find this information from an outdoors column in the Rhinelander Wisconsin Daily News, otherwise I would publish more details. According to the Daily News, respondents said:
For, why they fed squirrels:
Fun to watch: 38 percent
Love: 23 percent
Need: 20 percent (??? have no idea what this means — any guesses?)
What did they feed them?
Corn: 41 percent
Seed: 27 percent
Nuts: 25 percent”
What do you feed your squirrels?
(The column also noted they seek out natural sources of salt, which is why they sometimes go to salted roads in the winter.)
HomeBody, the Orange County Register, California blog about home and gardening, will now devote each Saturday to “squirrel talk.” This week’s discussion revolves around squirrels enjoying the fruit of an avocado tree (mmmmmmm – you simply can’t blame a squirrel for raiding the best of what mother nature has to offer, food-wise!) and another reader discussing how he’s got plenty of wildlife in his yard — not just squirrels, but raccoons, owls and coyotes. Sounds like fun!