Going Nuts over Squirrels

Seems like most people are familiar with squirrels in one form or another, since there is a huge variety of the furry varmints. Many people consider them pests, especially since they get relentless when trying to get food.

Squirrels help illustrate the design of the Creator
Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service / Debra Turner
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Even when I'm chasing them off the patio, they keep on a-coming. Some turn on the charm and get up on their hind legs and give me the "I'm so cute, don't you want to feed me?" look. Then others come up and they commence to fighting over the food.

These bushy-tailed rodents are smart, too. They learn how to solve problems, and then use that knowledge to apply in other situations. We've found that "squirrel-proof bird feeders" are seldom effective, and they find various ways to get up to there (as can be seen in a video in the linked article, below). They get onto our second-floor patio and go after the bird feeders or the bread my wife puts out, then climb onto the screen for the sliding glass door and pee on the window. I get a mite irritated.

Squirrels are opportunists when it comes to getting their needs met, and they even have multiple homes. Something goes amiss, they move out. Then another opportunist might take over the abandoned nest.


They're famous for eating and burying nuts, but have unique habits for organizing their stashes — when they remember where they are. It's figured that squirrels forget where they put most of the nuts, which is helpful for other animals and tree planting.

For being wild animals, they get used to humans mighty fast and can be relatively tame. I had them eating peanuts from my fingers (which was a mistake, since they expect an endless supply). There are many stories of people basically making them into pets. I don't advise bringing them into your domicile, though. Seems to work for some folks, though.
The squirrel family (Sciuridae) is quite extensive, including species such as chipmunks, flying squirrels, and ground squirrels (among them woodchucks and prairie dogs). Squirrels live on almost every continent in the world and come in many sizes and colors. Red and gray squirrels are common in the United States. Some states have black squirrels, and Brevard, North Carolina, is famous for its white squirrels. Africa has the tiny two-inch pygmy squirrel; India has the giant squirrel, which is three feet long and weighs four pounds; and Kazakhstan has the nearly 20-pound gray marmot. It’s hard to go anywhere without running into a squirrel. In fact, throughout my life, I’ve encountered quite a few up close.
To read the rest, head on over to "The Not-So-Nutty Habits of Squirrels".