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Thread: Greetings from Red and Taz

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz2020 View Post
    Divine intervention, Mother Nature, either way they couldn't have come at a better time...my better half teaches special needs kids at the high school, and with the schools closed due to the "Great Covid Lockdown of 2020" caring for these little fur balls 24/7 helped maintain the sanity in our household. Which I guess just shows the level of normal sanity at our house if finding and caring for baby squirrels keeps the insanity at bay.

    Kind of scary now that I think about it.


    Not so fun fact: little squirrels can actually send a text message.

    Yep. I've received more that one text message back from someone worried that I'm having a stroke while doing speech to text.


    Attachment 319065

    Mom..momma...mom...pay attention to me!
    Lol.

    Yes, I think they helped us all through the Covid non-stop freakout, just a non-stop stressor. (Fun fact, dentists report that broken teeth, more than doubled.) The furry little ones helped us feel as if that the world wasn't totally out of control, that we could stick our fingers in Death's eye.

    They are relentless. I guess they have nothing else better to do.

    There were definitely times when Helen liked noisy things and other times when she liked creating a little chaos deliberately, working to knock sheets of light-weight rigid insulation, she knew there would be a domino effect. I think the first time she did it, it was accidental, then I think she decided "This is fun."

    On many occasions I had to scoop Helen out of the refrigerator. (No, she couldn't open it, but I did end up weighting a piece of plywood on top of the fridge that stuck out proud of the freezer door. I was afraid that she might manage to push/wedge that open from above.) (I kept her nut stash in refrigerator's vegetable drawer.) She knew the sound of that container made when I picked it up. On a number of occasions she whined ("That's not fair!") as I took away a large nut or two or three that she had managed to nab.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Tarp has been received! It was supposed to have been here last week, but we finally got it yesterday. I think the Amazon delivery guys pull up, see that it's the dive bombing bird house, and are like "oh, hell no", and toss it back on the pile for the next driver. I swear I see Amazon delivery vans pull up, the Amazon guy checks his little, whatever it is they check, looks around, goes pale, and drives off. Dogs have nothing on small angry dive bombing bird moms.

    Now that I have the tarp and can do exact measurements, I can do a little modifying to the enclosure so it can be attached directly to the frame. I should be able to get it done by the weekend and will update with pictures as well as any subsequent changes in the girls behavior.

    I was thinking about what CritterMom said concerning the covering and little squirrels being scared of hawks/crows; our subdivision/neighborhood is one of those "pre-planned" developments, you know, the ones where the yard comes with one tree, two bushes and a patch of grass in the front they call a lawn. Over the years a few homeowners have added more bushes and trees (and real lawn), but just as many still have their one tree and two bushes; basically, we do have trees, they're just really spaced apart (I wouldn't be surprised if there was something in the HOA bylaws stating "trees can be no closer than...", they have a grass height limit for Pete's sake). The trees that were "included" with the subdivision are mostly maples and poplars. I don't know why they did poplars, we lose a bunch of poplar parts (limbs, branches, half a trunk...) every year due to high winds and thunderstorms. Where the entire tree is lost they're usually replaced with a sapling (probably another poplar).

    And right now you're probably wondering if my train of thought has a caboose...

    I'm happy to announce that yes, yes it does.

    Do you think the lack of overhead coverage typically provided by mature trees impacted the girls decision not to leave? Could this lack of natural protection also be the reason we don't have squirrels in our area? Hmmm...maybe next time Lowes does their free sapling giveaway I'll get a bunch, become the tree planting nighttime ninja and plant a bunch of saplings in the common areas (we have way too much open, empty, boring grass space that no one uses anyway). Just don't tell the HOA.

    That cracks me up about Helen! I know what you mean about the fridge, more than once I've had to (try) and convince one of the girls that the fridge is not a playground or an all you can eat buffet as they're happily frolicking up and down the shelves.

    And the nuts...I think squirrels have a special fairy nut godsquirrel that watches over them. I'll go through the entire house, every nook and cranny, top of the cabinets, under the furniture, in the corner of the stairs, anywhere they might hide a nut (the house is a stash free zone, well, where nuts and food are concerned anyway). Yet as soon as I let them out they'll run around for a bit (to throw me off I think) then the next thing I know one of them shows up with a nut; while I'm trying to get the nut from that one the other one pops up with a nut (I do believe they work in tandem on this). Once they have the nuts they immediately go to the highest spot in the house (on top of their enclosure) where I can't reach them...even with a step stool. The next few minutes are spent with me moving the step stool back and forth in front of their enclosure trying to get the nut away from them while they hop back and forth just out of my reach while shelling (then eating) the nut.

    They're probably toying with me, but I like to think that maybe this is their way of helping me exercise (squirrel love). Heaven knows how many steps I've done up and down that step ladder the last year (another year of this and I should have the butt of a teenager again). They could just grab the nut and run out to their outside enclosure, by the time I got in there they could have the nut shelled and eaten without having to hop around.

