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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
Squirrels have amazingly long claws, and close up they can look like a
miniature furry T. rex.
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.
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.
Ringtail was merely an occasional
visitor for several months until one day she showed up with
her two babies.
LG stands for "Little Guy", though in the three years we've known
him he's grown into a burly, confident adult.
I always read about squirrels raiding bird feeders, but Millie is
the first we've had who will touch birdseed.