Apr 07-04

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: April: Apr 07-04
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Photo by Robert C. Wetton

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 06:05 am:

You either love 'em or you hate 'em, squirrels that is! This scampering rodent was captured on film (digital) by Robert C. Wetton. He looks like he's posing for him, ready to say cheese (or maybe eat the cheese!). Gray Squirrels stay active all winter long and mostly reside in cavities of trees, eating the food they've stored away, or snacking on the tasty treats you set out for the birds. There are probably a million and three ways to discourage them from raiding your birdfeeder, but look at that sweet little face, how could you refuse him some dinner? :->

By Jeff, Norfolk on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 06:07 am:

First post from the gulf.

By Renee in AL on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 06:16 am:

Cute little fellow!
Nice shot too! I am wondering what kind of digital camera you used Robert?
Best wishes to all!

By RCW on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 06:50 am:

Renee. Im using an Olympus 2100 Ultra Zoom, which I don't belive is on the market anymore.

By J.P. on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 07:18 am:

Personally, I prefer a Crossman 760 over the Olympus 2100.

By RCW on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 07:39 am:

Jp My wife won't let me use my Colt. Darn critters steal the birds munchees, Right!!

By Dave, Laurium on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 07:45 am:

What's going on in this world, the Tiger's are 2-0 for the first time in almost 20 years,..... well, you know what they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while!!!

By julie b., MI on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 08:05 am:

re: the Tigers

As always we must celebrate the victories when they come since we never know when the next one might be! And after TWO games we can still say:

The Tigers are in first place! The Tigers are in first place!!!

By Joe Finn, Rhinelander, Wi on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 08:25 am:

If the Tigers were a high school basketball team, and they jumped ahead 2-0; their coach would be shouting STALL! STALL!

By Cindy, Feet First, Marquette on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:09 am:

Good morning!
Question: What's the name of the bakery that makes the BIG cookies in Laurium? Just a little nostalgia trivia from my youth.

Cute critter.

By HH, Houghton on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:10 am:

The squirrels in our Houghton neighborhood are usually grey, but yesterday I watched a totally black squirrel. He was beautiful. How unusual is that coloring?

By Mary Ann, WY on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:16 am:

Nice photo! The squirrel that comes to our bird feeder here is entertainment for our dog. We let him eat a little and then she goes out and chases him away. Fun she says.

By Greta, Milwaukee on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:18 am:

Hey - the Brewers are also 2-0. Looks like we got the AL and NL all sewed up folks..... and •••• might freeze over, too. **** I have two huge squirrels that rule my backyard. The run around my kitchen window frame and sit on the sill looking in to torment my cats - and I'm on the second floor. One has even been so bold as to charge at the red-tailed hawk that frequents the backyard looking for lunch pickin's that frequent the bird feeder.

By UP_gal on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:23 am:

Cindy: Are you thinking of Toni's ? Near the Post Office in Laurium? The cookies are still there and are wonderful.

By cal, oshkosh on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:31 am:

There's a squirrel living in a hole in the poplar tree right outside my dining room windows. My (very) indoor kitty loves to watch him/her.

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:34 am:

HH, Houghton,

I'm not sure how unusual the black color is, but for sure it's not as common as the gray....
Here's a shot of one I took a couple summers ago.

black squirrel

By Cindy on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:49 am:

YES! That's it "Toni's" , Thanks UP_gal

By Chris, IL on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:55 am:

I believe the black squirrels are gray squirrels. And the brown squirrels are fox squirrels. I have several of the black ones in my yard.

It's great to see the Tigers winning, too bad Dmitri Young broke his leg in last night's game :(

Red Wings open up tonight against Nashville, go WINGS!!!

By Boudary Waters nut in calumet on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:58 am:

Black Squirels,
I agree w/ Mary Drew. They are not common but are around. Some areas they are more prevelent and seem to be not as rare (The Pere Marquette river near Baldwin MI is full of them) but up here they are not very common.

By moi on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:02 am:

Which animal/bird did I hear last night? It made a loud noise every 5 seconds (mating call?) that sounded like a "BWEET!" mixed with the "BZZZT!" sound of an electric bug zapper! Anyone know what I'm trying to describe?

By Kathy, New York on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:38 am:

I've seen nothing but black squirrels in Toronto, Canada. Could they have migrated?

By Carole on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:39 am:

For anyone that would like to see squirrels in action everyday try www.squirrelcam.com. The cam is located in someones backyard north of Nashville Tenn. It is interesting what the guy feeds them in the evening in addition to regular squirrel and bird food/seed.

By Dawn B. Kzoo, MI on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:48 am:

The colors of squirrel is always prevalent, it just depends where you are. Here in the Kalamazoo/Protage area we have gray, red and black. The gray ones tend to stay in Kzoo while the black ones are plentiful in Portage. The red ones tend to be more rare here and seen more in the country areas.

Anyone have any guesses as to why there is a drastic difference in such a small area? (From our house to the area where we see the black squirrels the most is only about four miles.) Could it be the type of nuts and such from the trees?

By Yooper inTroll Land, Mi on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 11:14 am:

In the AuGres area,in the past 5 years, Black Squirrels far outnumber red and gray squirrels. Before that reds and grays were dominate. Don't know why the change happened.

By Just Squirrely on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 12:05 pm:

Then there's the sizes. In different parts of the country the critters are 2-3x the size of Yooper squirrels! But no matter where they hale from, they love to steal from the birdfeeders! And some find berries that may be poisonous to humans but just make the squirrels drunk! They sure are fun to watch at times! But, NOT when they're retrieving acorns from my garden- looks like little, teeny, tiny bombs have gone off all over the place.

