Monday, September 5, 2011

Squirrels in the garden

Squirrels in the garden

With a little luck you, as observant passer-by, this animal lover by running up a tree, or in a fast pace to sprint past the next shelter. The long bushy tail and small ears upright, you know that it was a squirrel. In Greek means 'squirrel': tail that makes shade. That's what they said was very good.

A squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris, is more endearing than two big eyes and a bushy tail. This tail is also vital to the nimble mammals, it is as long as the body and has more than one function. He does, in a hasty jump down, as a parachute, the drag increases and prevents the crash to the ground squirrel. And during a thrilling escape for a marten or other predator spurt the squirrel with his short legs and sharp nails down along a tree while he uses his tail as a rudder during his flight to steer. It is also his umbrella as protection from hot sun and umbrella for protection against rain. Completely endearing is the image of a squirrel that the tail is used as a safe refuge for her sleeping boy or a blanket during cold winter months. With a short length of 18 to 25 inches and weighing 250 to 350 grams, this rodent even a good swimmer.

On the wish of the swift mammal food sources are different. They are champions in finding nuts, acorns, mushrooms, berries and seeds of conifers. But even bird eggs and nestlings are eaten. Autumn is the season to gather food and hide, but also during the winter, the squirrel constantly looking for treats. From a distance of thirty centimeters smell a hazelnut in the ground or a ripe berry. They run their nose and so find themselves in shelters or other squirrels back. They keep a hard nut firmly with their front legs and upper incisors, and then break them with their lower incisors open the note. The molars grind everything well.

Our native species is the red squirrel, varying fur color, from gray to brown and even black. In our region there will be some years too Siberian ground squirrels and tree squirrels in Chinese, all exotic species introduced by humans and kept only a threat to red squirrel. In West Flanders and northern Limburg (B) on the border with the Netherlands also discovered a group of Pallas squirrels. They nibble on wires or damage trees and are trapped because they threaten to expel the native species.

High in a tree, preferably a conifer, the squirrel builds a nest of twigs, leaves and moss with one entrance and exit. From January to August couples mature squirrels. After a gestation period of about 38 days they put an average of 3 boy in the world who during their first eight to ten weeks of life with breast feeding.

During the winter months make it easy for squirrels, they do not hibernate but spend a lot of time in one of their nests, shelter from the inclement winter weather. In the morning they went outside to look for food. The rest of the year they are very active, with peak just after sunrise and sunset.

Squirrels often find their way to gardens in the vicinity of forests. If the garden is also bearing fruit hazel, beech and chestnut are the chances increase significantly. A squirrel is shy but also very curious and actually dares to look for food, even bird feeders in the garden. Give them never eat leftovers or biscuits. A picture of these protected animals is a real challenge but they will not try to catch because the squirrels belong really into the wild.

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