Thursday 15 March 2012

Red Romance

It's that time of year again! I spent some time this morning watching 2 squirrels at one of our feeders. One, which I presume to be the female, was taking food from the feeder and trying to eat it, while getting constant harassment from the other (I guess the male). Occasionally she would have a wild chase round the trees with him for several minutes, but then went back to her nuts and ignoring him. The male did lots of flirting to try and interest her, which generally didn't work. All very entertaining.

Red squirrels do mate pretty early. This allows them to have a second litter later in the summer if conditions are good. The first litter of kittens are usually born in late April or May up here, but won't be out and about until after mid summer.

Chasing through the trees is common courtship behaviour

We wish the squirrels great success and I hope the female gets more interested in the male's attentions because we have lost a fair number of squirrels here over the winter. Although the weather has been kind, the roads have not, and we also lost 2 squirrels that got blown out of a tree whilst asleep together in their drey.

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