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Archive for the 'Squirrels' Category

Baby fox squirrels discovered in rain gutter nest. CUTE!

Squirrel nest and babies in rain gutter. Photo by David Ogden, Walnut Creek, CA
1squirrel nest david ogden wc

Don’t know if this is new to you or not, but my son Cooper discovered a nest of three baby squirrels in my rain gutter this morning after hearing an unexplained noise up there. (See above photo.) I slid the cover off to unveil three little “squirrellettes” asleep in a comfy nest of oak leaves — light green, obviously harvested recently to provide the softest bedding available.  Mom was not there, but was a few feet away in the rain gutter squawking at me.

It’s a cunning move on Mom’s part — this location is well protected, completely out of sight of any raptor, and difficult if not impossible for a raccoon (or cat) to access.  I thought they usually nested in trees, and we have six large, mature oaks on our property, but Mom rejected them in favor of this covered rain gutter. (The cover is the plastic panel type, with a slit to accommodate rain water from the roof.)  Smart move, Mrs. Squirrel.
David Ogden, Walnut Creek, California

Fox squirrels usually build their nests in trees, but they also occasionally tear off a vent screen and make a nest in your attic. Less common is the rain gutter nest which your son discovered.

Remember to clean the remains of that nest out of the rain gutter, after the squirrel family is gone and before the rains start this fall. Otherwise, you’re going to get a big wet surprise. /Gary

Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2011
Under: fox squirrel, Squirrels | 4 Comments »

Black fox squirrel spotted in Livermore

Black fox squirrel. Photo by Christina Frederickson, Livermore, CA
1blk squirrel christina fredrrickson livermore

Hi, we just found your blog and love it! I found you while Googling black squirrels. We’re in Livermore and get the usual reddish-brown tree squirrels coming to our back yard for peanuts. Recently a single black squirrel has been showing up, so we were curious about its origins. Still haven’t figured out where he came from.
Steve & Christy, Livermore, California

Steve & Christy:
The reddish-brown fox squirrels you normally see are not native. They are eastern fox squirrels, introduced in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1930s. Reddish-brown is the most common color, but they also come in black and gray phases, though not so common. The reddish fox squirrels are now pretty much all over. The black phase is often found in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, and for some reason, also in Livermore. Maybe someone raised some orphan babies there are released them? Anyway, that’s why they are occasionally seen in your area. /Gary

Reddish-brown fox squirrel. Photo by Christina Frederickson, Livermore, CA
1red squirrel christina frederickson livermore

Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2011
Under: fox squirrel, Squirrels | 3 Comments »

Cat watching the bird & squirrel shows on ‘Cat TV’

Cat watching scrub jay on Cat TV. Photo by Sandy W., Martinez, CA
cat tv1 sandy w in mtz

Here are photos of my cat, Kira, watching “Cat TV” on Monday.
Sandy W., Martinez
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Posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
Under: Cats, Squirrels | 5 Comments »

Raccoons competing with squirrels for peanuts

Raccoon peeking over fence. Photo by Bill & Ann, Concord, CA.
coon peanuts2 bill ann concord

Spotted this little guy peeking over our back fence.

He/she returned later that night to clean up the peanuts our squirrels left. The second one was taken at night through my kitchen window. That’s why it’s dark and blurry.
Bill & Ann, Concord, California

Bill & Ann:
Raccoons seem to be interested in everything … as long as it’s edible. /Gary

Raccoon eating peanuts. Photo by Bill & Ann, Concord, CA.
coon peanuts bill ann concord

Posted on Monday, February 7th, 2011
Under: Raccoons, Squirrels | 2 Comments »

Cats & Squirrels: Whose tree is it?

Whose tree is it? Photo by B. Keeble, Concord, CA
whos tree b keeble concord


What fun this was to watch! Three of our 4 feral/tame kittens (year and a half old; born under the shed; all neutered) and two of the extended squirrel family we have been feeding (note squirrel feeder box) for years, all “playing” in this picture taken through the bedroom window.

The confrontation happened when squirrel on the right came down the branch, with all  three cats and the other squirrel watching. Buster was closer to the feeding box when the squirrel jumped from the roof to the tree and came down branch for some sunflower seeds. Squirrel stopped about where he is and Buster rushed up to …

The squirrel simply jumped down and found sunflower seeds to eat on the ground. LOL!! All the cats sat where they are wondering what to do next. The squirrel in the background didn’t stop eating until the pic was snapped, then went right back to finish it’s breakfast.
B. Keeble, Concord

Whose tree is it? Seems kind of obvious. /Gary

Posted on Monday, January 31st, 2011
Under: fox squirrel, Squirrels | 1 Comment »

Fox squirrel: ‘Hello? Is anybody in there? Where are my peanuts?’

