Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ginger, Tree Squirrels and Shadow

These tree squirrels breed in the roof of the house and come out during the day. They are very skittish and until now, I'd not been able to get a photo of them. Earlier this week I heard them making quite a noise (they utter harsh clicking sounds) and went to investigate. I found this squirrel sitting on the branch...

The tree squirrel (Paraxerus cepapi) is named because of its association with woodland, and its use of trees as resting places. They vary in colour throughout their distributional range, and are diurnal. A conspicuous feature of their behaviour when under threat is 'mobbing': all the members of the colony make harsh clicking sounds while they flick their tails, building up momentum and gradually getting louder. In some areas they are solitary, or are found in small family groups: a lone tree squirrel relies on its wits when in danger and always keeps a branch or the trunk of a tree between it and the enemy. This species regularly forages on the ground, looking for roots, grasses, leafbuds, berries and insects such as ants.

The tree squirrel is always alert, and when alarmed, it will run away at great speed, making for the nearest tree where it will lie motionless, flattened against a branch. The young (usually one to three) are born in a tree hollow lined with leaves and grass. The young remain until they are strong enough to brave the outside world, which is usually about three weeks. Tree squirrels are diligent in their grooming and a mother tree squirrel will hold her offspring down with her forelegs while grooming the little animal with licks, nibbles and the use of her claws. Food brought back to the nest is reserved for the parents only, and the young have to learn to find solid food for themselves from the time they are weaned.

Source: //

...very agitated because...

...Ginger was walking past!

Thanks to all who've enquired I've had many enquiries about Shadow. This crazy Sudanese-born-South-African-tranplanted-soon-to-be-East African cat is very well! I don't think he misses us as Albie is taking very good care of him. She walks him daily, he's eating well and she tells us he is getting to know the other cats in the kennels. The cats are all in separate cages but can see each other and socialize at their leisure!

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  1. Beautiful blog post, Jo. Ginger is adorable, but of course my heart belongs to Shadow. I'm wondering how they will get along, but I'm glad to hear Shadow is doing well at Albie's.
    Luv, K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Our squirrels in Belgium and also Germany are red and much smaller. In the UK I saw grey once for the first time and the are much bigger and not so shy. They don't have any problems with cats either. I think Shadow is nice where he is, it's better for him than to fly again in another country ! Ginger is a nice "replacement" at least you are not catless !

  3. Ginger has such a beautiful face. The way Shadow is sitting, it looks like she has 6 toes on her right paw.

  4. We only have brown and gray here. The pictures are great. The previous photo is amazing. Love it.

  5. Cute shots of the squirrel and Ginger. Ginger is a beauty.

  6. These are marvellous pictures, Jo! And an enjoyable post as always :)


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