Saturday, 18 February 2012

Camera critter: Reddy is ready

This is TV for our cats: the bird feeder.
 Reddy peeks at me from the bucket, perhaps camera shy!

The sun is coming up beyond the forest.

It gives beautiful highlights to Red's ear tufts.

I have spotted three red squirrels on the front porch alone, all at one time. I cannot tell them apart!
Our twin kittens, inclined to cross the road as the other black cat, have been on a tight leash. We have a bird feeder to keep them amused and closer to home.

Red Squirrels, Tamiasciurus hudsonicusa tree rat, they do not hibernate, unlike the ground squirrels.
They mate in early spring, 35 or so days later producing 2 - 7 blind, naked, helpless babes.
They are weaned in a couple of months, and then fend for themselves shortly thereafter.

Lifespans average 2 - 7 years, depending upon predators, and environmental issues.

She nibbles on the maple tree leaf buds!
I have observed that they are like coyotes and raccoons, in that they have compensatory reproduction. Good old Oliver managed to bag 7 red squirrels in the 8 months or so he lived here with us. Oliver, the black cat, met his demise and the squirrel population has thrived.

Once populations decline, thanks to environmental issues, e.g., food shortages, or predators like Ollie, more will reproduce with some having two litters a year, the 2nd in August.

They are omnivores, and eat seeds, tree buds, including nuts and cones. Also, they'll eat insects, eggs or mice if they fall their way.

Dumb as bricks, they set up in a burrow in the garden outside the back door behind our home: with three cats.

beautiful coat colour!
It eyes me from between
the railing!
Oct., 2009 - a fine specimen!
for more Camera Critters #202


eileeninmd said...

The red squirrels are pretty, I like their colring much more than our gray squirrels I see here. Wonderful post and photos. Happy weekend!


"TV for our cats"....what a hoot. And oh, so very true.

Precious squirrel images, they're so fun to watch for us humanoids too.


Hope you're having a great weekend so far.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Our dogs go nuts with the squirrels. The only thing the squirrels seem concerned about are the hawks that come check us out every now and then.

Carletta said...

Great series!
I love to watch the squirrels and their antics.
We had a couple of babies and their parents in the yard last summer but I'm not sure what happened to them. We have a grey one and a red one that keep the walnut trees bare. :)

Snap said...

TV for cats ... too true! Love the red squirrels ... different from the squirrels here. Happy Critter Day!

ladyfi said...

Those squirrel pics are delightful!

Jane said...

Nice selection, this breed is pretty rare now these days. Thanks for sharing:)

Christine said...

beautiful, this life going on around us!

Annie @ButteryBooks said...

Your squirrel in the bucket photos are fantastic. The sun is shining just perfectly on the squirrel.

Mama Zen said...

The squirrels are so cute!

Gary said...

Maybe dumb, bur funny. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada. said...

The red squirrels are so cute. I love their ear tufts.

Red said...

Super squirrel pictures. Great description of these pesky little critters. The red squirrel the only native we have here. Gray squirrels have been introduced and thrive in the Calgary area.

Kathy said...

I love to watch squirrels, even though they are such thieves at the bird feeders!

Kay L. Davies said...

It's a good thing they have compensatory reproduction if they're silly enough to burrow at your house.
Loved the photos, Jenn.

Jidhu Jose said...

squirrels are so cute..nice pics
My Camera-Critters

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Jill: I think red Squirrels are a beautiful animal.

Linda said...

Love the red squirrels - and your commentary!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Lovely photos.

Regards and best wishes

Costin Comba said...

I love squirrels, I have a few post on my blog with these beautiful critters. Have a nice week. Greetings from Romania.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Dumb as bricks probably, but cute as can be for sure! The one in the bucket is priceless!