Monday, September 22, 2008

Squirrels And Bird Feeders

Well I had planned on tackling this topic head-on.

Fox squirrels can be hooligans when it comes to bird feeders. They eat bird seed and bird feeders. I can’t stand them.

I have one in my bathroom right now.

That’s right. A baby fox squirrel is sleeping on a heating pad in a big box in my bathroom. Fox squirrels are an introduced species in the Los Angeles area. Their territory is expanding; they are smart, adaptable and prolific. They are not a species I support protecting or feeding, at least not here. They will prey on bird eggs and they drive off native ground squirrels.

Usually, I try to let nature work. I cheer when the red-tailed hawk plucks a fox squirrel off the neighbor’s roof for dinner. When I first saw the baby squirrel on Saturday, I knew it was much younger than any I had seen on the ground before. But it seemed to be able and scavenging for food. I warned the dog off, and let the tike hunker down for the night in the sword fern.

Yesterday, Inali found it again, still in the fern. Again, it seemed to be all right. We tried to catch it, but it was able to avoid us. Nature is the best mother, so we set out some milk soaked bread, but let the little one go its way.

This morning it was across the street. Last night, it didn’t sleep in the fern protected from the evening chill. This morning, the construction crew at the neighbor’s was well meaning but frightening to a teeny squirrel.

Where do the neighbors bring the injured, the strange and the lost? Here.

band-tailed pigeon
Inali saving hummingbird

So now I have a baby squirrel tucked into warm rags. Now that I know it is going to survive, I’m off to get formula for it.

Yes, I am raising the enemy. But it is awfully cute.

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