Winter squirrels

It’s been pretty cold in much of America’s north and east, which gives us even more reason to feed the wildlife. Since my mallard hen has abandoned me—at least for the winter—I am left with a scurry of squirrels (yes, that’s the correct term for a group of these rodents). Although I didn’t feed my squirrels when I was in India, I’m now back giving them daily peanuts, and am pleased to see that they’re fat and fluffy. Here’s one, covered with snow, getting a treat yesterday. (There’s a water dish, too, but it freezes quickly, even when the water is warm.)

Nosing about:

Being offered a nut:




  1. busterggi
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    My racoon Rackets came around twice this weekend while I was home, first time with one of her youngsters from last summer but alone last night. Getting friendly enough to almost take food from my hand.

    Even my local possum, Sweetie Face, has gotten desperate enough to let me watch him/her eat.

  2. Posted January 16, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    A scurry of squirrels! Love it.

    Some others I dig….
    A wake of buzzards
    A charm of finches
    A squabble of gulls
    A murmuration of starlings
    A parliament of rooks

    and my favorite…
    An exaltation of larks.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 16, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      These are very nice.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted January 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Well, I had a “charm” of finches at my bird feeder today – about 100 of them (American goldfinch). Fascinating to watch their undulating flight from tree to feeder and back. Just went outside to refill the feeder with sunflower seeds, which they seem to love. They ignored the small seed feeder and only went to black sunflower seeds. My kitteh, who eschews the cold weather, likes to sit in the window and watch them.

    • JohnH
      Posted January 16, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Don’t leave out “A murder of crows”.

  3. Christopher
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I got a horse head squirrel feeder in a white elephant xmas exchange. Perhaps you could get some use out of it, my local red squirrels seem uninterested in any of my feeders, probably due to the abundance of pecans, walnuts, and acorns in my yard. The horse head feeders are available on Archie McPhee if anyone’s interested.

  4. Posted January 16, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    The bravery of squirrels amazes me. It doesn’t take them long at all to get used to humans offering them food. They also taunt cats quite often, undoubtedly knowing that cats can climb tree but not as well as they can. Perhaps it is intelligence more than bravery.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    We continue to have quite a few Canada Geese here even though the water is all frozen. There must be some open water around or they would have to go south?

    • Posted January 17, 2018 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      Why do birds fly south in winter?
      too far to walk…!

      sorry -that was one of the first jokes I learnt!

  6. Posted January 16, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I saw the line where PCC warmed the water before setting it out; however there is something called the Mpemba effect in which boiling hot water actually froze faster than cold water. Here’s a link

    And maybe PCC can do a little squirrel water dish science experiment and take bets!

    • Zetopan
      Posted January 20, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      If you watch the video at the website that you referenced you would see that under carefully controlled conditions in the lab there is *no* Mpemba effect.

  7. Linda Calhoun
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    If you don’t have to close your window all the way, you can get a plug-in water dish which will stay thawed even in really cold temperatures.

    I have plug-in buckets and water tubs in my barn for all the animals, and also an electric birdbath for the birds and squirrels.

    Beats chopping ice.


  8. Posted January 17, 2018 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    I thought squirrels in very cold climates hibernated?!

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted January 17, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      It probably varies with the species, but for some, it’s only a deep sleep that gets interrupted for mid-winter snacking and mild weather.

      Then there’s that microwave antenna in California that either a squirrel or possibly a woodpecker filled with 300 pounds of acorns.

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