    But their all time favorite (non food) game is nabbing things they're not supposed to have. The only difference is they go to a spot that's about eye level with me (the top of the enclosure to my 3D printer, its about two feet square) then hop back and forth across the top with the contraband item while I'm running around the desk trying to get it back.

    I suppose this is exercise as well *sigh*.

    Tazzy waiting for me to come get the "toy"...
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    "Okay, here's the plan...you get the nut in the...whisper, whisper, whisper..."
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    If I stand really still maybe mom wont know I nabbed this...

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    Uh-oh...
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    Cheeto, what Cheeto?
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Thank you for helpfully pointing out that Cheeto. I would never have recognized it as a delicious, crunchy, cheesy snack otherwise. My first gray squirrel would beat me to death with his tiny fists for a Cheeto; my second gray squirrel is "meh" on the subject. More for me!

    And of course they are messing with you! I put nothing past red squirrels! I was idly watching a herring gull poking around in my lawn looking for the squirrel blocks I feed my wilds when a movement across the yard caught my eye. It was a little red squirrel charging across the yard. He hit that gull midchest and climbed right up the front of of and onto it's head, biting and punching and shrieking like a banshee! The expression on the gull's face was priceless and did you know herring gulls can moonwalk? Really well? I couldn't believe it - herring gulls are enormous - red tailed hawk sized with a larger wingspan - they are the ones you see mugging people and tearing their french fries, fried clams and entire bread bowls full of clam chowder away from them! Pro tip: If you are ever cruising coastal Maine and stop at a lovely, waterside bistro for lunch, check the sky. If you see ONE gull, the correct answer to "Would you like to eat on the patio?" is NO!!! But this little terrorist just wiped the ground with this bird, then hopped down, dusted it's hands together, spat, and strutted away.

    Good Luck. Just keep believing that charming story about them being tiny physical trainers. I am SURE they don't mock you when you aren't around!

    And yes, the lack of cover would give them pause - big pause. The grays are a little more accepting of it since they live closer to humans and their artificial domiciles than the reds tend to, but they still race across the wide open spots.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz2020 View Post
    Do you think the lack of overhead coverage typically provided by mature trees impacted the girls decision not to leave? Could this lack of natural protection also be the reason we don't have squirrels in our area? Hmmm...maybe next time Lowes does their free sapling giveaway I'll get a bunch, become the tree planting nighttime ninja and plant a bunch of saplings in the common areas (we have way too much open, empty, boring grass space that no one uses anyway). Just don't tell the HOA.


    They're probably toying with me, but I like to think that maybe this is their way of helping me exercise (squirrel love).

    Yes, red squirrels and grey squirrels are genetically wired to be in the trees. The trees provide food, a place to make a nest, a place to hide, and serve as observation posts. Squirrels prefer trees whose branches are interconnected. They prefer to travel without ever touching the ground. They know which branch connects to what. They can absolutely fly through the trees, moving randomly, around the trunk to make themselves very difficult for a predator to catch. It sounds like any trees in your neighborhood stand alone, not interconnected.

    Periodically, black walnut and pecan saplings pop up in my yard. When I have gone to visit Helen I have taken a couple with me to transplant. (Yes, I know it will be many years before they bear any nuts, but it makes me feel good and they can't stay in my yard so I have to dig them up anyway. I figure Helen's descendants will one day benefit from them.)

    The exercise can also go in reverse. Pretty much every morning I eat organic oatmeal, with granola and diced apple. Helen decided that she would like to have some as well. So she would move around the room, leaping from one piece of furniture to another to try to get closer. As she got closer I would move away. It cracked me up. I called the game How to Exercise Your Squirrel. She almost always managed to get some, but never too much. Sometimes she would get out of bed at night when she smelled it as I sat at the computer. (I also eat a bowl before bed.) For the longest time she nested on top of the printer.

    Squirrels are masters of concealment. They will even pretend to bury a nut, while still holding onto it, if they think they are being watched. Plus, I believe they know exactly where they concealed the nuts, especially if there are only a few. I am still finding nuts cached here and there. Eventually I decided that if Helen was going to cache the nut, rather than eat it, I wasn't going to give it to her.
    Last edited by Rock Monkey; 08-17-2021 at 03:19 PM. Reason: words added

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Tarps up!

    I haven't noticed any difference in behavior yet, but it's only been a few days. I'll keep an eye on it and report back.

    I can totally see a red squirrel taking on a herring gull poking around on their "turf", your description of the event cracked me up! Especially the "hopped down, dusted it's hands together, spat, and strutted away". For being such little guys they have a BIG personality. I think they see themselves as prehistoric saber toothed squirrel size. Now that I think about it, it was probably a scurry of saber toothed red squirrels that actually took the dinosaurs out....

