Is it OK to feed my little garden squirrel?

  • In reply to Anna B:

    Anna B, thanks for sharing your thoughts. That's brilliant about the blackbirds waiting to be fed. Gosh, yes it is such an amazing privilege to have wildlife come so close and it's so exciting and enjoyable to watch and enjoy the little critters! You sound like me, I live alone but I admit I spend quite a bit on the birds and squirrels. I realise that I now have two little squirrels. One has bravely sneaked back, its a young squirrel but it's absolutely terrified of Hamish who is still holding the Fort. He is a bit of a bully boy! The little one I think is a young male, I've just given it a name. I've called it "Nutmeg" it seems to be starving and desperate compared to Hamish. and
     Today I caught it going up the pole to the bird feeders! I didn't chase it, I wouldn't frighten them or the birds but I have put some vegetable oil on part of the pole just in the middle of it. Hopefully it will stop the little beggar stealing birdie food! I had a huge raven up on the tree just there eating a suet block I hung up yesterday. It was amazing to see it so close up. It was absolutely huge and very beautiful. It was lovely to see it wiping it's beak clean on the branches after it's dinner. I especially love the little gold finches. They are have such beautiful colours. They are very bright. They have a very relaxed manner whilst eating. They enjoy the sunflower hearts. They group round together for ages eating whereas the other small birds tend to swoop in and take a pick and fly off to the bushes and trees and go back and forth. The goldfinches perch for ages eating their little hearts out they seem very relaxed and don't startle like the other birds do. In fact often if the other birds, especially pigeons get a fright and set every bird flying off the goldfinches will look to see if is a genuine threat and much of the time they carry on feeding without panicking in the slightest. I don't know about you but I adore the little blue tits. See the way they move their sweet little heads around. They are so cute! The little markings and colours on their faces. What kind of bird food do you buy Anna? See I need to find a half decent bird seed to scatter, because the pigeons now wait for me, they have me fully wrapped round their little beaks!!! 

  • Hi Tracy, you sound as if you have a lovely selection of visitors. I've only seen a squirrel in my garden once or twice, but have a great variation of birds at different times. I like the goldfinches also; they've really increased in numbers in the last few years I've noticed. I've tried all kinds of bird food but now I mainly put sunflower hearts out ( a big bag from B&M works out economically for me), I also put some fat balls, or more recently fat candles (I think that's what they're called) and a bit of Robin food, which has dried insects in it.
    When the birds are nesting I buy live mealworms & put a few out to help the parents feed their young. Mind you, once the news is out that mealworms are on the menu all the birds in the neighbourhood are lining up to get some. They are expensive, so I have to be a bit mean with them, but all in all I don't think any birds in my garden ever go hungry!
    I love Bluetits as well & we have nestbox camera, but that can be quite traumatic to watch as things don't always go to plan in nature & we've had some disastrous years with no fledglings. We've also had up to 12 fledglings some years though, so it's just pot luck how things go, it would seem.
    I think pigeons will eat pretty much anything, at least they seem to do so in my garden, I don't think they're too fussy to be honest. :)

    Regards, AnnaB

    https://thesebootsrmade4walkin.blogspot.co.uk/

  • That sounds like fun Anna B. Lol
  • Hello Tracy,

    Grey squirrels can become pests in the garden, however, they are part of nature even though they were not native to this country originally.

    They can become very territorial, we have quite a few that visit our garden, and provide many amusing moments, but then we do seem to be gifted with total headcases for squirrels.

    When I say headcases, I make no exaggeration, they regularly chase each other round the garden and more often than not, run head on and crash into each other. If you don't believe me, see this video I put on YouTube some time back...

    GARDEN VISITORS: Crash get out of here

    A word of caution, grey squirrel will dig holes in any grass that you have, it is a perfectly natural thing for the to do, as they stash their food away for a later day to eat.

    They can also gnor away at feeders, so be prepared for a little expense, but they can and will provide amusing moments.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice Mike and I look forward to viewing your video. I love the squirrels and birds equally, and I admit that I have become quite attached to the little beggars! And yes they are fun to watch. I have saved many YouTube videos of them doing crazy things. I also follow a vlog on Seymour the squirrel, well worth checking out eating his avocado. There is absolutely nothing more adorable than watching him eating! Personally I don't mind them digging. They're just doing their thing and it's really Cuteness overload to watch them do it. They only dig little holes. I did laugh to find tiny little holes in my potted flowers. I found it very amusing! I even found the shells of peanuts which I found hysterically funny. I love all animals with a passion. I hate cruelty. Nutmeg did get up at the feeders and destroyed one. But it didn't know how to use the squirrel Feeder. As long as they have access to their own food then they stay away from the bird feeding station. I have greased the pole halfway up, so they will not be able to climb it. Hamish does not touch the feeders. He is the boss, I think I will put up another feeder for Nutmeg so he can eat without being terrified by Hamish. They are amazing and I have grown very fond of them. I do get scared someone will harm them. I don't encourage them too close incase they get in or go to people who would hurt them. Not everyone loves animals. I look forward to enjoying your video. There is a video on YouTube called "squirrels are funnier than cats" I may not have the title correct but I think you can find it anyway. I actually laughed till I cried so enjoy!
  • Tracey, you're welcome.

    Grey squirrels do have a very cheeky nature about them, often we have one that will stand on it's hind feet, just like a meercat...

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • I really enjoyed your YouTube video Mike B with the squirrels. You should post some more videos and longer ones. Made me laugh
  • I really enjoyed your YouTube video Mike B with the squirrels. You should post some more videos and longer ones. Made me laugh
  • You're welcome Tracy.

    I tend to do more still photography than video, but there are plenty more to view, not just the squirrels, other visitor to our garden, day and night.

    The following are some more recent videos I've posted to YouTube:

    BLACKBIRD ON FOUNTAIN