Mother Gray Squirrel has passed on and one of her three baby squirrels appeared to be grieving. It was very quiet around the Backyard Oak Tree yesterday and again this morning and it became clear that she had passed. I noted no squirrels came for peanuts yesterday morning and one of her three baby squirrels appeared to be grieving with no interest in eating or foraging as they always do in the morning. I took some poetic license and inserted a thought bubble - more as a tribute to mother squirrel. She may have been grabbed by hawks that have been seen more often lately or perhaps died of natural causes as she was at least three years old - very old for a wild squirrel - the Backyard Matriarch. The silence in the Backyard tends to support a hawk kill as animals tend to stay hidden for some time after witnessing a kill. Such is the way of Nature. She raised the latest three squirrels in a woodpecker nest box this fall and winter and they left the nest in January moving to a nest in the oak tree which they continued to share with their mother - although they were now surviving on their own. Squirrels like most mammals are highly social creatures and no doubt sense grief and loss - the three young ones are now out in the yard eating and foraging and carrying on as squirrels always do! It was a precious thing to get to see the mother raise these three young ones.
A Playlist of mother raising the 3 baby gray squirrels in a woodpecker nest box is at:
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