    That's funny about Helen slowly hopping her way towards you to get your food. Like, "nothing to see here"...hop, hop..."just checking out this chair"...hop, hop..."let me just make sure the kitchen is safe"...hop, hop. My girls rely more on distraction and speed to get whatever it is I'm eating. It's "divide and conquer" with those two.

    Oh, and yes, they totally mock me, they don't even wait until I'm not around, they mock me straight up to my face. I know this because sometimes they'll grab something they're not supposed to have, then jump on my head. Do you know how hard it is to get something out of a squirrels mouth when they're bouncing off your head, onto your shoulders, then back onto your head again? It's nigh impossible. And I swear the other one is sitting on the TV cabinet watching and laughing their little squirrel butt off.

    I think when they're out and they do their little "touch noses" thing, it's really like a secret squirrel handshake signal as they set something up to watch me run around the house chasing one of them like a fool.

    On a more serious note (I mean not "serious" serious, but just a little serious...seriousette?)

    Scratching

    The girls do tend to scratch a bit, do squirrels normally scratch just to scratch (kind of people do, or bears)? As they have access to outside all day could they have fleas? And if they have fleas would Revolution on a nut be okay since they are a bit smaller than foxes or grays. And if it is okay, would I reduce the amount, to like half a drop, a spittle, a gnats ass?

    Food

    So I'm, well, probably over the top paranoid about their food...reading about MBD scared the bejittles out of me, plus all the other horror stories related to poor diet, etc. I'm constantly worried that they're going to get MBD or liver failure, or something really long and nasty sounding that I can't pronounce, because, try as I might, they do end up getting a couple of nuts (sometimes more, if I'm honest) a day. I don't know how or where they find them...I think they just magic them out of thin air. And they have knack for finding candy that I didn't even know we had. Reese's peanut butter cups, Kit Kats, Smarties and M*M's are their favorites, or at least the ones they seem to find. I supplement their food twice a week with calcium carbonate from Henry's, but then I read stuff about too much calcium causing kidney stones, or that they need probiotics, or yogurt, and I should be blanching all the vegis prior to feeding them, not giving them raw sweet potato (which they love); Sooo... I give them raw vegis, (I don't blanch or cook them), I keep the power bars (HHB) in the freezer, then nuke them for 15 seconds before feeding them, throw out all the uneaten HT 2018 every month and add new stuff (should I be keeping this in the freezer? Does this have an expiration date? The bag doesn't list one.), fresh water in their water bowl everyday (they have two bottles but don't care for those),...I'm not slowly poisoning them or shriveling up their insides am I?

    When reading the "food pyramid" chart from Henry's, the diet looks pretty cut and dry, but it appears there is a lot more wiggle room that what I initially thought. I just want to make sure that I'm not missing something or doing something that I shouldn't be. I don't have the years of experience behind me, so I do tend to be overly neurotic about everything from how long they sleep, or don't sleep, whether they're super duper active or just super active, basically their behavior in general. In a nutshell (squirrel pun), I don't want my inexperience or ineptitude (or reluctance to ask questions) be the reason these girls don't thrive and live a happy, long life.

    Like I said previously, Mother Nature seems to be not so happy lately, the last thing I want to do is push her into full blown, "whip out a can of whoop ass" mode, because I didn't do right by her babies.

    Oh, and as you can probably tell by now, I really suck at short, to the point posts. Sorry. I've tried, but, well, my brain just vomits stuff to my fingertips, which in turn types stuff into the posts. On the flip side I'm not a very talkative (vocally, that is) person, so that's something I guess.

    Outside enclosure with tarp
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  7. #26
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Nice "rustic." Looks a lot like my place!

    I know they love nuts, but as you already know, too many isn't good. My solution for this is to use shelled nuts - like pecan or walnut halves. I cut a pecan half into 6 or 8 pieces and hide them so Zeke can hunt them down. In the evening, he gets one hazelnut in the shell when he goes back to his enclosure. He feels like he got a bunch of them because he had to track down all of those little pieces. HHBs were designed to not only provide the vitamins and minerals they need; they are slightly over-supplemented with calcium to mitigate the damage done by US with goodies. The woman who created them and owns the company is a squirrel person and knows the power of the cute and how BAD humans are at resisting it!

    But you do need to get ahold of the candy thing. I am sure you realize this. And they seem to really love it! My late boy Mister P wrenched a Tootsie Roll pop (damned Halloween) out of my mouth once and ran under my bed with it! It is a king sized bed so there was no way for me to reach him - if he hadn't gotten cocky teasing me I wouldn't have gotten it back (he was so MAD). It really isn't a good thing. Candy needs to be kept in something they can't get into, and if this is the result of kids in the house leaving it laying around or sneaking it to them because they are so cute, they need to have the riot act read to them. Crash your house, get everything you can find, and keep the other stuff locked up. Eventually they will run out of the bits you haven't found.

