Sign in to follow this  
Pierre

Wildlife in FMM area

Recommended Posts

Pierre

We had a rare visit by a coyote to our home on Thanksgiving Sunday.

post-46-1224994611.jpg

post-46-1224994657.jpg

It appears the coyote enjoys the turkey leftovers on the grass.

The squirrel in the gallery is an old friend keeping us company and entertained while eating up our deck and outdoor furniture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz

Nice photos. Your squirrel looks a little larger than our resident squirrel. They're fun to watch, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

Liz I think this squirrel is slightly overfed.

I used to think he must be hungry because all the food I put out disappears.

Now it seems he stores it somewhere under the deck out of anybody's reach.

He has gotten tame over time eating peanuts out of my hand provided I am sitting down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz

Our squirrel (a female), chases all the other squirrels out of our yard. She is collecting food for winter and one birdhouse (luckily the birds don't use it!) is full to the brim already. It's a full circle with her. She has her babies in our neighbour's shed every year, and then brings them to the squirrel house in our yard. A couple of weeks later, they start peeping out of the hole and before you know it, they're running up and down the tree. She then takes them across the street to the green belt by the lake, comes back, stakes out her territory and starts collecting food for winter. We love watching her and all the birds, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

My squirrel, also a food gatherer, therefore might then also be female?

I wouldn't know for sure.

There are no babies around though.

There used to be a few more squirrels around but only this one has been seen the last two months.

Our squirrel, who does not have a name yet, has the habit of climbing up the wall to the second floor and peeking through the bedroom window.

He/she also makes himself visible through the kitchen window, as to remind us he is around and its time for breakfast.

We also have lots of birds around. The squirrel and them seem to live in peace together, even though they share the same food source (bread, peanuts, bird food).

I just have one fear that he may eat up our deck - he seems to eat the wood for desert.

He loves plastic deck furniture as well - I cant figure out why.

I can understand though why he would be stripping out the wool lining of the BBQ cover to pad his nest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre
post-46-1225166853.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz
:) Our's also stripped the lining of the BBQ cover to line the nest! Isn't it amazing how well they can balance? She runs from tree to tree on these thin branches that are probably as thin as my pinkie. Then she hangs upside down by the birdfeeder and eats like that, just hanging on with her hind legs and tail for balance. Our's hasn't tried the deck yet; I guess there are enough trees if she feels like 'dessert'!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

post-46-1225677510.jpg

A close up of my friend the squirrel. It's easy to get good pictures of him because he is around so much.

He has a lookout branch in a nearby tree from where he can spot a peanut on the ground (or my deck) at 100m away.

It's either that or his good smell that makes him detect food.

He also runs around a lot and perhaps checks out all known sites where food was found in the past.

I wonder if he goes into hibernation in the winter.

Life would be very lonely without a mate, offspring and/or siblings around.

He seems to have the basics (food and shelter) covered though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz

Here is a photo of our squirrel at one of our birdfeeders. Not sure if it was last winter or the one before.

post-141-1225706006.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

Liz, birdseed seems to be dual purpose food for these little acrobats and the birds. Have you tried feeding him something else.

So far the little guy has eaten peanuts with or without shells, bread crusts, hard bread, variety of nuts, soybeans, sunflower seed.

I'll see if he takes the jelly beans I put out. My guess is that he would enjoy some sweetness.

This is his first season at our address.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz

We have squirrel food in HER feeder, but she saves that for later. We've put out acorns with peanut butter, peanuts etc., and she has eaten that too. She feeds at the birdfeeder (sunflower seed) in the morning and afternoon. One evening last fall, I had three baby raccoons in that tree eating the sunflower seed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sim

Oh my I am so jealous, I want to have a friendly neighborhood squirrel!

Love the pictures thanks for sharing

Simone&Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

Since Barack won the election I have not seen Sam the squirrel.

It also snowed quite somewhat in the meantime.

I was also away a few days which little Sam may not find amusing.

He is still around though making peanuts disappear from the deck.

Also a fox, probably the same one that was here last winter, came around.

He was seen wandering around before daylight two weeks ago.

He left some tracks in the fresh snow a week ago.

post-46-1226713503.jpg

Since the extra snow appeared the past weekend a new set of tracks not seen before evidenced a new visitor.

I have no idea what made these larger tracks.

We don't have large dogs roaming the streets.

He also made the tracks in the snow off the deck.

post-46-1226713654.jpg

Here is a close up of the track.

If someone can help identify the maker of the tracks, it would be highly appreciated.

post-46-1226713862.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz

:) I'm sure Sam the squirrel will be back! Sometimes we don't see ours for a few days and then she resurfaces again.

It would be interesting to know who or what your other visitor was.

