146Days #220 Eastern Fox Squirrel
After a bit of research the most common squirrel in the Portland Metro area and our yard turns out to be an Eastern Fox Squirrel. It was introduced in the 1920’s as a pet and released into the wild. They became such a problem in our neighborhood that one of the houses has dozens of dinner plate sized holes in it where the squirrels have taken up residence.
A family of them decided our attic was awesome. We did not like them cavorting overhead all night long. They don’t quietly creep along the rafters, they bound, leap and chase all night long. When they began chewing the wires we trapped and moved them to a legal rehab place where they could winter over and be returned to the wilds in the spring.
After some rewiring and mending, all was well for a year or two, then a bigger family moved it. In the end we had our house covered with wire mesh and stuccoed and that solved the problem. Guess they do not love eating through concrete. Kind of an expensive solution.
So now they build huge nests (view a squirrel nest here http://wp.me/p26SoR-aV ) in the tops of trees to live in and rob the bird feeders for any seeds. They also love strawberries. It is so disappointing to reach down to pick a juicy red berry only to discover the entire other side is missing with the teeth marks of the squirrel clearly in the meat of the berry. The hazelnuts are also a favorite. Since so many grow in our yard, we have given up trying to save any nuts and let the squirrels and Stellars Jays enjoy them.
Really who can resist this sweet little beggar?
So we do what any kind-hearted person does, we feed them, which bring more house eating, noisy squirrels. They are so clever that if they cannot chew up the bird feeder, or unhook it, or slide down the wire they simply chew off the branch it hangs from.
This specie is so common and has been here for nearly a hundred years it’s time we accepted them as adorable, irresistible, pesky natives of the West and East and simply call them Fox Squirrels.