A couple of days back, I went outside and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw what looked like a furry creature by my feet. It didn't take long for me to realise that it was a squirrel tail, neatly svered from its previous owner.
A few blood spots heading off into the garden suggest what the fate of the wee nut-eater was.
Does anyone have any ideas what might have befallen the poor thing? They seem pretty fleet of foot to me - too fast for a fox. A cat perhaps?
Probably a fox, or cat left a gift after eating it's carcass. I get all sorts from Mr Fox that visits us on a daily basis. But please, do not mourn it's loss though, Hugh; squirrels are pests, they expelled the indigenous red squirrel (can't recall seeing a red one for decades), plus the common grey squirrels eat bird eggs, & their newly hatched chicks.
Nothing more joyful than watching the finches and robins eating out the bird feeder in the morning
Squirrels are wonderful, harmless- smart animals.
Feeding two in my garden peanuts for years.
They play chase with my cat.
They are not pests at all, IMO.
Mine are harmless, they knock on the back door for their peanuts in the morning and exist quite happily alongside the local cats. They make a right old mess of my flowerpots... but worth it to watch the baby grow up last year, who now looks like she's about to have a little arrival of her own.
"mine are harmless.."
nice sentiment, maybe your heart's in the right place but come on, please - they only eat what you give them? You can't be that naive.
Don't be fooled by a rat's fur coat. They still carry vials disease, and they definitely eat baby chicks and bird eggs. I would prefer beautiful little birds in my garden than squirrels, any day.
Top of the food chain in my garden are Magpies. In the last two weeks I have seen one take a chick from a Thrush nest and attempt (though didn’t see if it succeeded) to take a kit from a Squirrel dray. Not pleasant to watch but they have chicks to feed I suppose.
It's highly unlikely to be a cat, it would consider them too large a prey, and squirrels can fight back, it's the fox's long snout that has the advantage. They are a pest, try getting one on the loft with the amount of damage they can do.
In all likelihood a fox caught and ate it, and a cat left its remains for you, Hugh. A friend with a Bengal cat says it catches the odd squirrel and brings it to them (as a gift). Not sure an ordinary tabby would be capable, though.
Thank you for confirming they are pests WG. I also know people that have had them in their lofts where they chewed through electrical cables nearly causing a fire. They were very lucky as this was in the days before RCD's.
I regularly observe birds chirping away frantically to distract a squirrel in their vicinity, or to warn other birds of the danger. Like rats, the squirrel has very sensitive hearing, so the birds are doing their best to disorientate it.
Moral of the story, don't feed it, or mourn the death of a baby (chick) psycho killer!!
Grey squirrels are officially classed as "an invasive, non-native species" and you can treat them as pests." If you are getting rid of them you have to follow certain rules to do so "humanely".
I personally agree that they are a negative feature in my garden. I would much prefer to have red ones around. They are quite agressive with the birds in my garden and do a lot of damage to the trees stripping the young apples and digging up plants in thier hunt for nuts, etc.
I've been watching Crows attacking squirrels on the roof tops of Hewitt Rd recently too. (I've seen them attacking Gulls as well, they do not seem to be afraid of anything!).
How interesting & although it is changing the subject....
Last week I was inside on my computer and heard a 'commotion' that had been going on for quite a few minutes - it was clearly the sound of birds squawking. It was coming from directly up above my back garden. At the moment, there is very little background city humdrum due to the lockdown. The weather was sunny and very clear, no clouds at all. The screeching was distracting enough that I had to go out to see what it was all about.
I looked up and saw a relatively large flock of gulls (15-20ish) 'attacking' what looked like a couple of birds of prey. It could have been/seemed defensive. The gulls were flying in many directions with individual ones approaching/making swipes at the birds of prey which were flying separately.
You could defintely notice the different outlines between the gulls and the BOP. It was at a good altitude and too high up for me to id the birds of prey.....osprey, falcon, kestrel?? It was too high to be, and the shape didn't look like owls. I doubt they would have been flying at around midday anyway.
It went on for at least 10 minutes until the birds of prey had flown high enough and the flock of gulls flew off. Amazing!
When I was a teenager in N Wales we would get a tanner (6p) bounty for a grey squirrel tail, the rest went in a stew - needed quite a few for a family meal. A few years ago Budgens in Crouch End were selling squirrel meat but had to stop because of protests.
People can eat chicken, pork, beef, fish and more but not squirrel? Hypocrisy....