    I keep the HTs in the fridge and the HHBs in the freezer. The HTs may not need it, but it isn't going to hurt them.

    I for one enjoy your posts! I broke my left hand and it is casted and has taken my posts down to the bare minimum. I type with one hand then spend more time fixing all the mistakes and it is DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Snap! Sorry to hear about the hand. Trying to type with one hand is a pain in the butt. Does Zeke leave your cast alone or does he think it's a new treat or plaything? Is your cast now "rustic"?

    When I read about hiding the nuts I smacked myself on the forehead and was like "duh". When the girls were younger, and when we thought they were going to be "free, wild, squirrels" one day, that's exactly what we would do. We would hide little nut pieces all over the house to get them used to foraging. After I chipped my tooth whilst trying to show them how to open a hazelnut (they were not impressed), I decided that I would rely on their little squirrely instincts to learn all things squirrely. Thanks for reminding me though! I'll start doing that again.

    The candy thing......I went through the pantry several months ago and threw out all the "spare" candy, put two locking containers in there, and told everyone that any candy that didn't fit inside one of the containers would be thrown out (I wasn't very popular in my house for a few days). My kids are older (youngest is 19), so now they just take their candy up to their rooms (the girls aren't allowed upstairs, and we close all the upstairs doors when they're out). Plus a zombie apocalypse is more likely than one my kids sharing their candy with the girls...now that they have to buy their own...it's amazing how things they just had to have aren't as important when it's their own money. I'm not a big candy eater (the little bit of candy I do like I keep in the freezer, I like frozen RPC's), It's usually from parents giving my better half "treat bags" (special needs teacher), which end up on counter, and from there you can probably figure out the rest.

    The girls, knowing this is something they're not supposed to have, will do a snatch and run, resulting in me running after them (exercise), them hopping back and forth on the tallest point they can find while I'm trying to grab the candy. Aaaannnd...yeah, they get cocky and taunt me as well, hopping at me, poking at my hand with the candy then hopping back again. Usually I can get the candy from them before they've been able to get the wrapper off. The one exception was the lone M&M (plain, not peanut). Taz had that thing gone before I could react. It was even a green one.

    I'm glad you like my posts! With Covid, all the shipping delays and material shortages my job has been way more hectic than usual; on the plus I haven't had to travel since the first of last year. I'm typically moving from one emergency to another, answering the same questions from the same people over and over again (I swear I work with a bunch of walking brain stems), in short I don't spend much time at my desk, let alone sitting down. The only time I get to sit down is when I'm writing reports or answering emails (which are also quite long....and detailed....now that I think about it, I don't get asked to answer emails that often ). This gives me a chance to sit down while still looking busy (if I look busy then one of the meandering brain stems won't stop to ask me the same question they asked me two days ago, or try to show me something that is totally irrelevant to whatever projects are being worked on). I used to hide out in the bathroom when I needed a break, but they found me...the bathroom is no longer a sacred space.

    Hmmm...I probably sound like a big, jackass meanie....I'm really not (at least I don't think I am), I love what I do, and like the people I work with, it's just somedays....somedays I want to stick my head in a freezer and join the ranks of the walking brain stems.

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  10. #28
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    I had terrible problems with Zeke and the cast. It is a removable (so I can shower - I put my foot down and demanded that. It covers my hand and locks my ring and pinkie finger together (the bones in the hand that lead to those fingers are what got broken) and leaves my middle, index and thumb uncovered. He was so excited by the cast that he was attacking it, stomping and chattering and getting aggressive - Zekie is NEVER aggressive! And he was also missing the cast and biting my hand, which has already gotten enough abuse, thanks! So I tried hiding it - rapping the hand in blankets, putting it behind my back, etc. That made him even angrier because he couldn't get to it. So I caved. The cast comes off for showers AND squirrel time. I wear cotton gardening gloves when we play because his nails are so sharp, so I carefully pull those on and keep my hand still and in the same position the cast keeps it. And Zeke is happy because all is right in his little world again. So yeah, total cave!

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  12. #29
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz



    Zeke's probably like "Oh snahpz...sumfin gotz mommez handz! I needz to savz her!". I can only imagine what it would be like if you hadn't insisted on a removable cast, it would most definitely be rustic.

    About six months ago I got my hand caught in a three roll mill at work...I was cleaning it so there was a 1/16th inch gap between the rolls, and it's a little lab mill, so it mostly just smooshed my middle and ring finger, well, and maybe almost took the tip of my middle finger off. The hospital sewed it back together crooked...if I draw a face on it, and flip someone off...(not that I make a habit of flipping people off, I'm not much of a flipper offer)...it looks like it's cocking it's head to one side thinking. Oh, and it might be a little longer than it was before. Anyway, I had little mini casts on those fingers and was worried about Red and Taz attacking them...fortunately they just sniffed them for a minute, shrugged their little shoulders, and never did bother them. I either lucked out or girls were like "thoz beez juz littlz monzsters, thez onlyz haz momz fingerz", (or they realized they couldn't grab them and run off, so what was the fun in that).

