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Thread: Behavior Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Behavior Questions

    Okay, I have two questions, they're not at all urgent, just out of my own curiousity.

    1. What does it mean when the little squirrels make that purring noise? I originally thought they did it when they were frustrated, but my Willeh does it all the time. o0

    2. Why do the squirrels make a "fish face" when they're eating sometime? They snap out of it when I take the syringe away and then bring it back, so I was wondering if they do this because they get bored?

    Those two questions have been driving me crazy, especially the one about the purring. Willeh likes to stick her nose in my ear and do that, cute, but always leaves me with a head full of curiousity.

    "According to the powers that be,
    a squirrel can have as many lives as they think they can get away with."

    Flyers boys: Chuck, Totoro, Appa, Frodo
    Flyer girls: Sen, Nim, Sansa, Arya
    Glaurung the Bearded Dragon
    Severus Snake the Western Hognose

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    "fish face"? do you mean she gapes (opens mouth wide, closes mouth?)

    and the purring- does she make that noise CONSTANTLY? is it rhythmic, with her breathing?
    :bounce2thundersquirrel:bounce2

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    Yes, that's exactly what she does. And normally she only purrs when we feed her, like when we go to re-fill the syringe, she'll jump around and purr.

    "According to the powers that be,
    a squirrel can have as many lives as they think they can get away with."

    Flyers boys: Chuck, Totoro, Appa, Frodo
    Flyer girls: Sen, Nim, Sansa, Arya
    Glaurung the Bearded Dragon
    Severus Snake the Western Hognose

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    Squirrels do purr. I've even heard my wild ones do it. What it means exactly is still a mystery (to me anyhow), but I believe it is a sound they make with someone they know and trust.....
    Henry's Healthy Pets
    Henry's Healthy Blocks, Fox Valley Formula, Fleecies Cage Gear and more

    The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations… ~Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    well....maybe if i heard the purr i'd understand more. i was just worried about pneumonia.

    the gaping is not really a great thing. it could mean the formula is too hot or too fast. or both (eek!).

    do you use a nipple? sometimes a nipple will make the gaping thing disappear.
    :bounce2thundersquirrel:bounce2

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    It sounds like a cat's purr, only it's faster. And if she had pneumonia, she would be acting sick in ways other then that, right? And I'll try slowing down with the formula/triple checking to see if it's too hot, and maybe try the nipple thing if I can find one.

    Willeh is really a very friendly squirrel, most of the female squirrels we've had are just rude little things, but she's content to be her hyperactive self without most of the biting. ^^ I <3 my Willeh. It may be a positive reaction to being with someone she likes like you said 4S, that seems very likely, it may be just 'cause she's closer to my ear but she seems to do it more/get louder when she's close to my face. (Or in my hair. -.-)

    "According to the powers that be,
    a squirrel can have as many lives as they think they can get away with."

    Flyers boys: Chuck, Totoro, Appa, Frodo
    Flyer girls: Sen, Nim, Sansa, Arya
    Glaurung the Bearded Dragon
    Severus Snake the Western Hognose

  7. #7
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    Talking Re: Behavior Questions

    Funny, I've always thought of the purring thing as ''oinking", LOL! It's just happy squirrel talk as far as I'm concerned. It's often used as a greeting, for sure.

    Gaping is a bit of a mystery. Raccoons do it as well. I consider it to be a ''feeding trance''. Some individuals are very prone to doing it. It's not a problem.

    Sounds like you have a couple of characters there! A week ago I got a five week old little girl who's a major oinker. I love her!

    hazel
    aka The Beastmistress
    Veterinary Technician

    Vegetarian since 1974

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    Lmao! I never thought of it as oinking! It does sounds a bit like that, and it's fitting since ours normally do it when we start getting the milky ready. My Willeh "Oinks" more then the others, she is our big Oinker, she's one of my favorite for that reason and because she's our only girl this season thats suppose to be released. I'll have to record her doing it sometime and upload it.

    "According to the powers that be,
    a squirrel can have as many lives as they think they can get away with."

    Flyers boys: Chuck, Totoro, Appa, Frodo
    Flyer girls: Sen, Nim, Sansa, Arya
    Glaurung the Bearded Dragon
    Severus Snake the Western Hognose

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    Perhaps the purring doesn't mean any one thing, any more than when a human talks, it means one thing. In other words, it may be a "tone of voice" in which many things can be said. My wild squirrels will purr at me from the fence once they've recognized me, or from a tree branch. When I "purr" back at them, it seems usually to reassure them. A squirrel that doesn't know me won't purr at me. They purr at each other sometimes, but only the ones that know each other. I will say that it does seem to often relate to food, or asking for food, so maybe it means "feed me." How I wish I knew what they were saying exactly.
    Henry's Healthy Pets
    Henry's Healthy Blocks, Fox Valley Formula, Fleecies Cage Gear and more

    The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations… ~Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    Yeah, that would certainly be nice if we could all speak Squirrel.

    "According to the powers that be,
    a squirrel can have as many lives as they think they can get away with."

    Flyers boys: Chuck, Totoro, Appa, Frodo
    Flyer girls: Sen, Nim, Sansa, Arya
    Glaurung the Bearded Dragon
    Severus Snake the Western Hognose

  11. #11
    Buddy'sMom Guest

    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    I think the purring thing is JUST like when cats do it -- a friendly "I like you/I'm happy" kind of sound. Buddy used to do it when I first went to his cage every morning (but just in the morning ). Enjoy it!


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    I know what you mean about the 'fish face' feeding. I have had some that did that. Right now I have 2 rescue flyer babies that do it - it drives me crazy! I also think it is some sort of 'feeding trance' that they go into, I have tried everything I could think of to stop them - different types of nipples, different temperatures of formula, holding them in different positions - nothing works. So I am careful not to aspirate them, and just try to ignore it. By the way - the 'fish face' squirrels do not seem any more prone to asperating than any of the others.

    muffinsquirrel
    The Southeast Texas Acorn Academy

    Already we have hickory nuts, black walnuts, pecan nuts, peanuts, hazel nuts, oak nuts, beech nuts, chestnuts.......and now you're here!


    http://www.nfsa.us/phpBB2/index.php

  13. #13
    jules Guest

    Smile Re: Behavior Questions

    Benji used to go into a trance when I was feeding her. If you gently tap the lower jaw with the syringe, they usually come out of it. Just be careful not to give any formula while Willeh is in the trance.

    Jules.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Behavior Questions

    my squirrel, Squirrelagirl, used to do the fish thing every time I fed her for her it was definitely a trance... and she purrs from excitement/ when we play for a long time (1-4hours)and get really into it she’ll start flipping her tail from side to side and purring loudly../ she also did the same thing when she got into the catnip... I don’t know that it had an effect on squirrels b4 then

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