Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Red Squirrel

DSC_0287 Red Squirrel in Spruce Tree by my driveway 5-21-14

I have the cutest little Red Squirrel living in the spruce tree by my driveway. This tree is directly across from my back door. Last spring I would sit outside and watch him (or her, I didn’t check) while it scampered through the branches. Whenever I threw seed on the ground for the sparrows it would chase them away, as well as the larger gray squirrels. He is quite feisty and fun to watch.

DSC_0288 This red squirrel rules the branches!









DSC_0295 I think it is a boy!


DSC_0384 Last Autumn I noticed it gathering mouthfuls of grasses to build a nest in the spruce tree. I watched as it scrambled up the tree and placed the grasses only to scamper down for more. It seemed such a nice cozy nest and it withstood the wind and rain storms all summer and Autumn, until last week. On Sunday night, January 18th we had a massive wind storm.

nest on ground 1-19-15 The next morning I found this on the ground.


squirrel nest on ground 1-19-15 There was the nest beneath the tree, a lump of tawny grasses.

I could see the little tunnel inside from the ends.

squirrel nest in tree This is the place where the nest used to hang.

I do not know what the little squirrel will do now, or where it is sleeping.

I worry about it with the current blizzard raging outside.

I hope it survives.

DSC_0370 my yard I like to see it scampering beneath the spruce and pines.

It makes me laugh to hear it sit up and scold me!


But then this happened…

DSC_0496 *Red Squirrel stuck in milk jug baffle.

Earlier this month this foolish squirrel got trapped when it climbed down the chain trying to get into my dome feeder which has sunflower seeds, fruits and nuts in it. I had to put a cutoff milk jug on top of the dome to keep the gray squirrels from being able to dangle by their hind feet and twist their way into the feeder. The red squirrel had never bothered it before, but as Gus and I were headed to the car on our way to do errands in town, I heard a strange noise.

trapped squirrel 1-11-15a

I turned to see the red squirrel down inside the milk jug and trying to climb back up the chain. Its little head was sticking out the mouth of the milk jug, but it could not go up and it could not go down! I was so upset! I called to Gus and he jumped out of the car and came right over to the feeder. I happened to have my camera with me and I wanted to take pictures of him setting it free, but I did not think he would be able to release it without cutting the jug away. As I turned towards the house to go fetch some scissors, Gus simply reached up inside the jug and grabbed the squirrel by the tail, and while simultaneously lifting the edge of the jug upwards he pulled the squirrel downwards. The startled squirrel was free!

DSC_0499 It leapt to the ground and scrambled up the tree where it sat scolding us from the branches with indignity! Hold on tight little buddy! The storm’s a’coming!

Update 1-29-15: I have seen the Red Squirrel on both days since the blizzard. It is alive and well and gobbling up sunflower seeds and peanuts when I toss them out! Now I am worried about the Barred owl that is suddenly hanging around my yard!

*New Photos added 1-30-15.


  1. How adorable your photos are of this little red squirrel Kathie. And what a silly squirrel to get caught like that. Thanks to you and Gus, a story to tell in his new nest tonight. I was hoping you had escaped a blizzard but it sounds like you have had a lot of snow again. Stay safe and warm also.

    1. Thanks Denise! We survived the blizzard and so did the red squirrel. I saw him pop up out of the snow underneath the spruce tree the very next day!

  2. Sounds like an adventure for this cute squirrel.. I have heard the scolding noises before.. Loved the photos.. I hope all is calm there now and the storm has passed.. Happy Birding!

    1. Eileen, that storm has passed. The sun is shining and it is very cold! a new storm is headed our way for tomorrow!

  3. It's adorable and certainly can't eat up all the bird seed. Thank you Gus for rescuing it.

    1. Gaelyn, he is such a good guy, but I wasn't sure if he would even touch the squirrel! He can be a bit squeamish about stuff like that. I think he was very brave!

  4. It sounds as if this squirrel is like some cats - using up it's nine lives!

  5. Wonderful series of this cute Squirrel images against those lovely trees.

    1. Margaret, I do like his rusty colors against all the greenery!

  6. The Squirrel is the most beautiful, I love it.

  7. Hi Kathie

    We have a red squirrel rthat stores mushrooms in the outhouse at our cabin over the winter. I have encountered them many time over the years and I always find their enormous aggressive attitudes amusing in such small animals.


    1. Guy, I would not want one in my house. they can cause quite a bit of damage, but as long as it stays outside, I'm happy to see it! I had no idea they eat mushrooms though!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.