Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ninja Squirrels-Magic Feet

Every single person I know has feelings about squirrels.
Either they like them just fine, or they hate them with a purple passion.

Usually, those in the "hate" camp have good reason.
Squirrels like to nest indoors.
In your attic or in a hollow tree--makes no difference to a squirrel.
They do make large leaf nests if necessary, but hawks and owls tend to make quick meals of babies in those nests.

Back to your attic.
Not only do they make nests, but they make noise.
Particularly chewing noises.  
All day.
Their teeth grow all their lives and they need to keep them ground down.
They'll chew on wood, but they'll also chew on wires.
Before you know it, you have an electrocuted squirrel and a fire in your attic.
I can see why folks tend to dislike the little invaders.


photo credit: http://www.strangecosmos.com
But that's not why I'm here.
I'm in the "likes them just fine"camp.
I have no way for them to enter my attic (no trees nearby or downspouts), so I don't suffer from them taking up residence in my house.
Well, unless you count the fact that I bring them in on purpose.

I used to feed the birds----until my cat began using the feeder station as his own birdy buffet.
I loved the birds, but the squirrels were the ones that made me smile.
Some birders are driven to distraction by squirrels eating the bird food.
The market is full of Squirrel Proof Birdfeeders.
I found one that was $184!
I'm of the belief that all animals need to eat---why not squirrels?

Besides, with the ninja ability to hang upside down by their ankles, I don't think there really is any feeder that can keep them out.

 

Here, you can see the ginormous feet and toes on my oldest rehab baby.
One day, he'll be hanging from his toes eating something.  
He'll defy gravity and swallow his food--upside down.
But just how do squirrels manage their Tom Cruise-Mission Impossible moves?


They have magic feet.  
More particularly, they have magic ankles.
They can rotate their feet 180*.
It's like you turning your feet toward the back and walking the other way.
It's the thing that makes them able to climb down a tree as ably as they climb up.
They share this ability with raccoons, coatis and ringtails.

Whichever camp you fall in regarding squirrels, you have to admit it's a pretty cool trait to have.
Hanging by your toes, upside down and eating.
A whole new restaurant genre' could emerge.
It could save the economy.
It could create jobs.

I'll stop now.

6 comments:

  1. I am in the "like" group. I absolutely love to watch the little buggers play on trees. They are so nimble and quick running around in circles.
    Steph

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    1. Hi Steph,
      I love this time of year, when mating pairs race in circles on the trees----followed not too much later by a group of siblings playing in the same way.

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  2. That is so interesting. I had no idea they could hand upside down. I have a few in my yard and have watched they climb my bird feeder pole, but never any real acrobatics other than a flying leap onto a pole. thanks for sharing.

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  3. How very interesting! I'm in the like group...so are Fuzzy and Boomer! I think they are great friends to have playing around in a yard!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  4. Squirrels are awfully cute but they have done damage to my patio so I am no longer sympathetic to them.

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  5. I like these cute animals! Not so long ago I was a squirrel at New Year Party :)
    By the way, my friend identify me with squirrels :)

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