Here is a photo of the racoons in the one of our trees last Fall. They were youngsters, and happily eating the birdseed.

post-141-1226741757.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

Cute raccoons you have there. They don't seem to like our territory. I have not seen or heard of any raccoons around here in Fort Mac.

Liz you also seem to have suitable adult trees for them to pal around in.

There was a hive of activity around my backyard this morning.

It started with Sam trotting around the roof in the snow.

post-46-1226864946.jpg

He was lekker confused because I put out a pile of tail mix which attracted a lot of birds.

My wife also threw out some bread crusts on another part of the deck. Plus he had some peanuts from last night to stash away.

He was darted around hiding food and protecting what was left behind from the magpie, blue jay, chickadees and kingfisher. A big raven hovered in the background.

While he is under the deck hiding a peanut, the birds were taking turns in snatching food. Within about 5 seconds he would be back to chase them away.

The chickadees were so fast, if you blinked, they were gone.

The blue jay would just back off far enough to be out of reach, which was about 3 meters away. If Sam tried to chase him, he would just retread to a nearby tree.

Here Sam is protecting the trail mix.

post-46-1226867639.jpg

This is the hole Sam made in the deck as a shortcut to his nest somewhere underneath.

post-46-1226867741.jpg

Here the blue jay reverted to the far side of the deck with Sam keeping one eye on him and the other on the trail mix.

post-46-1226868068.jpg

The blue jay approaches cautiously.

post-46-1226869182.jpg

The chickadee approaches while Sam is looking the other way.

post-46-1226869334.jpg

The blue jay makes a landing.

post-46-1226869469.jpg

The chickadee helps himself.

post-46-1226869570.jpg

Enter Sam. Exit chickadee.

post-46-1226869668.jpg

Chickadee goes for alternative food source.

post-46-1226869770.jpg

Blue jay waiting for Sam to go and hide his food so he can take a gap to get to the food.

post-46-1226869870.jpg

Blue jay poses for a photo.

post-46-1226870040.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz

Told you Sam would be back!

The bluejays sometimes 'steal' the food from the squirrels. I remember going to Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, before the hurricane we had here. There were tons of squirrels and you had to be so careful whilst feeding them, as they'd be under your feet and run up your leg if you took too long! While the squirrels were getting food from us, we could see the bluejays stealing the food from their hiding spot. Our resident squirrel even chased some crows once....she is so tiny, but so brave.

Pierre, we have a number of large trees...some maple and some other, in our yard, and the racoons actually live across the street in the green belt between the houses and the lake. They do, however, venture into our yards in search of something nice...and sometimes our garbage cans are lying on their sides in the mornings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

Our house also backs onto a forest, which is where Sam used to come from.

Now he does not want to stray too far from the food in case he misses out.

My wife thinks Sam is gaining weight.

Perhaps he is getting pregnant, or we're feeding him too much or he is gaining extra fur for the winter.

Today was a nice day with temps around -4 degrees and sunny so he had a field day.

We'll see how Sam copes with the -40 by end January.

p.s. I am going away for the next week (to Houston where it's around +10C). With my wife back from a trip to SA, little Sam will have a new guardian/cook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

Although I haven't seen her, Sam is entertaining a female in the neighborhood.

My wife, spending much more time than myself looking out the window noticed it.

The other day wife and Sam met face to face in the living room.

Both were apparently equally surprised to see each other.

Sam was soon shown the door where guests usually enter and leave.

We have also heard some noises in the one roof.

It appears Sam entered one of the vent pipes from one of the wash rooms.

When the fan is put on, he quickly makes an exit.

I don't blame him for seeking any area of warmth.

It's been extremely cold the past few days.

My wife also obtained a ultrasonic deterring device from Canadian Tire.

Since then we haven't seen or heard Sam in the house.

I also stuck some ss scrubbing wool in two of the vents so no rodents can enter, but air can still be exhausted from the house.

Today was -30 (wc -41) and Sam was making tracks to the forest and was seen scouting around the trees.

I feel sorry for the fella. It is harsh out there this year, and it aint Xmas yet. But we cannot allow him to live with us in the house.

Sam would have to dodge a fox who showed up two days ago as well as two large ravens hovering around the area.

We can take our friendship to the next level but there would be some strict house rules applicable.

- no eating of the house

- no unknown females allowed without our permission. A short introduction to us may suffice.

- no nesting inside wall spaces

- a comfortable corner can be provided free of charge with food to go

- only eat in designated spaces and only eat provided food

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz
:( We've had the weirdest weather here...-12 one day and + 12 the next. Our squirrel has never come into the house (or tried to) as she lives in our neighbour's shed and chooses a branch in the sun to sit on during the day. She is still collecting food as if there's no tomorrow, though. Came home Friday (in the rain) and she was scratching around in the small heap of mulch and found something and was burying it under some leaves in the flowerbed. She was sopping wet, but didn't seem to mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonstones

LOL love the squirrel house rules!

