A Scurry of Baby Squirrels

Did you know that a group of squirrels is a ‘scurry’? I had to look that up. A ‘dray’ of squirrels is also correct, but scurry fits the bill.

baby squirrels in box

Chip and Dale: A Twosome

Late last year a friend put me in touch with a squirrel rescue group, Injured and Orphaned Wildlife.  They take in orphaned squirrels and care for them till they are ready to be released into the wild. They’ve called me twice to make arrangements to release the squirrels in our back garden. They want to re-release the squirrels into neighborhoods with established squirrel populations. Yup, we qualify!

squirrel nesting box

Ann arrives with the nesting box

Ann came by Saturday morning and left a nesting box of six young squirrels. The first two darted out of the box and raced up the tree and over the fence. I watched for a while from our bedroom window. One of the squirrels left the box and ran up the fence, but the cat netting (a barrier we use to keep our cats safely inside the fence) confused him. Instead of running along the fence to freedom, he froze in place…for over ten minutes. Poor little thing.

squirrel hanging on to fence collage

I’m not budging till it’s safe

The remaining two or three kept us entertained all afternoon. They poked their heads out of the box, then jumped out. Back in they went, then out again.

squirrel on top of box

Finally, the braver of the two (or three, it was really hard to tell) climbed up the side of the compost netting, into the orange tree and up to the top.

squirrel in garden

I’ll just be on my way

By dusk there was only one squirrel left in the box and he didn’t want to leave. Ann said to bring the box off the ground once it got dark, so I moved him to higher ground and faced the box toward the fence. That seemed to be all he needed to leave his wooden home, and off he went exploring the garden.

We have hundreds of photos and video of these squirrels. I’ve pared it down to a respectable number to share. I feel like a first time mom hanging on to every precious little picture of her offspring.

squirrel eating cucumber

Nom-nom-nom…Ann brought some cucumber

squirrel eating cucumber in box

Bashful? Hiding behind a slice of cucumber

I’m also a little worried. These squirrels are used to people, though their rescuers do their best to keep them ‘wild.’ One of the six squirrels, however, is brave. Too brave. I’ve startled him twice (both times eating tomatoes) and he just glanced in my direction. He was breathing heavily, but he didn’t run away. I hope that part of it is simply the folly of youth. It’s not that I want them to be afraid of us, just that I know they need a certain savvy to make it in the wild.

In any event, all eyes were on the garden this weekend as we peered through windows and doors and occasionally ventured outside.  For the second time in a month I’ve had the enormous pleasure of interacting with nature. It’s extraordinary.

Just for Fun:

Mike propped his iPhone between two books and set the camera to time-lapse. This 28 second video is actually 28 minutes in real-time. No sound, just half a minute of crazy fun.

27 thoughts on “A Scurry of Baby Squirrels

  1. “chirp, chirp, chirp”…..”I’m a squirrel and I’d like to live at your house please”, LOL

    It’d be nice if that’s all it took. I guess I’d have to be buds with Ann too. Oh me, Oh my ! They are a wonder. Congratulations on being the surrogate for the day Alys. I love the picture of the one eating a cucumber. Their teeny ting hands make that irresistably cute! That video is so cool. I didn’t know that was possible with an iPhone. I should check my Samsung too. Mike is Mr techie, how great is that. Am I the only smartphone owner that only 1/2 utilizes the features?

    I don’t know how I’d feel about them leaving the yard so soon. I’d be like, “wait ! you’re too small, I need to know where you are at all times, come baaaaaack”. You’re so much more sensible about nature. I guess once they come out, they’re hard to differentiate from the ones that already live in the yard. Have you seen those little felt creatures on Pinterest? They are so real looking. I think they’re wonderful and love hearing their little chirps. I just show a little news story about this scientist who put tiny Russian spy cameras and microphones on them in the wild to study their language and life. I’ll see if I can find the item to share at FB. Here’s that Pinterest link. xox ((miss you)) k

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  2. This is such a wonderful thing to be able to do – I know I would feel like a proud mum too, so I absolutely understand your thousands of photos! The little time lapse video shows just how active they are – and how much they eat – I noted there was just one small space when there was no activity in that almost half hour of constant racing about. It’s better than a movie! Thanks for letting us share a little of your rescue work Alys – you did good!

