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Nesting Squirrel

Just A Short Story

by Dan Hartman
July 28, 2012

In early June Cindy looked out our cabin window in time to see a mother squirrel bound across the grass and stuff a baby in to an aspen cavity. For the next week we observed her slipping into the tree holes now and then to tend to her young, then about a week later saw the first little one emerge. For a couple days the baby squirrels, (turns out there were three), would climb up and down the aspen snag with mom watching protectively from a nearby tree. If a marten or fox would appear, a sharp bark sent them scrambling back into the cavity.

Soon the squirrels were venturing farther. Two were always together chasing around through the trees. The third was a loner. Days passed and we watched the youngsters gain confidence. Then one day the two that were always together were lying on the highway. The loner was now really alone. Soon after, mom disappeared. Now we felt like squirrel parents. Every morning he would chatter outside our bedroom window and we would place a handful of seeds on the porch. One day a fox caught him too far from the trees. A wild chase ended with the fox ten feet up a tree being scolded by our squirrel perched safely above.

A couple of weeks passed when we realized our momma squirrel was back and she was going in and out of that same cavity! Sure enough, after a few days, three baby squirrels emerged. Here we go again!

I hiked into the owl chicks. They were harder to find and if it hadnít have been for a scolding nuthatch, I might not have located them at all. The chicks were perched near each other. I couldnít locate an adult, but I assure you, he was somewhere nearby.

Photos

View slide show

Baby Squirrel

Nesting Cavity

Mom With Baby

Babies Leaving Their Cavity

Begging For Food

Owl Chick

Wing Stretch




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