I wanted to post this about a squirrel, I read this years ago and it still remains pretty funny!

"Beet Pulp Safety Warning (aka the famous squirrel story)

People that are into equine nutrition are notorious for spending their time doing the oddest things. While everyone else has normal nightmares about finding themselves riding in the World Equestrian Games stark naked past the press corps, nutrition people fret over whether their carefully thought-out recommendations will make the difference between Muffy the Superhorse winning his next competition in fame and glory, or falling into a dead faint somewhere between being saddled and the starting line. In the end, the finer points of nutrition often make zero difference, however, because you generally find out that:

a) Muffy won't even touch your carefully crafted ration, much preferring to eat his bedding, the vet's fingers and anything from the Taco Bell menu;

:( the moment you finish calculating the Perfect Equine Ration featuring Aunt Tilly's Super Horsey Yums Yums, the feed company goes out of business or is indicted on environmental pollution charges;

c) it's all irrelevant, anyway, because the barn manager's favorite phrase is "Well, we've always fed this way for sixty years and hardly ever lose more than a horse a month to colic", and steadfastly refuses to feed anything at all other than His Very Own Secret Recipe, featuring lawn clippings, glazed doughnuts and something that smells a lot like latex.

However, evey now and then, you stumble across a feed that horses actually like (at least, after that initial suspicious, "You're trying to poison me, aren't you?" look), is wonderfully nutrititious, cheap to feed and still Obscure and Mysterious enough that people feel like they're really on The Cutting Edge in feeding it to Muffy. Beet pulp is like that, and for a long time I thought the only disadvantage to it was the minor inconvenience of having to soak it before feeding. Some folks skip that part, but others revel in making sure everyone else in the barn knows just how conscientious and detail-minded they are about Muffy's nutritional well-being.

However, eventually I knew the true downside to beet pulp would show up, and thought it only fair that I pass it along...

This afternoon I decided to bring some beet pulp pellets into the house to soak, because I wanted to get an idea of exactly how much they expanded in volume during the soaking process. Academic types are like that, pathetically easy to amuse and desperately in need of professional help. I knew they expanded quite a bit, because the first time I'd innocently added water to a five-pound bucket of beet pulp, I'd come back later to find my feed room practically awash in beet pulp, providing a breakfast that every horse within a five mile radius still remembers with fond nostalgia. So in the interest of scientific curiousity, I trundled in a bucket, about three pounds of beet pulp, added in the water and set it in the living room to do its thing. No problem. Research in action.

Well, in our ongoing quest to turn this house into Noah's Ark, we have not only four horses, three dogs, four neurotic cats, a sulfur-crested cockatoo, a cockatiel and assorted toads, we also have William. William is a fox squirrel who absent-mindedly fell out of his tree as a blind and hairless baby two years ago and whom the vet promptly handed off to the only person he knew silly enough to traipse around with a baby squirrel and a bottle of Esbilac into her bookbag. Actually, the trick wasn't in keeping such a tiny creature warm, fed and clean---it was keeping a straight face and looking as mystified as everyone else when William woke up hungry and started pipping for his bottled like a very small, slightly muffled alarm clock. Invariably, this usually occurred while I was standing in line at the post office, picking up a pizza for dinner or on one memorable occasion, taking a final exam in biochemistry. Being no dummy, William knew a sucker when he saw one and has happily been an Urban Squirrel ever since.

William And for those of you that think A Squirrel's Place is In The Wild, don't think we didn't try that...his first Christmas, we thought we'd give him his first lesson in Being a Wild Squirrel by letting him play in the undecorated Christmas tree. His reaction was to shriek in horror, scutter frantically across the floor and go try to hide underneath the nearest border collie. Since then, the only way he will allow himself to be taken outside is hiding inside Mummy's shirt and peering suspiciously out at the sinister world.

So much for the re-make of Born Free in San Dimas. So secure is he about his place in the world that on more than one occasion, I've caught him sitting on his fat, smug little bottom, making faces out the windown at our neighborhood (very frustrated) red-tailed hawk---like as not clutching a cashew in one paw and a bit of mango in the other.

Anyway, when I set out the bucket of beet pulp, I may have underestimated the lengths that a young and enthusiastic squirrel will go to to stash all available food items in new and unusual hiding spots. I thought letting William out of his cage as usual and giving him a handful of almonds to go happily cram under cushions and into sleeping dog's ears was sufficent entertainment for the afternoon. After all, when I left, he was gleefully chortling and gloating over his pile of treasure, making sure the cockatoo saw them so he could tell her I Have Almonds And You Don't. So much for blind optimism.

