Today at Kingsford – Rusty the Squirrel

Rusty the squirrel

Meet Rusty. He is one of four or five “Gray” Squirrels we have visiting our feeders on a regular basis. He’s been coming for at least half the winter. He stands out from the rest by his strangely coloured tail, which looks a bit like a hair-bleaching job gone bad. It makes him easy to track, even when we see him away from the feeders in the yard or across the street.

Blackie the squirrel

The second is Blackie. Blackie may actually be two squirrels, I haven’t been able to determine that for certain. He generally keeps to himself when he is here, keeping out of trouble. He’s also the only one to show up alone later in the day (which is what makes me think there may actually be two black individuals). The third is Hi-ho-Silver. I don’t happen to have a photo of Silver, he doesn’t come around too often, although he’s here regularly enough to have garnered a name. (Note I’m referring to them all as “he” but I really don’t know their respective sexes.)

Rusty and Brownie the squirrels

And then there’s Brownie. I think of Brownie as a youngster, the baby of the group. He seems subordinate to the rest, although he is also stubborn and persistent. “No” doesn’t really seem to mean a lot to him. In particular, he has his eye on the platform feeder.

Rusty and Brownie the squirrels

However, the platform feeder is Rusty’s domain. Rusty is definitely the dominant squirrel of the group. He doesn’t take kindly to other squirrels invading his personal space while he is eating (he hates the sound their teeth make, clicking together while they chew). Most of the squirrels respect this, and will eat at the small hanging feeder (which requires some acrobatics to reach, but isn’t that hard) or on the ground under the platform.

Rusty and Brownie the squirrels

But not Brownie. Brownie pushes his luck. I watched him try to climb on to the platform feeder five times in the space of as many minutes, perhaps trying to sneak over a corner while Rusty’s back was turned. Maybe if he was lucky grabbing a mouthful of seeds. Rusty was having none of it. He was more alert than that, and the minute Brownie landed on the platform Rusty was after him.

Rusty and Brownie the squirrels

He’d chase him around the platform and then over the edge, where Brownie would leap to the supporting pole and scurry to the ground, or over to the deck railing and then away, depending on the direction Rusty forced him.

Rusty the squirrel

His personal space secured, Rusty gets back to the serious business of enjoying his lunch.

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5 responses to “Today at Kingsford – Rusty the Squirrel

  1. Oh, these are marvelous images wrapped up in a blanket of beautiful experience. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who names the marvelous creatures gracing me with their collective presence–at least so long as I can recognize them from one encounter to the next.

    Rusty is stunning, an absolutely beautiful creature. I had to laugh at the “hair-bleaching job gone bad” comment. So true! But that makes him one fantastic sight to behold.

  2. Very nice to meet your squirrel friends. Thank you for introducing us. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. :)

  3. What great squirrel pictures! amazing you were able to capture the whole scene on film! love it :-)

  4. what a lovely series of photos and you’ve obviously observed the dynamics of these squirrels really well. Thanks for sharing

  5. I am a serious squirrel lover. I have many stories about them on my Adventures In Nature Blog. I’d love it if you’d stop by. My pictures aren’t at all as nice as yours, I just snap the most rudimentary things while feeding or balancing something in the other hand. But there are many under the squirrel tag on the right of the blog page.

    http://naturegirrrl.blogspot.com/

    I do some rehab (at the center where I volunteer, we got in 1200 orphaned and hurt or ill baby squirrles during hurricane Ike) adn we got in a few black “greys”. None with a red tail. We all loved them. They were bigger than the greys or Fox squirrels, but as cranky and feisty as the greys. The fox or red squirrels are more likely to imprint on humans, we found.

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