21 December 2008

A different holiday for squirrels

We're just a few short days away from Christmas but in squirreldom, traditional yuletide greetings take a back seat to mating calls.

Happy Valentine's Day, rodents!

Squirrels are exchanging holiday gifts of a sort right now in the treetops (and on the ground.....and on our deck and anywhere else they can do it), and this passionate mutual generosity doesn't yield any real results for another 45 to 48 days. That's the gestation period, roughly, for the Eastern Gray Squirrel. Beginning sometime in late January or early February and lasting into early spring, the gift wrap will be off and the gift - litters of newborn squirrels - will be revealed.

So forget about leaving out milk and cookies for Santa this year.
Toss out a few choice walnuts for the squirrels instead. They're going to be very busy in the weeks ahead and they'll need the extra energy.

10 comments:

Cactus Jack Splash said...

We have an oak and black walnut tree in our yard. Lots of squirrels hang around. eery fall my son collects a bunch of the acorns and walnuts, we put them in feeders, with corn and fruit, all winter long. Hope that works to keep their energy up

my backyard said...

This confirms my husband's suspicion that our beloved Freddie, the fattest squirrel in our back yard, is pregnant.

By the way, Squirrel Mama, thanks for visiting my blog recently!

merinz said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37kQaVDVWL8

an item about a water skiing squirrel - ??? Are squirrels averse to water? Is this then a little cruel?

squirrelmama said...

Cactus Jack, I think your efforts will go a very long way toward helping. Not only are you providing good food for the squirrels but you're making it easier for them to get to - no need to expend energy digging them up!

Merinz, the water-skiing squirrel is definitely a source of some concern for me. They don't have an aversion to water but it is still cruel to train an animal to do something like this...particularly when you consider that this is for material gain and commercial purposes.

squirrelmama said...

My backyard, CONGRATULATIONS on your impending "squirrel grandparenthood!" Keep us posted!

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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squirrelmama said...

Susan, so delighted to hear from you and to know you enjoy the posts. That means a lot to me (and something to the squirrels too, though they don't readily show it). I'll try to continue keeping the posts interesting, especially through this long cold winter!

Munford said...

Thanks for the info that confirms what is going on in my back yard in Arlington, TX also. Have large squirrel feeder and enjoy feeding and watching. Trying to encourage 3 young squirrels to eat lots.They were born high in a nest in a tree in my back yard this fall. They are young and still don't have a full tail to keep them warm, although all 3 are still sleeping and using the same nest. They are so sweet! Many more eat here, but I call those 3 my babies. Thanks for the gestation info.

Munford said...

Thanks for the info that confirms what is going on in my back yard in Arlington, TX also. Have large squirrel feeder and enjoy feeding and watching. Trying to stuff food down 3 young squirrels who were born in nest high in tree in my back yard this fall. They are young and still don't have a full tail to keep them warm, although all 3 are still sleeping and using the same nest. They are so sweet! Feed lots of other squirrels, too, but I call these 3 "My babies." Thanks for the gestation info.

squirrelmama said...

Munford, do keep us up to date on your little family. Texas is a few weeks ahead of the northeastern U.S., and the squirrel life cycle gets a jump on the rest of us up North. Good luck with the little family!