Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Squirrel Personality, Chewy Keeps Chewing, and Whistle

Photo Carol Vinzant
Female Gray Squirrels, Billie, left, and Mary Todd, right, look out with interest. Billie rather looks like she's smiling.

Wildlife rehabilitator, Carol Vinzant, has a new crop of orphaned squirrels to add to her previous batch and they all come with their own distinct personalities.


I now have 6 squirrels but may send some to other homes before I start a new job next Monday.

Osama Bin Squirrel is nasty and threatening—or at least as much as a six inch squirrel can be.

Mary Todd, one of my original squirrels, is mostly sweet. She likes to eat first and eat a lot.

Pointy has a pointy face and is so sweet she actually hangs out with Osama Bin Squirrel and comforts him.

Peter is a small black squirrel found in (Peter) Stuyvesant Town . Ulysses is a friendly boy about his age.

Billie is a shaggy squirrel who licks her fingers after eating.

Photo Carol Vinzant
Osama bin Squirrel
I try to feed Osama in the cage because he is so difficult. He attacks the syringe, then drinks from it, then attacks it.

Photo Carol Vinzant
This is how they sleep

Photo Carol Vinzant

Photo Carol Vinzant
Ulysses, Peter, and Pointy

Photo Carol Vinzant
The whole gang in holding while I clean out their cage.


Carol has just gotten back from Canada where she saw bears, moose, you name it. Information on a place that has a stand for bear watching on her blog. Link above.

Mid-afternoon I looked out at the feeding area and guess who? There he was chowing down. I've realized that when Chewy is running his muzzle over the ground that yes, sometimes he's hunting goodies, but at others he's "vacuuming" whole areas of seed into his pouches. When he sits up like this, he appears to be actually be chewing and swallowing. My question does he fill his pouches and then eat? Or does it just depend?

Still eating. I also wonder what the lining of his pouches are. Are they dry? Or might they be lined with a mucus membrane or some other special lining that keeps things moving when packing it in and when expelling his booty to keep the contents from getting stuck?

He notices me in mid-chew, I do find the soft pink of his mouth quite endearing, and he decides it's time to trot off to his burrow and unload.

Twenty minutes later when I look out, he's back again, vacuuming. I don't actually think that he has suction into his pouches but it is very fast. Perhaps it's a quick action of tongue and cheeks that is the actual mechanism.
Once again I catch his eye and he pauses a moment. Then goes right back to his chief endeavor, getting as much food as chipmunkly possible into himself and into his storage burrow before he is forced by seasonal chemicals not to emerge for months.
And last of all, I've been keeping an eye peeled for months attempting to figure out in what area Whistle the Krider's Red-tail might be roosting for the night. This evening at a quarter to 7, near dark, I saw her heading for a copse of trees that adjoins the railroad tracks west of the her rodent hunting area. Tomorrow I'm going to go sit in the Dollar General parking lot at the same time and see if she does it again.
Donegal Browne


cookie said...

they're so cute

Donegal Browne said...

Aren't they though? The original creatures that brought someone to come up with the expression, "bright eyed and bushy-tailed"