    But I totally get the cave!

    I've only had the girls for a little over a year, but it still amazes me what I'm willing to do and give up for these little fur balls.


    Shortest post ever!

    For me that is....

  13. #30
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Oh Lord. I just reread my post. My hand isn't rapping. Wrapping. I am an old. None of me raps.

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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    I just figured you and Zeke were having a rap off to take his attention off the cast.

    Remember, Judge Free Zone here...embrace your inner rapper...

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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Update on operation "cover the girls outside enclosure with a tarp so they're not so scared of the open sky".

    Yeah, that really doesn't roll off the tongue...

    I'm open to suggestions.

    It's been a little over a week since the tarp has been put up, and....I really haven't noticed any change in their behavior in regards to going outside. The only thing that *might* be a little different due to the tarp is that they'll lay out on the shelves and watch it rain now that they don't get wet. I've been adding more things to their enclosure to entice them to spend more time outside; they're kind of like teenagers in that regard, maybe if I installed a TV with a gaming system in there...

    Again, I'm open to any suggestions that doesn't involve installing a gaming system and theatre room in their outside enclosure to get then to spend more time outside. Maybe I broke them...is it possible to ruin a squirrels "squirrelyness"?

    Crap, I probably did break them...great...

    So, suggestions on which games to include in their "soon to be installed" gaming room / theatre? Frogger would probably traumatize them...they're too young for Call of Duty...Animal Crossing maybe?

    What has changed in their behavior is now that "foraging and stashing" season has begun they are quite grumpy with each other. They're mostly grumpy, yelling and chasing each other when they're let out of the enclosure into the house, which I don't quite understand as we don't let either of them have stashes in the house (or their enclosure for that matter). So we've started letting them out separately for play time, and put a divider in their inside enclosure thinking that if they're arguing in the house they're arguing in the enclosure, right?

    Nope.

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    This is them after they were relegated to the enclosure for fighting...once we took out the divider because they were pouting.

    Yep, go figure.

    I thought, for a New York minute, that they were wilding up...you know, arguing, fighting, seemed to be getting more aggressive.

    Nope, again.

    They both still prefer to be in the house, running all over us, checking our pockets for trinkets to steal, sitting on our shoulder, peeing on our shoulder, and pooping....everywhere (we vacuum multiple times a day, and steam clean at least once a week, Mr. Clean has his own room and a toothbrush at this point). They only have an attitude with each other, mostly when out of the enclosure.

    Taz is the "nut stasher" (usually in my pocket) while Red is the nut eater. Currently we let Red out first (this limits her eating any stashed nuts we don't find right away), then let Taz out to play "nut fetch" for a while (Tazzy would rather play with her nuts instead of eating them. That really doesn't, I mean she doesn't play with her "nuts", she just...oh never mind).

    https://youtu.be/lsRZyGyGssE

    We didn't have this issue last year at this time, my guess is that they were still young? Or maybe because they're girls, you know, being friends, then not friends, to the other one being the Anti-Christ, to being best friends again...? I don't know, I gave up years ago trying to figure out the "girl dynamic"...and I am one.

    If anyone is familiar with "girl dynamics" and how to resolve them, I am so open to suggestions! Right now we're just keeping them separated until they calm down and get over their tissy fits. Last night was the first night we kept then separated all night. They were not happy about that. It's like they get irritated when they're around each other, but can't stand to be apart.

    Googling red squirrel social dynamics and behavior brings up a bunch of information on red squirrels in the UK, but very little about American red squirrels. I wish there was a red squirrel to English google translate app. Or...maybe not...as I'm sure there are a lot of squirrel cuss words and squirrel insults being thrown around, plus I'm not really sure I want to know what they're saying about me...

    Oh hey, and how is the hand doing CritterMom? You and Zeke still throwing down rap challenges?

    And just for fun...



    Taz, trying to convince me she would make a good tree topper

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    Mmmmm....Starbucks.....life is good. (Red, apparently even squirrels like Starbucks)

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    Ahhh...the feeling of cool wind blowing through my fur (Taz)

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  16. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Taz2020:

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  17. #33
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    And I almost forgot.

    Taz's slimy, off-yellow, poopy diarrhea that I had a complete freak out over and posted in the "life threatening" thread is cleared up and her poops are normal poops again.

    And I owe those that monitor that thread an apology for freaking out and taking time/space away from those who truly have a life threatening emergency.

    To avoid future freak outs (and the resulting freak out posts), as well as that feeling of complete helplessness and incompetence (I knew that slimy, mucusy stuff coming out of her butt, or anyone's butt really, is not normal; I just didn't know what it was from, how serious it was, or what to do other than make her drink lots of water). I decided to be proactive; I ordered the Wild Mammal Babies book, and started an "emergency toolbox" (which currently contains one 1cc syringe and my script of methylprednisolone...I hate taking steroids). It's a little sad looking, but hopefully as I learn more it'll fill up.