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    • Awww. Thanks so much, Pauline. It really is fun knowing we can make a small difference. I’ve enjoyed watching them along the fence and yes, even eating the tomatoes. Funny how they suddenly seem far less important when you know they’re feeding a young family. It makes me think I should be more charitable with the rats as well. 😉

      Is it snowing today? How many light catchers have you made now? What a perfect time of year to work on this project.

      Love you you, Siddy, Orlando and Danella. xox

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  3. Well a scurry is certainly appropriate for those little guys. I’m wondering if you have purchased them their own yard swing to chew on yet? 😉 I had a friend that fostered baby squirrels that were even smaller and they loved running up and down inside your pant legs. You’ve had hours and hours of entertainment courtesy of mother nature. That’s because you give so much back to her. The video was comical. Glad to see you back. I’m not getting much time for writing this summer either. Too much fun stuff to do. 🙂

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    • You always make me laugh, Marlene. So good to see you here and thank you for your emails as well. You prompted me to post. Thank you for that.

      LOL to their own swing. The mending and shower curtain cover are standing up to the test so far with no plans to build the little ones their own playground of destruction. The large garden pot of fluff remains nearby so it is available for the easy taking. There are two established squirrel nests in the orange tree, so I wonder if they’ll take up residence in one of them. I’ll share any updates as time goes by.

      I’m glad you are enjoying a full, albeit hot, summer. It is still too hot here to do much in the garden, but I may attempt a tomato harvest later tonight after the sun goes down, leaving plenty of course for the visiting rats and squirrels. 😉

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  4. Oh, that video was funny! I like that name for a group of them too. They are sweet little creatures and you are very kind-hearted to take them in, although I expect they will be off to pastures new once they find their bearings. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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  5. A scurry! Perfect (just like a “murder of crows” seems perfect to me!) What an amazing experience–who needs Netflix?! But I’m like you–I would now obsess about the future of each squirrel and constantly be counting noses . . .

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    • Yes! That’s it exactly. Checking on the brood. I’ve seen two or three at a time, but never all of them. They are definitely staying nearby. Our neighbor one fence over puts out food for the squirrels, so they’re going to do just great around here. They’re also eating tomatoes. So funny to come upon them. They’re not all that concerned by my presence.

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  6. Alys, you are so good, considering what their relatives did to your swing cover! The video was a hoot (not that I want the squirrels to be eaten immediately by owls). They are cute little critters and will no doubt continue to provide entertainment. I like the term a scurry, as well…

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    • Six little squirrels running around the yard definitely trumps the damage they did to my swing. I did think about that though. Funny, eh?

      My pot of fluff is still out there, so hopefully any nest builders will start there.

      They are so darn cute, these squirrels. They look incredibly soft, too, though I know never to handle one.

      I hope you’re enjoying the 4th in your great city.

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  7. A scurry? Apparently, I have found a new adjective to describe how I feel whilst awake and working all day long. Or maybe it’s just the contents of my brain that resembles Mike’s movie. I’ve always likened it to a Charlie Chaplin film, but I’m going with ‘the innards of my mind are like a scurry of squirrels.’
    It’s almost lyrical.
    The pictures are quite magical as well, Alys. You’ve done an extraordinary job of catching the quirky and delightful character traits through the lens.
    Strangely enough, squirrels to make it any further than half up the driveway here. Maybe the air is too thin for their tiny lungs. Ah well, I shall get my fill of them by visiting your new habitat.
    xo

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    • You’ve a wonderful term of a phrase, Shelley. I can relate to the application of the word too. I don’t suppose one large, hairy dog has anything to do with your squirrels keeping a respectful distance. Come visit and we’ll swing on the swing and watch the little ones nibble on tomatoes.

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  8. Scurry does indeed fit, especially for the video.
    The photo of Chip and Dale is really great (did I tell you that on FB?).
    What a wonderful experience you are having with these cuties!

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    • Thank you, Laurie. We continue to enjoy those young squirrels. We sat on the back steps earlier this week and watched on eat tomatoes for 15 minutes. We were mesmerized and honored by the trust. It took five minutes per tomato! That surprised me some how.

      Thanks for your nice words on the photo of Chip and Dale. Cuties!

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