Thank you for saving the turtle! Maybe that will be a wake up call for him.
Thank you for saving the turtle! Maybe that will be a wake up call for him.
I've just read through your entire thread and wanted to say what an amazing job you've done raising and protecting your squirrel babies!
Your neighbour sounds like a very angry, immature, and unhinged person. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with such a toxic situation.
Have you been able to sit down with them and discuss this calmly yet?
How are your squirrels doing? How are you?
Current wild (outdoor) crew: Trillingen, Lilltjejen, & Storebror
My neighbor has completely ignored the whole "talking" thing.
However... he never put the owl back up and I just got he feeling he is the type to steamroller whoever he can until someone stands up to him.
I have rude customers all the time who we "kill with kindness" as a response. Sometimes that just doesn't work and they continue to use my staff as targets for no reason. Every now and then I will switch gears and call them out on it (diplomatically mostly) and more often than not they keep coming but lose the tude.
So, I had a reference point to make a judgement call after observing his behavior (or lack of.)
I re-released the trio this past Saturday with no fanfare or announcement. I didn't call to them and went out of my way to act as though nothing had happened.
I don't think they noticed most of the week although I'm pretty sure they've figured it out by now since the squeebs spend a decent amount of time hanging out on TOP of their RC.
So far, so good, other than my mini heart attacks every day when the hawks are out.
I didn't post here until now because I wasn't sure how it would go and wanted to wait until I could start posting POSITIVELY
I've spent a LOT of time observing them and just being visible and available, as it were.
First couple days they explored, but we're more cautious. Nugget, the oldest, has wilded up quick but they all stay together in the tree nestbox and often are together during the day as a trio or pair off.
I was worried about Grayson, who I thought might not be suited to living wild, but he has taken to the trees with a passion.
MineyMo is the most docile and still runs up on me and often races to me when spooked.
My heart is broken a little that Grayson seems disinterested in the snuggling he still demanded prior to release. He doesn't appear to be looking back for sure.
They use the RC hammock for daytime napping and go in looking for food, but they all ignore what I put out. They've eaten NOTHING I put in there except sunflower seeds and a few pecans.
Today, though, we've got a problem.
Grayson and MineyMo started climbing on the screen porch. The door has broken screen and if they get in, there's a chance the cats or dogs could get at them. They haven't approached the porch at all until today. Weird behavior.
Out of character, they were also climbing all over my husband who they used to just tolerate. I was out of town all day.
They're acting HUNGRY but still won't eat the food I leave out which they usually decimated before release.
It's almost as if they craved interaction but again, they mostly ignored me once I got home.
I need them to stay away from the screen porch and don't know how other than to SCARE them off, which I really don't want to do. A friend suggested sprinkling cayenne pepper around the porch. Does that work?
Grayson looks very thin but seels to be having a blast. MineyMo is super healthy looking but doesn't seem to be enjoying herself nearly as much. Seems unwilling to venture forth in play like her brothers who roll and tumble each other all the time. Hovers around the RC and "Home Tree" mostly. She does pair up with Grayson for exploring though. Normal behavior for females?
And today I noticed what appears to be bloody urine coming from Nugget. He acts normal, plays, runs, etc so I'm hoping he just ate a load of acorns. But I followed after him and examined some, and it sure looks like blood and smells coppery like blood. It's not orange-ish red like I've seen before with them after eating acorns.
Considering antibiotics if it's likely a UTI but he won't let me get near him anymore. I may be able to use the RC to get to him for treatment since he also goes in daily. But....dosage?????? Some help on that would be appreciated. I have a variety of prescription leftovers to choose from if I know what, how much, and for how long.
They are all MUCH more aware of their surroundings and spook more like the wild locals, which eases some of my fears.
I've watched them all get into scuffles with the locals. Mostly chases but also a rolling ball of two mad squirrels down the trunk of a tree.... rolling, squawking ball!......and I just didn't see any tree gripping going on. So, I think they literally rolled down.
No bodily damage yet, but Grayson has a few tufts missing here and there.
The boys seem bewildered and freaked out by the aggression.