    Anyway, should anyone have recommendations or suggestions as to items that may be useful for my "toolbox" or materials that would be helpful in identifying and treating "not normal" stuff (poop or otherwise) I would be deeply grateful.

  18. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Taz2020 from:

    HRT4SQRLS (11-08-2021)

  19. #34
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Thought I’d post a follow up on any behavior changes in Red and Taz due to their outside enclosure now being covered with a tarp along with extra enrichment items for them to play with.

    So….

    No change.

    Usually in the mornings they’re in the outside enclosure running around (except recently, now that it’s dark in the mornings, as soon as the sun starts to go down, they sleep), but as soon as they hear us come down the stairs they zip inside faster than a murder hornet being chased by the USDA.

    My new challenge is figuring out how to help them to enjoy, or want to be, outside more. I get not wanting to be outside during the day, especially this summer, it’s been hot, humid, miserable, I don’t even want to go outside. And yardwork is typically my go to de-stresser, relax, “me” time (yeah, I’m weird like that). But now that it has started to cool down a bit, I thought they would start to want to play outside more, especially in the evenings when it’s cooler.

    But I guess these are the same girls who wouldn’t leave their enclosure and chewed their way back into the house last year when we tried to release them.

    For now, I’ll keep trying out new things in their outside enclosure. Maybe I’ll stumble onto something they really like.

    As for the girls arguing, yelling, chasing each other, and generally being teenage squirrel girls; they still do that, although it’s starting to calm down. We put a divider in their inside enclosure to separate them, thinking this would eliminate some of the fall/midden/territorial/girl stress.

    Nope.

    They were still stressed, running around their enclosure and wouldn’t calm down and go to sleep.

    So, we took out the divider.

    They grumbled back and forth a little bit, but then seemed to calm down. We turned off the lights and went upstairs. We came back down about 30 minutes later to check on them…and they were snuggled together in their little bed grooming each other…(okay, truth be told, at first I panicked…I thought they were eating each other…I had just read the thread about the face eating mom squirrel. I even checked on them at two in the morning to make sure I still had whole squirrels. I had whole squirrels; and I learned that they really don’t like being woken up at two in the morning).

    I was like “seriously?!?”

    Just an hour ago they were mortal enemies…and now they’re snuggled together grooming each other? I’ve obviously missed something important in all my “Squirrel Behavior 101” research. I’m starting to think that maybe I can’t believe everything I read on Google…

    I probably come across as being really (really) neurotic and a worry wart when it comes to the girls, but in my defense it’s pretty obvious that Mother Nature is going through menopause; with the heat waves, fires, floods, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes…anyone who has been around someone (or has gone through menopause) knows that this is a woman you do not want to upset…lest the entire world burst into a big, flaming, floody ball of chaos.

    So, with a suitable amount of fear for my wellbeing, (especially after the mucusy, diarrhea episode) I’ve been making sure I have certain things on hand in case I should ever need them and have been paying more attention to things. Part of that is trying to keep an accurate up to date weight on Red and Taz.

    Nailing Jello to a tree would be easier than getting a red squirrel to sit still on scale long enough to get an accurate weight.

    But we do keep trying. I’ve been keeping the scale on the coffee table with a small nut piece on it in the hopes that maybe one day they’ll be like “hey, that’s a cool little thing, ooh, and there’s a nut on it. Maybe I’ll just sit on it for a bit and eat this nut”.

    So far that hasn’t happened. But I still have hope.

    And yes, they do grab the nut and run.

  20. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Taz2020 from:

    HRT4SQRLS (11-08-2021)

  21. #35
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Before I begin, I should explain the “normal” feeding routine of our little whirling dervish fuzzballs; since my workday starts early and often ends fairly late, this coupled with an hour commute each way, both morning and evening feedings are usually taken care of by my better (and more gullible) half during the weekdays, while I pick up the weekend feedings. Usually, this system works out quite well, however, recently one weekend while preparing their (Red & Taz’s) breakfast, I noticed that we were going through the HHB’s at an alarming rate.

    After a bit of an arm folding, eyebrow raising, foot tapping discussion with my “on the spot” half, I found out the girls had been getting up to ten total HHB’s a day (between the two of them, not ten, *thankfully* each).

    I flipped out and went into panic mode as calmly as I could.

    I had been reading threads recently how HHB’s were supplemental and should only be given in small amounts lest we over supplement them with dire (but not specific) consequences. I imagined the girls turning into micro hulking, ‘roid raging terrors with excess hair…somewhere.

    It should be noted that between finding out how many HHB’s they were getting on a “daily” basis and the following discussion, I had made myself a (very strong) vodka mojito…it had been that kind of week.

