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Are red squirrels insane?

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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 18:30   #1
gthang
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Are red squirrels insane?

I was just watching a red squirrel.

He would be foraging quietly for food under the leaves, then all of a sudden, flip out and dive up a tree. after pausing for a while, it would go back down to the leaves. then he went back up again.

Other times, he would be getting closer to the house, and suddenly, he would head the opposite direction, as if something was out to get him (I know how he feels...). then as he was heading back, he would pause on the rock wall (out of my sight), and suddenly I saw something fly onto the tree next to the rock wall. He then kept about his business of diving up trees and foraging. occasionally, he would just about go ballistic with himself.

Now, my question: Are red squirrels insane crazy, crazy insane, both, or neither?
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 18:32   #2
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 18:52   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
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Where are you today Steve?.

Probably not insane. just paranoid, because something is out to get them if they're not!.
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 18:53   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
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been at the brandy again?
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 19:18   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang
I was just watching a red squirrel.

He would be foraging quietly for food under the leaves, then all of a sudden, flip out and dive up a tree. after pausing for a while, it would go back down to the leaves. then he went back up again.

Other times, he would be getting closer to the house, and suddenly, he would head the opposite direction, as if something was out to get him (I know how he feels...). then as he was heading back, he would pause on the rock wall (out of my sight), and suddenly I saw something fly onto the tree next to the rock wall. He then kept about his business of diving up trees and foraging. occasionally, he would just about go ballistic with himself.

Now, my question: Are red squirrels insane crazy, crazy insane, both, or neither?
Well I don't know about red squirrels as we sadly don't get any on my part of the UK .... but the greys we have in the garden have all at various times displayed the sort of behaviour you descirbe. I prefer not to think of it as insanity (I don't like the idea of insane squirrels in my loft) more a spring induced "joie de vivre" ...........we have one currently that quite frequently spends the odd 5 minutes doing somersaults, on its own, quite obviously just for the hell of it !!
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 19:34   #6
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I think i saw some greys mating earlier this morning, not a nice thought...

They were chasing each other, literally tail to nose, endlessly around the trunks of trees, down the length of the rock wall, somersaulting over each other, tumbling around, rolling downhill, and at some points, saw what could have be some humping....... (yuk.).

Crazy squirrels...
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 19:51   #7
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We get crazy Red Squirrels in our garden here in Germany.
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 20:13   #8
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Gaz, yours are long eared. We get reddish versions of gray squirrels. they look like chipmunks but twice as big. But they are smaller than greys. they are probably around 2/3rds the size of a grey.
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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 22:44   #9
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Hi Gthang,

I'd guess yours was trying to attract a mate.

On squirrels: American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and European Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) are two different species.

American Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is introduced in Europe, so is now found on both sides of the Pond, though it is only native to America.

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Old Tuesday 6th April 2004, 23:43   #10
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Michael: Which squirrel are you referring to?

Regarding the Genus part of scientific name, it bodes well with their personalities! they are "scurius" little buggers!

It's a bugger when you have no baffle.
Aw crikey! He's at it again, fo' shizzle.
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 06:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
Hi Gthang,

I'd guess yours was trying to attract a mate.

On squirrels: American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and European Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) are two different species.

American Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is introduced in Europe, so is now found on both sides of the Pond, though it is only native to America.

Michael
And from an snippet on Radio 4 this morning it sounds as though the Cumbrian Red Squirrel is a distinct subspecies.

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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 06:35   #12
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I heard that too - I put this site in my favourites ages ago:

http://www.oakhurstgardencentre.com/wildlife.htm

My sister (in Crosby) had one running along her garden wall a few months ago!

I've found the thread where I mentioned this:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ghlight=crosby

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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 08:55   #13
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"It's a bugger when you have no baffle.
Aw crikey! He's at it again, fo' shizzle"

Nevermind the squirrel, are you crazy :)
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 13:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang
I think i saw some greys mating earlier this morning, not a nice thought...

They were chasing each other, literally tail to nose, endlessly around the trunks of trees, down the length of the rock wall, somersaulting over each other, tumbling around, rolling downhill, and at some points, saw what could have be some humping....... (yuk.).

