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Saturday, November 28, 2015

She's Back (or Did She Ever Leave?)

Like the kid who spoiled the fun for everyone, the adorable Riley Red Squirrel has forced us to stop putting out bird food. Can't afford to feed her too. That doesn't mean she has moved on. Oh no...

I heard her off and on, running across the roof, all summer, and caught glimpses this fall.

Today, she's sitting on the porch rail staring at the door and then the empty bird feeder. Yeah, right. Does she look like she needs more food?

red squirrel

What happened to my sleek young menace? She got fat!

red squirrel

Of course, it might not be the same squirrel, but I am pretty certain the little hidey-hole between the porch and house roofs has been continuously occupied. I don't think I've ever seen such a fat red squirrel. The fox squirrels tank up and become downright portly, but these little ones usually do too much running around to gain weight.

Wild red squirrels have an average life expectancy of under three years, although they have been known to live eight years in captivity. Since females usually don't mate till they are two, that would make Riley a mature survivor (she had a litter of two this spring).

She's certainly looking matronly.

red squirrel

She can continue to live with us, but she'll have to enjoy the pine seeds and other treats she finds on her own. Hopefully, she won't bequeath her "den" to someone else.

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Ann said...

she did get plump. In that last picture I envision her with a pair of eye glasses and a

vanilla said...

Riley has prepared herself against a hard winter and a harsh hostess. ;-)

Secondary Roads said...

She is a chubster . . . no doubt about it.

Lin said...

it's the fur. She is NOT fat...the fur has just thickened for the winter.

Well...that's my excuse, anyway.

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