    “Um, why are you feeding them so many Henry’s blocks?” I asked, as calmly as I could.

    “Well, because…they would eat all the Henry’s blocks and act like they were still starving. I don’t want to starve them.”

    “That’s why we keep a bowl of the rodent block…”

    “Don’t call it that.”

    “What?”

    “Rodent block. It just sounds so nasty…rodent…ew.”

    *Sigh* “Okay, squirrel biscuit, it that better?”

    “Yes, that’s much better.”

    “So…that’s why we keep of bowl of the squirrel biscuits in there with them. They’re non-perishable, they won’t go bad.. They can eat as many of those that they want. They’re not going to starve to death.”

    “What about when they dunk them in their water bowl or pee on them? What about then Sherlock, huh, are they still good then…?”

    “When have they peed on them?” I think right around this time is when I made my second (stronger) vodka mojito.

    “It could happen.”

    “Fine, unless they dunk them in their water bowl or pee on them, the squirrel biscuits don’t go bad. So they’re not going to starve to death.”

    “But they don’t like those, they won't eat them, so they'll starve to death.”

    “Only because you’re giving them the equivalent of a Kobe steak with a crème brûlée chaser…...twice a day. You can’t keep giving them that many Henry’s blocks every day, it’s not healthy for them.”

    “You” (this is where I got the pointy finger pointed at me) “said Henry’s blocks were healthy and good for them. Soooo…..” (and now I was getting the folded arms and foot tapping.)

    “In moderation…," I found myself waving my hand over my head, not really sure how this was helping, but it seemed like the thing to do at the moment, " you know, all things in moderation, blah, blah, blah.” I think I actually said 'blah, blah, blah', second vodka mojito was kicking in; I might have forgotten to add the mojito. “Look, how about if we make up some boo balls. They can eat as many of those as they want.”

    “What's a boo ball? Are you making this up? Are you drunk?”

    “Seriously?!?" Coupled with an eye roll... "No, I'm perfectly fine," discretely setting my vodka mojito, sans mojito, behind the coffee maker. "They’re a mix of rod…er…squirrel biscuits with some other stuff to make them taste better. Kind of like putting cheese on broccoli. We could make up a batch and see if they like them, then they can have ONE” I emphasized the one, “Henry’s block a day each with their boo balls. Would that make you feel better?”

    “I suppose.”

    “Good.”

    “Hey…”

    “What?”

    “Who's boo?”

    Thus began our first attempt at boo balls.

    Although I had to wait until the next day as I was in no shape to make them that night.


    **The next day, with Taz as my helper**


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    "Okay momz, I gotz the recipe...Ize iz ready!"


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    "Momz, what's this?"

    "No no Tazzy, off, that's dangerous!"



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    "And pleez bless mine momz 'no no that's dangerous' stufz that it duz make gude fude"



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    "Nutz, momz, it duz need nutz!"


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    "Hmmm...maybe I shudz be testings this..."


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    "Momz! I duz think itz gude!"


    We made a couple of modifications to the formula I found here, reduced FV 20/50 by a third and the nuts by half, so it's mostly HT 2018, but we did get the Red and Taz seal of approval. Now the girls get a handful boo balls in the morning and evening with their one HHB. And we still leave 'squirrel biscuits' in a bowl for them so they always have something available to eat.

    Provided they don't dunk them in their water bowl.

    Or pee on them.

  22. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Taz2020:

    Chirps (10-25-2021), HRT4SQRLS (10-22-2021)

  23. #36
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    That was quite an entertaining conversation.


    Just in case you need reinforcement, TOO MANY HHB’s CAN BE DANGEROUS!
    As you stated they are a supplement block. I think every one should make a batch of HHB’s at least once. When you make them you see the ridiculous amount of minerals, vitamins and protein in the blocks. I basically think of them as a vitamin (supplement) block. ONE to TWO blocks is the recommended number for smaller squirrels like flyer, chipmunks and I would include reds. Larger squirrels like those enormous Fox squirrels would get THREE. IMO, two would be the maximum for reds.

    We had a case recently where a poster was concerned because their young, small squirrel was developing cloudy eyes. When questioned it was discovered the young squirrel was getting SIX HHB per day. While there is no way to know 100% I do believe the eye situation was related to over supplementation.

    I’m glad you’re addressing this with Boo balls. I get it that they don’t always like the rod…errr squirrels biscuits. The many Boo ball recipes are very helpful with this problem. By the way, Boo was a real squirrel on TSB many years ago. His name lives on.

    Red and Taz are looking great and I’m sure are quite the characters.

  24. #37
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    What an enabler! You might try very subtly tapping the HHB bag where it says in GREAT BIG LETTERS to only feed 2-3 per day!

    They are so freaking cute! They look a lot like trouble to me!

