Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Screaming Squirrels Day 13

I've lived in my building 3 and a half years. I've never woken up before to such loud racket. It sounded like the velociraptors from Jurassic Park were throwing a block party at 7 AM.

After checking on Theodore and Polar Bear (both asleep), I stumbled outside to find our superintendent trying to persuade two healthy, screaming squirrels away from the back doors and to the trees.

"Loud, crazy squirrels," he yelled to me, leaning on his broom.

Yes, I agreed, uncomfortably aware that I was concealing a smaller, quieter one inside the building. What a weird coincidence!

He asked me what I thought and I told him they were adolescents who likely wandered out of their drey to explore. Their mother would come back and collect them if we could just be patient.

"Oh, I thought they were sick," he said, and we spent the next few minutes watching them and marveling at their fat, awkward bodies. They were nearly adult in appearance (I'm talking Polar Bear sized), but ridiculously helpless. I'd guess they were around 10 weeks old. They froze and screamed any time we came within three yards.

I had to leave, but eventually their busy mother did come back and escort them back up into the trees.

It is a lot quieter now.

I've never heard any noise like that come out of my squirrel. He is for the most part silent now. In our first week, he would quack quietly when he wanted milk, but now that he is on a set feeding schedule, he doesn't even do that. Could it be Polar Bear's silent-as-a-monk influence? Maybe he cries when I am away?

I don't know...

but those squirrels were loud and fat.

Would-be squirrel rescuers: You should wait several hours (if the baby is not in critical condition) before intervening when you come across a young squirrel. You can't assume they are orphaned. 

Sometimes they stumble or fall out of the nest while their mom is out. She will carry them back in when she returns. When they are nearly adult-size their mom takes them outside to train them in squirrel activities. 

You don't want one of those little guys screaming all day in your home. Put your pets inside and check back later. If the squirrel is healthy and not too cold, it's best to wait til dark.

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