Suburban Squirrels

We've been feeding a couple of grey squirrels who hang around our backyard, and in the process learning all about squirrel behavior.

These are apparently Eastern Grey Squirrels, even though we're in California. Our native Western Greys live in the mountains and don't hang around populated areas. The Eastern Greys are smaller than Western Greys, have shorter tails and lots of red and brown highlights in their fur.


[Notch] The first squirrel to show an interest in us had a big round notch in her right ear, as if someone had taken a hole-punch to it. I called the squirrel Notch.


[Nonotchka] After we'd been feeding Notch for a few weeks, another squirrel showed up. It was early December, and according to other squirrel sites on the web, that was mating season. Since we'd been calling Notch "he", we decided the newcomer was "she", and since she had no ear notch, Dave dubbed her Nonotchka. (Later we found out that they were both females, when a young male -- one of Notch's sons, we think -- began showing up.)

Stalking the Wild Nut

[Stalking] They're used to us now, and usually come scampering right up to the door when they're hungry. But sometimes they're leery and decide it's better to sneak up on the nuts so they don't run away.

(Also includes information on our squirrels' food preferences.)

The Force Field

[Force Field] Nonotchka has gotten quite used to us, and will climb up a pantsleg to get to a tasty tidbit. But Notch is still rather nervous. Apparently we humans have a force field around us which is difficult to penetrate.

Squirresaurus Rex

[Squirresaurus Rex] Squirrels have amazingly long claws, and close up they can look like a miniature furry T. rex.

Nonotchka at the Door

[Nonotchka at the Door] We have the squirrels trained now to come to the office door and make noise when they're visiting.

When we leave the house during the afternoons, Notch very often shows up begging for a nut as soon as we return. (Who needs a dog when you can be greeted upon your return by a wild squirrel?) She's figured out that the car returning means nut-givers will be around.


[Ringtail] Nonotchka, alas, comes no more, and we fear the worst. But another squirrel began to visit: a strange female with long rear legs, an odd gait and an extremely long tail, ringed like a raccoon.

Chiquita and Scrape, Ringtail's babies

[Chiquita and Scrape] Ringtail was merely an occasional visitor for several months until one day she showed up with her two babies.

LG -- not really a little guy

[LG] LG stands for "Little Guy", though in the three years we've known him he's grown into a burly, confident adult.

Millie likes birdseed

[Millie at the bird feeder] I always read about squirrels raiding bird feeders, but Millie is the first we've had who will touch birdseed.

Black squirrel with a red tail!

[Black squirrel with a red tail] We've increasingly seen black squirrels, though they're still quite rare compared to the grey ones. But in December 2012 we were visited by a gorgeous black squirrel with a red tail. First time I've seen that combination!

Little Blackie

[LB, or Little Blackie, our black squirrel] Little Blackie or LB, our friendly black squirrel, and our last squirrel "pet" before we moved out of the San Jose house.

Other Squirrel Sites

Jon's World o' Squirrels is a fun site with lots of useful information.
Akkana's Photo Page.
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