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My Bird Feeder/ Fox Squirrel

Today I added some more sunflower bits to the bird feeder on the deck. Yesterday I got a bunch of birds- a lot more than in the past few weeks. Perhaps the cooler weather may have bought them out. There was a woodpecker, the usual finches- house, red, and yellow. A few chickadees and a cardinal family. Of course, the mourning doves- I don’t care for them-. I think they are bullies. They eat all the seeds and chase the smaller birds away.

I looked out a few hours later and saw this:

Fox Squirrel

Now that is an Ohio Eastern fox squirrel. The roan coloration of the tail and chest makes the name. According to the Ohio Dept. of Wildlife, It is one of four squirrels found in Ohio: gray, fox, red, and flying. However, I have also seen a black squirrel in my area.

This must be a baby because we have had the fox squirrel here for years. In fact, it made a nest in my arborvitae on the side garden. I wrote a blog on the damage they did to one tree. You can see that post HERE.

The fox squirrel is the largest squirrel in this area. The mother that lived in our tree was very large. She was a beauty and had a magnificent full red tail! I haven’t seen her lately and wonder if this might be one of her offspring.

Below is a picture I had of the mother. She was almost twice the size of the little one I saw today.

Mama Fox Squirrel

Fox squirrels are 20 to 30 inches long to the end of their tail and weigh 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. A wild female’s most extended average lifespan is about ten years and eight years for a male. SEE HERE Our big girl was here for almost ten years. John could get pretty close to her, but she always threw herself into the red maple tree next to the deck if he got too close.

I also found a photo of a black squirrel in the garden. That same red maple. See below

Black Squirrel

They are quite small. I saw them in Phoenix park in Dublin and other woodlands in Ireland too.

I know lots of bird people can’t stand to have squirrels in their feeders and yards. To me, they are all God’s creatures and have to eat, too. So I tolerate them. In the winter, I throw peanuts on the patio downstairs for them to eat.

We lived in a somewhat countryfied area on the easter outskirts of Albany, New York. Years ago, when I lived there, it was pretty rural. When I was a little kid, I had a semi-tamed baby squirrel who would come up to me on the garden lounge chair and eat peanut butter toast out of my hand. She had a bit of pink on her nose, and I called her Pinky. Now my Mom had a deep fear of mice, rats, and vermin in general. She did not like me feeding the little thing. One day she went out to hang clothes on the line, and a bunch of them came up to her. She screamed and threw the laundry basket at them, ending my feeding the squirrels.

Going back to the bird feeder to look for some more birds- have my binoculars in the sunroom. Do any of you like to watch the birds? Now don’t get me started on the chipmunks and moles- really need help solving that little problem.

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