Crazy squirrels...
I'm curious as to why the disgust at seeing Gray Squirrels? I understand why Europeans don't like them but Gray Squirrels are native to the Eastern US and once provided a mature food source to the early settlers.
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 13:49   #15
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they're everywhere.... on the feeders, digging holes in our yard, being chased by naighborhood pets, climbing trees, and who knows where else...

Although they're cute, they're nuisances nevertheless.
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Old Wednesday 7th April 2004, 14:16   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bigg
My sister (in Crosby) had one running along her garden wall a few months ago!

I've found the thread where I mentioned this:

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=8183&highlight=crosby
I hadn't realised that there were any reds in Crosby. I thought they were all pretty much confined to the Freshfield/Formby area. I shall have to keep a look out next time I'm up that way. From what I remember, you said your sister lived near what used to be referred to as `Crosby Baths' when I lived up there - but which I believe is now an up market leisure centre !!

Edit : Just went off for a quick google and found this site :

http://www.seftoncoast.org.uk/redsquirrel.html

Some of the links off here are v. interesting if you are interested in the red squirrels population of this area.

Last edited by AnnieW : Wednesday 7th April 2004 at 14:24.
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 15:15   #17
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Just simply playing, maybe? And it's a reason why we love them...
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 15:26   #18
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Following up on earlier comments about Grey's on this side of the pond, I read an article in the Times a couple of days ago which suggested that they were indeed a good food source, even citing an article from the '40's with recipe suggestions.

So that's the solution to our Grey problem, cull them and eat them. It will help the Red's and we can look forward to such delights as Squirrel Tikka Massalla and Seared Squirrel Steak with a Redcurrant Jus.

By the way, I'm having a Dinner Party and if..........no, not really.

Interestingly, if you catch a Grey, it is illegal to release it into the wild.
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 15:56   #19
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Squirrel recipe.

It's funny you should say this - in today's Guardian there is a recipe for a grey squirrel dish - and suggestions for cooking other species whose numbers are over-large!!

It's quite graphic - not for the squeamish - it suggests leaving the squirrel heads on - "the eyes will cloud over like opals in the heat of the fire"!!! (Under the grill, actually).

Read it here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0...191223,00.html
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 16:05   #20
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The 'Let's Eat The Squirrel Problem' campaign is well and truly under way it seems, Elizabeth!
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 17:17   #21
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Glad to hear something's being done to rid us of these grey pests!
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 18:10   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bigg
It's funny you should say this - in today's Guardian there is a recipe for a grey squirrel dish - and suggestions for cooking other species whose numbers are over-large!!

It's quite graphic - not for the squeamish - it suggests leaving the squirrel heads on - "the eyes will cloud over like opals in the heat of the fire"!!! (Under the grill, actually).
Actually the critter should be skinned, the paws, tail and head should be removed, the body should be cut up into pieces as you would a chicken, and then it should be cooked in one of two ways:

(1) Floured, seasoned and fried in a cast iron skillet, or

(2) Seasoned and cooked in your favorite stew recipe.

At least that's the way we'all do it in the South here. And the recipe is the same for grey, red, black or fox...



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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2004, 22:53   #23
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Grey squirrel - common name = tree rat :)
 
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Old Wednesday 4th August 2004, 02:01   #24
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Talking black squirril

Black squirrils are found in small colonys throughout northern Ohio and behave the same as their red cousins
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Old Wednesday 4th August 2004, 07:54   #25
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I was watching two (a pair?) of Red Squirrels in the park over the road with my daughter (2.5) yesterday afternoon. They were certainly enjoying themselves, chasing each other round and round the trunk of a pine tree - playing hide-and-seek, it seemed, for one would suddenly belt away higher up the tree leaving the other going round and round alone, until the higher one came running down and chased the other. Very entertaining. They were also foraging amongst the litter left (unfortunately!) by the homeless sleepers (unfortunates) who populate the park.
Also saw a single one minus ear-tufts, and am wondering if that's a juvenile?
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