William again Apparently when the almond supply ran out, beet pulp pellets became fair game and I can only imagine the little rat finding that great big bucket and swooning with the possibilities of being able to hide away All That Food. The problem isn't quite so much that I now have three pounds of beet pulp pellets cleverly tucked away in every corner of my house, it's that as far as I can tell, the soaking-expanding-and-falling-apart process seems to be kinda like nuclear meltdown. Once the reaction gets started, no force on earth is going to stop it.

So when I come back from the grocery store, not only do I find an exhausted but incredibly Fulfilled squirrel sprawled out snoozing happily up on the cat tree, I find that my house smells a lot like a Jamaican feed mill and virtually every orifice is crammed full of beet pulp. This includes the bathroom sink drain, the fish tank filter, in my undie drawer, in the kitty box (much to their horror) and ALL the pockets of my bookbag. Not to mention that in enthusiastically stuffing beet pulp into the air holes of the little box that hold live crickets for the toad's dinner, William managed to open it up and free several hundred crickets into the living room. It's not that I mind crickets springing to and fro, it's just that it sounds a lot like an Evening in the Amazon Rain Forest in here. The cats, on the other hand, have never had such a marvelous time steeplechasing after stray crickets back and forth over the furniture, crunching up the spoils of the hunt (which wouldn't be so bad if they would just chew with their mouths closed), and sicking up the more indigestible parts onto the rug.

I simply can't WAIT to turn on the furnace and find out what toasting beet pulp smells like.

The good news is that in case of siege, I have enough carbohydrates hidden in my walls and under the furniture to survive for years. The bad news is that as soon as I try to remove any of this stash, I get a hysterical squirrel clinging to my pant leg, tearfully shrieking that I'm ruining all his hard work and now he's going to starve this winter. (This is despite the fact that William is spoiled utterly rotten, knows how to open the macademia nut can all by himself and has enough of a tummy to have earned him the unfortunate nickname Buddha Belly.)

So in case anyone was losing sleep wondering just how much final product you get after soaking three pounds of beet pulp, the answer is a living room full. I'd write this new data up and submit it as a case study paper to the nutrition and physiology society, but I suspect the practical applications may be limited.

Off to go empty the Shop-Vac. Again.

Copyright Susan Evans Garlinghouse 1997"

http://www.shady-acres.com/susan/squirrel.shtml

Love the picture of the bluejay!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre
Well, in our ongoing quest to turn this house into Noah's Ark ...

Cute story.

Since Noah had one pair (or was it two) of each animal, Michael and Sam would most probably be related.

They, and others it appears, have the same habits.

I just wonder how they managed to spread all over the world.

But it's a good heads up not to have anything which might rot or become smelly that Sam might identify as a source of protein and store in unreachable places.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

GOODBYE SAM !

Here Sam was the cute visitor

post-46-1230500204.jpg

Now he's ruined the friendship!

post-46-1230500270.jpg

Trap set

post-46-1230500342.jpg

Trying to get to some food through the wire

post-46-1230500407.jpg

He could not resist going in...

post-46-1230500490.jpg

Almost there ...

post-46-1230500554.jpg

Gotcha!

post-46-1230500614.jpg

How come the door shut so fast?

post-46-1230500678.jpg

What did I do to get locked up in here?

post-46-1230500752.jpg

Cant even eat my way outa here

post-46-1230500902.jpg

Making eye contact

post-46-1230500970.jpg

post-46-1230501069.jpg

Please, I wont do it again

post-46-1230501126.jpg

Here is your new home

post-46-1230501247.jpg

Some peanuts to get you started till you get to know the whereabouts - follow directions

post-46-1230501300.jpg

In a flash he is up the tree

post-46-1230501392.jpg

I think you will enjoy the new habitat.

Most people would pay millions for the view you now have.

And the restaurant etc is close by.

We'll miss you fella.

:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jamie

Thanks I have enjoyed this thread

Good life Sam we will miss you

This is related from another part of the World --- I am sure Sam would handled this obstacle course with ease

Dankie Pierre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pierre

He ate my ski bag and made a nest in the end of the bag between my ski's. He also started nibbling at the bindings of my ski's. The ski's were stored under the deck. The bag was a gift from my daughter last xmas. I am aware Sam doesn't know the difference between one piece of plastic and another. So he is innocent. He would have seen several cross country skiers go past near our house in the past though.

A friend a few blocks down the road also had a squirrel in the vent ducting of the house. They captured and released him along the highway - the forest is all round though.

I thought Sam would enjoy the golf course. There are many animals around (I've seen ducks, deer and foxes on the course) and a restaurant and recreation center which might be a source of food for him. Although I don't play golf that often, I might see him again in summer. I will look out for him. Perhaps put an open bag of his favorite peanuts down at the same spot where I let him go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liz

Who knows...they say cats find their way back. Maybe Sam will come back in the summer, and bring his/her new family too!! Thankfully, we haven't had any damage caused by our squirrel. She stays in the trees and in our wood pile and nests in the neighbours' shed.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this