Saturday, July 23, 2011

Camera Critters: Squirrel

I discovered a strange thing in my string beans on Thursday:
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This squirrel lives in the trees that line my street and comes to visit my balcony in search of pine seeds. Recently, it has discovered the suet I put out for the birds. At first I thought the robin was eating it all, but then a big chunk was gone after 10 minutes, no way the robin eats that much suet. I'll need to get a feeder so that the birds actually get the suet, the squirrel has to make do with the pine seeds.
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It's a Red or European Squirrel (Sciurus vulgraris), the native species in Europe. Introduced grey squirrels from North America have begun to displace the species, in Great Britain in particular.
The fur is thinner during the summer and both the tail and the ear tufts will be much bushier during the winter. Some squirrels loose the ear tufts completely during the summer.
Norse mythology features a red squirrel that runs up and down Yggdrasil, carrying messages. It's called Ratatoskr
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