Deb von Rosenvinge from House of the Raven writes the following in response to GMG post American Red Squirrel Midden:
I too enjoy all your posts Kim. Also had a small family of reds move into my house via my crawl space. When I blocked the mother’s main entrance, she found another way in and actually poked her head out of the hole I had to make in my ceiling to get a trap up there, and chided me! I caught the whole family and even caught the mom with two babies at one time! They had foiled me several times of setting the trap– Got the bait, sprung the trap and yet escaped. I finally spread the peanut butter right on the trip mechanism and bingo! I’ll send you a picture of my multiple capture. Thought I should send it on to the Hav-a-Hart company!
All in my ceiling! They sounded like a soccer team rolling around acorns and having a blast!
Thank you for sharing Deb. I read that American Red Squirrels experience severe early mortality; only about 22 percent survive to one year. So good that you were able to catch the mama and babies all together! Deb von Rosenvinge Photo
Pine cone eaten clear to the core, photographed at a Pine Squirrel midden. The mid-day light was very harsh and too contrasty-click images to view details.
Adjacent to where we noticed the Japanese maple tree, Dale Resca, the Facilities Manager at Willowdale, discovered an American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) midden.
American Red Squirrel Midden
A squirrel midden is essentially a squirrel’s favorite place to eat; the fallen scales from consumed seed cones collect in piles, called middens. Sitting on their claimed stump, fallen log, or branch, the squirrel pulls the scales off the cones to get to the seeds.
American Red Squirrel Cache of Pine Cones
You can see from the above photo why the American Red Squirrel is often referred to as the Pine Squirrel. Ripening in late summer, the squirrels collect pine cones and store in a central cache. American Red Squirrels do not hibernate during the winter months; the caches of cones supply nourishment when food supplies are running low.
The American Red Squirrel is widely distributed throughout North America. They are smaller than a gray squirrel and somewhat larger than a chipmunk, with reddish fur and white venter, or underbelly.
American Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) ~ Image courtesy Google images