to our photo journal of a squirrel family who lives in the squirrel house at Trickle
About five years
ago, we built a squirrel house and attached it to a maple tree outside an upstairs
window of our home. Since then, we’ve enjoyed seeing several litters of lively baby
squirrels and one “litter” of starlings.
This year, two squirrels moved into the squirrel house in early December. We saw them
carry huge mouthfuls of leaves into the house to make a leaf nest. Our bird
feeder/squirrel feeder is located almost directly below the squirrel house, so you can
guess that the squirrel house is prime real estate. When the squirrels are hungry, they
scamper down the tree and fill up on dried corn and sunflower seeds. On snowy days, the
squirrel pair stay snug in their house, only poking their heads out to see how the other
squirrels (the ones that don’t have a squirrel house) are doing.
Today the two squirrels who live in the squirrel house came out together. We think it
was a date. The female moved slowly (for a squirrel), up and down the tree, with the
male following her every step. The squirrel parade went on for about ten minutes, when
suddenly a large hawk landed in a nearby tree, and the squirrels dove into their house.
The squirrel couple spent the day stuffing huge mouthfuls of leaves into their squirrel
house. Something is going on!
The baby squirrels are finally peeking out of the entrance hole of their house. First
there was one little face, then two. Then three faces crowded and pressed together,
competing for a first look at the leafy world around them. They're as cute as baby
bunnies—with shortened faces and big brown eyes.
The little squirrels are very cautious. They don't want to fall twenty feet to the
ground. They peek out the entrance hole, come partly out, hold tightly to the wood of
their house, and duck back inside.
April 26: Today the baby squirrels are
completely out! Five little squirrels are rushing, pushing, playing, hanging upside
down, climbing on their roof, diving back into the entrance hole, and peeking out again.
April 28: Five confident squirrels have moved from the safety
of the squirrel house to explore the tree it is attached to. They go up and down, but
not all the way to the ground.
May 1: The little squirrels have joined the adults at the
feeder below their house. They're so playful that sometimes we think they are hurt. They
do frantic flips in the air. They roll on the ground with their feet in the air. They
spin and leap and run wildly from branch to branch. (They're not hurt, they're just
having fun being squirrels.)
June 15: The young squirrels are about the same size as the
adults now. The only way we can tell when they arrive at the feeder is by their silly
behavior. They don't live in the squirrel house any more. They are finding new homes in
and a little crowded,
don't you think?