But MineyMo is, forgive my language, a BADASS. She doesn't start the fights but she ends them in a flash. They may start to chase her, but within seconds she's the one in pursuit. While lounging in the RC the other day, a local ventured in and she kicked his BUTT. That squirrel launched himself out the little escape door so fast you'd think he'd been thrown. Back to her nap like nothing ever happened. She seems to be a live and let live squirrel but who's not afraid to swat a butt and go right back to mellow.
No more neighbor drama (no anything, actually) and I pray this is behind us. No neighbor war in sight. It's going to take awhile without more tantrums on his part to trust them again but I choose to have a calculated faith all will be better. I'm willing. I'll be fine with a cool neutral even.
So, I've survived despite feeling a bit like an abandoned mother They're doing pretty well though, I think, despite some hiccups and adjustment and Nugget's possible UTI. And the dreaded hawks. But I've got more shiny twirlygigs all over and their wilder instincts seem to be developing. I'm still worried sick, but not petrified and outside with them dawn to dark.
I know it's a long update....with more questions to the more experienced to hopefully answer... but this time we're on the upswing!!!!!!
Glad all is going relatively well. :-) Here are a few thoughts that support some of the experiences you questioned.
It was my personal experience that the moment I released them to come and go from their RC, they never ate another vegetable, only nuts. I know it is said to put food out for them, to support their transition, and that makes complete sense. But mine never ate any of it. I did have a yard full of trees and shrubs and a garden, so I think they found it more fun to find their food than to have it provided. I do feel that if they needed it, they would have eaten it, so it is still a good practice to begin with.
It was also my experience, that my friendliest release, will most always choose my husband to run up to for a nut when we are outside. This baffles me. He had no part in their care, he never fed them or rubbed their bellies. They saw him a lot, but he was not their caretaker. Every once in a while when they were inside, my husband would hold up his hand to let them sniff, they held back. But once they were outside and free, the friendly one, ran up his leg! The other has wilded up and wonít approach anyone but me, not even my husband. If a human appears in the yard, she is gone and fast. But interestingly, if I am the only person around, she seeks me out. And will even peek in a window looking for me. However, I had to go through a period where she wanted nothing to do with me for a while. I did have the abandoned feeling, but I overcame it with, ďthis is why I raised them, to live their own lives freeĒ. I am overjoyed that she has chosen to return as an autonomous friend. Maybe she needed to see that I would accept her on her own termsÖI did.
As for your screen issues, Iím not aware of any repellant that will work 100% on a determined squirrel. Iíve had my favorite wild chew a hole in my screen door. This is what I am going to do, - Iím going to figure out how to attach 1/2 inch hardware cloth to the screen door. That way the screen will keep the bugs out, and the hardware cloth will keep the squirrels out. I donít know if I will rivet it on, or sew it onÖ.that is this summers project, otherwise I will have to keep the glass closed and it will be hot. I want the screens to open!
Glad to know my squirrels aren't the only ones determined to just eat nuts. They do seem to enjoy foraging! Problem is, it's so novel to them THEY AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION to anything else. Like hawks. And they're out there throughout the day when all the sensible wild ones are making themselves scarce and decorating the tree limbs.
Kind of as a morbid humor joke, I'm considering Googling and printing out some (small !!) owl photos and taping them to the screens, acing out. But I came home today to Miney and one of my real live cats nose to nose through the screen. Miney seemed curious. My cat seemed serious. I seemed anxious.
As for the hardware cloth, a few small pilot holes into the metal frame and some short, wide head machine screws should do the trick. They sell the hardware cloth in standard widths that should fit, if I remember correctly.
Thanks for your thoughts!
It sounds like your guys are adjusting quite well.
I'm sorry I can't help with the dosing for a UTI. For dosing meds I have discovered that most hazelnuts, once gently cracked open, can have the meat gently cut in half and you will find a little hollow center. I put antibiotic inside there and then used coconut oil to "glue" it shut, and put it in the fridge to harden.
As far as squirrels on the screen. I'm not sure how you can keep them away. ALL of the squirrels here run all over everyone's screen enclosures. I have cats as well and they jump up on the screen and are nose to nose with the squirrels all the time. I yell at the cats. I just make sure the integrity of all the doors and screen panels is good. My enclosure is quite large (over a pool) so hardware cloth isn't an option. But for you that may be the safest choice, because I think it will be very difficult to keep your squirrels off the screens. Also, make sure there is no squirrel food kept on the patio.