Squirrels trying to eke a living out of your backyard really have it tough, They come from a long line of zigzaggers. Do you ever wonder why they peek around a tree at you and scream obsceni- ties? It’s because they have been shot at ever since we were first introduced to North America.
Squirrels at one time were such a problem to crop survival of pioneer farmers, colonies accepted squirrel scalps for payment of taxes. Colonists became such crack shots in order to pay the crack pots that ran the country. Squirrel hunting made them so accurate with a musket they devastated the ranks of British soldiers during the American Revolution.
Still, 40 million squirrels are killed annually by hunters. That would make anybody peek around the tree before he made the big move to the bird feeder. When that tail starts twitchin’ wildly, it’s usually a nervous, gun-shy-type squirrel that has seen a lot of combat.
Why not make a truce with your squirrels?
They might eat a little generously, but let’s face it, we owe them. If it were not for them, we might have lost the Revolutionary War. We would be drinking tea with our donuts and George Bush would be King George II.
Squirrelly Things You Should Know
Flying squirrels are the smallest tree squirrels. While most squirrels live alone, flying squirrels live in colonies known as squadrons.
There are about 300 different kinds of squirrels. They are all part of the family birdfeederitis which is Latin for "seed thief."
Some squirrels can harvest as many as 100 cones from a tree in an hour., These squirrels of various species are referred to as coneheads.
Squirrels get into and destroy bird feeders and bird’s nests, but a squirrel’s life is no picnic. They have many enemies besides the broom-wielding madman who hides around the corner of the house waiting to ambush them. Bobcats, cats, dogs, coyotes, foxes, hawks, owls, snakes, raccoons and weasels are all predators that will spoil a squirrel’s day if they get the opportunity.
When squirrels are born they look like bald mice. It takes over a month for them to get their eyes open. When they come out of the nest, they are well developed and ready to take on the world. Moms do a great job of raising little furballs. The male squirrel doesn’t help at all.