  25. #38
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Just caught up. So love your writing. You remind me of . . . the Dave Barry, or maybe Erma Bombeck? of squirrel chronicling.
    The girls are so photogenic, too!

    Looking forward to the next chapter.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

  26. #39
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    omigosh, Chirps, you too?
    Can't sleep so I just read this entire thread and it's wonderful!! Trying not to LOL and wake up my guy or my cats. Yes, Dave Barry for sure, only with squirrels vs dogs Love it!
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."

    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

  27. #40
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    Default Re: Greetings from Red and Taz

    Thanks for the feedback HRT and CM! Your responses helped support my case (I printed them off and stuck them to the fridge).

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    The boo balls definitely helped reduce how many HHB’s they were being fed, while keeping my insanely overfeeding other half happy that I’m not starving them to death. We also did a 10 day “HHB detox…” so hopefully between that and the boo balls, the girls little systems are getting balanced back out.

    Unfortunately, when I said “they can have as many boo balls as they want” my overfeeding other half took that quite literally……….


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    This is for two little red squirrels...

    “Ummm, don’t you think that’s a little excessive on the boo balls?”

    “Hey, you said they could have as many boo balls as they wanted, those were your words, not mine. I’m just doing what you told me to.”

    Looking down at my coffee wondering if it was too early to add a little Bailey’s…”I know I said that, but I didn’t mean literally, like fill up the entire bowl. I meant they could have as many as they wanted within reason, you know compared to the Henry’s.”

    “You need to make up your mind, either they can have as many as they want…”

    “How do you know they want that many?”

    “Because they eat them all, I think you’re starving them to death.” This was said with that sideways glance, raised eyebrow, accusing tone.

    “Oh, for the love of Pete, I’m not starving them to death!” I discretely add Baileys to my coffee; I figured it was 2:00 in the UK. “And they don’t eat all of them, they hide most of them. You know, it’s that time of year, they’re hiding half of what we give them.”

    “How do you know they don’t eat them? I’m pretty sure they’re eating them…”

    “Because I clean the ones they hid out of their enclosure every night…speaking of which, why was there part of a fig newton in their stash?”

    “Because I gave them a little piece of one….you” (the you was very much emphasized) “said they could have fruit.” I now got the completely turned around, arms folded, leaning against the counter posture, but no pointy finger…I might be making progress.

    “I don’t think fig newtons count as fruit.”

    “It says ‘contains real fruit’ on the package. They couldn’t put it on the package if it wasn’t true…”

    “Well, okay, maybe it does contain ‘real fruit’, but it’s cookie fruit, not like healthy fruit.”

    “Cookie fruit? What in the world is cookie fruit? When did you become the fruit gestapo and decide what fruits are cookie fruit and what fruits are healthy fruits?”

    I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, wondering if I should just add a little coffee to the Baileys instead. “Where do you buy fig newtons?”

    “At the grocery store, duh.”

    “Oh for the love of….you get them in the cookie isle, so…cookie fruit. If they were healthy fruit they would be in with the fruits and vegetables, but they’re not, they’re in with the cookies…again, cookie fruit.” My hands had started waving around on their own accord like they were swatting at a vengeful murder hornet; unfortunately, wildly gesticulating hands seem to have little impact in driving my point home. At least not for me.

    “You gave them pieces of your grape…”

    “Wait, what?” Yep, Baileys with a splash of coffee. “It…was…a… grape….like a real grape, not a grape wrapped in a soft cookie crust…I even took the peel off.”

    “Yeah, but you’ve given them cotton candy grapes before…cotton…candy…….candy fruit…” This last part was said in a drawn out, conspiratorial tone.

    Now, I should take a moment to explain; these are not little balls of cotton candy wrapped up to look like grapes, they are, in fact, actual grapes, grown on actual grape vines, found in the fresh produce section of an actual grocery store.

    “And…” My cookie fruit feeding other half was now on a roll…”you gave Taz a cinnamon roll last weekend.”

    “Oh my hell....seriously?" Bailey's wasn't going to cut it..."I didn’t give Taz a cinnamon roll, she stole it off my plate when I went to refill my coffee…I chased her around the kitchen to get it back…” again, wildly gesticulating hands, no effect…perhaps I need to gesticulate different body parts…

    “Well, whatever, she still got some cinnamon roll…which by the way, has no fruit in it.”

    “But you were sitting right there…next to my plate…” My voice raising an octave...that was odd...I dump my Bailey's/coffee...

    “And…?”

    *Sigh* “Okay, okay….so…no more cotton candy grapes, cinnamon rolls or Fig Newtons…deal?"

    “Deal.”

    “Thank you.”

    “Unless you’re starving them to death…” and with that my utterly confusing other half picked up her coffee cup and left the room.

  28. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Taz2020:

    Chirps (11-09-2021), CritterMom (11-08-2021), HRT4SQRLS (11-08-2021), Mel1959 (11-09-2021)

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