Hello? Anybody in there? Photo by Darlene DeLeon, Pleasanton, CA
squirrel Darlene DeLeon Pleasanton

“Hello? Is anybody in there? Where are my peanuts?!”

Derlene DeLeon of Pleasanton, California, feeds peanuts to the fox squirrels in her backyard. Her daughter says this is what happens if she doesn’t get to the back door fast enough to give them their morning peanut feeding.

“Hello? is anybody in there?

Sound familiar? /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
Under: fox squirrel, Squirrels | No Comments »

Squirrels: Why do they keep digging in my flowerpots?

Squirrel digging in flowerpot. Photo by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA.
squirreldig mike gordon wc

Why do squirrels dig? They aren’t planting any nuts. There is nothing in the pot but dirt, but yet they dig and dig. There is dirt all over the deck and plants are getting destroyed! Why?
Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA

Sometimes when squirrels see freshly turned dirt … anywhere, on your lawn, in pots …  it stimulates them to dig to see if anything tasty has been buried there. Squirrels and jays are always uncovering and stealing seeds, etc., that they see each other burying.  Other times, they just make the rounds of your yard, checking out what’s in the pots to see if there’s anything edible. They do this especially in fall, when it’s starting to get cold (winter’s coming!). Yours is the third note I’ve received this week on this subject. My own backyard squirrel broke 2 of my wife’s pots and she’s (my wife) not a happy trooper.

Squirrels hate the smell of vinegar, so spraying a little apple cider vinegar around the edges and on the outsides of your pots MIGHT back them off (there are always exceptions). I wouldn’t spray inside the pots because I don’t know what effects vinegar might have on your plants. Let me know how it works. /Gary

Squirrel digging in flowerpot. Photo by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA.
squirreldig2 mike gordon wc

Posted on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
Under: fox squirrel, Squirrels | No Comments »

Squirrels are eating my Halloween pumpkin!!

Squirrel “pumpkin diving” and eating. (Photo by Maureen in Lafayette, CA)
punkin squirrel2 maureen owens lafayette

Squirrels Eating My Pumpkin!!!
Are we in for a long, hard winter? The squirrels don’t usually start snacking on my pumpkins until AFTER Halloween!
Maureen in Lafayette

Looks to me like that squirrel is just getting an early start on trick or treating to make sure it beats out the other trick or treating squirrels in your neighborhood.

I used to have the same problem until I started planting 10-foot-tall sunflowers in my backyard garden.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Under: fox squirrel, Squirrels | No Comments »

Yosemite bobcat with a fat (slow) squirrel in its mouth

Yosemite bobcat with fat squirrel. Photo by Mary Anne Johnson, Oakley, CA
bobcat, mary anne johnson, oakley

I took this photo in Yosemite on the trail going to Yosemite Falls on Sunday, August 15.  It was about  8:30 a.m. We were the only ones on the trail when we spotted the bobcat running alongside the trail.  Then he ran right in front of us and into the rocks on the other side.  It was very exciting.  I had two visitors with me from France and they were enthralled.   The day before my son saw a sign telling people not to feed the squirrels because they become fat and the bobcats can catch them easily. Sure enough, this is (or was) one fat squirrel.
Mary Anne Johnson, Oakley, California

Mary Anne:
Look at the legs on that cat! Long, lanky, and fast enough to catch even a skinny squirrel! Thanks for sharing your photo with us. /Gary

Posted on Friday, September 10th, 2010
Under: Bobcats, Squirrels | 1 Comment »

MONSTER sunflowers: Looking for seeds to grow 12-foot-tall sunflowers?

Gary and Lois stand in one of their backyard garden boxes, surrounded by 12-foot-tall Burpee Mammoth Sunflowers.

Some of you have been writing and asking where my wife Lois and I get the seeds to grow the 12-foot-tall sunflowers we’ve been growing in our Benicia, Calif., garden. Since you asked:

Dear Gary:
My husband Jim would like to know what kind of sunflower seeds you buy that grow to 12 feet tall with a stalk of 3-4 inches in diameter and where to purchase them.
Sharon Beckerich, Oakley, Calif.
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Posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010
Under: Gardens, Squirrels, Sunflowers | 8 Comments »