By Beth, Ann Arbor on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 12:46 pm:

In Ann Arbor, the aquirrels are famous because they are completely unafraid of people; they'll go right up to anyone asking for food (well, they don't talk- that would be creepy). The squirrels are huge and fat from handouts, and they even have their own fan club in the form of the Michigan Squirrels, a student group who loves the squirrels. It's kind of sad when you see one on the road, because they're cool squirrels.

By ert, GA on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 12:48 pm:

moi, you're probably hearing an American Woodcock. He has a spectacular flight to go along w/ that sound so try to get a look at it.

By ert, GA on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 12:52 pm:

Did you know that squirrels do occasionally fall from trees? I think I've seen it happen 2 or 3 times; the first time I was shocked and a bit worried, but the little rascal bounced on the leaf litter, kinda shook its head, and continued on its way.

By ert, GA on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 12:56 pm:

I don't think I've ever seen a completely black squirrel like the picture -- thanks. In a few areas around here (north GA), we have Fox Squirrels; they are bigger than Gray Squirrels and have more variation in color -- some are quite dark. In the Smokey Mtns. and in many areas of northern US and parts of Canada, there are Red Squirrels w/ many colorful local names; they are very loud!

By Chris, IL on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 01:01 pm:

Grey Squirrels are both Grey and Black:


By Suzanne, WI on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 01:17 pm:

Anyone remember the barber in Laurium? DUKE? My husband would wait until we come up to Copper Harbor on the yearly 2 week camping trip to get his hair cut. He had been getting his haircut by Duke for the last 5 years or so. He loved just sitting there and getting all the gossip and getting a great haircut at an even better price. What happened to Duke? We heard last year he had passed away.

By cheryl mich on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 01:31 pm:

I started feeding a gray squirrel about fifteen years ago. It had part of its tail gone so we knew it was the same one coming back each time. I'd feed her peanuts in the shell so our family named her "Peanut". She got so friendly that she'd come right up to us and feed out of our hands. She'd also come and sit next to us when we sat out on our deck. She'd scratch on our patio door window whenever she came around to let us know she was here for her feeding.We got attached to that little critter. And even wonder where she was if she didn't show up for a day or two.We got to see several of her litters of little ones every spring. The last time I saw her, she was limping and her front paw was bent. So after feeding her for at least 6 years, I knew we wouldn't be seeing her much longer. We still have squirrels come around but there's never been another "Peanut",

By finlander, painesdale on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 01:41 pm:

Love the birds, hate the squirrels. Destructive rodents are all they are.

By tc on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:20 pm:

The squirrels haven't destroyed anything around my house. You must have those rebellious ones there in painesdale. Oh well...to each his own. They are interesting creatures nevertheless.

By cheryl mi on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:31 pm:

The red squirrels are the destructive ones. They're the ones that get into houses and can do some damage.

By North End on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:32 pm:


I heard the same noise yesterday and looked out to see a red winged black bird. Don't know for sure if what I heard is what you mentioned above.

By good grief on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:32 pm:

What is this world coming to?? A web site honoring squirrels! Next it will be the horse fly! I asked the man of the house to get rid of the huge oak in our yard. Give me blue spruce or white birch any day;)

By good grief #2 on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:34 pm:

Forgot to add: it really is a nice photo. But aren't all the photos great. Loved the ones from White City the other day, thanks Barb N.

By SDC, Ferndale, MI on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:35 pm:

Down yonder here in suburban troll land, in the last 2 years we've seen more and more of the black squirrels. They somehow have migrated from Canada (Windsor, Sarnia area) and we now have them in Ferndale, Royal Oak area. They've chased all the grey and fox squirrels and claimed it as their territory. My grandmother in Dollar Bay had 2 albino squirrels in her yard...I'm talking mid-70's. They were so pretty.

By RCW on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:36 pm:

How about Albino Squirrels!! There used to be several of them in $ Bay. Havn't seen them lately however

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 02:49 pm:

Just an observation about things that make you go hmmm....
The word gray/grey. Why are there two spellings?

By Jennifer, WI on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 03:00 pm:

If we have the Bridge Cam...why not a Squirrel Cam?

BTW-Gardening this past weekend in Green Bay, I found a nest of baby rabbits smack in the middle of my flower garden. Scared the daylights out of me to find furry critters in there! Hope they leave soon! And not come back to eat that garden!

By Words Are Interesting on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 04:18 pm:

To Mary Drew-
I'm thinking the spelling has to do with England english and American english, maybe?
ex.- theater, theatre
I'm sure there are other examples.
(I could be wrong)

By SDinSB on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 04:26 pm:

According to webster's dictionary Gray has to do with color. Grey is British.

By mudjacker on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 04:45 pm:

Fuzzy tailed rats. Thats what they be. Grey, Gray, Red or Black. Just "pretty" rats.

By Mike, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 04:46 pm:

The picture of the "black" squirrel is actually a grey squirrel. It's a fase that grey squirrels can have, such as a white spotted deer. It's rare to see, but a true treasure.

By az on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 04:55 pm:

Here's a new use for the 'ol Rapala
Ya gotta find one that's in the shape of a peanut though.

By dave on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 05:09 pm:

Out here we call 'em "targets"

By troll in eagle harbor on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 05:24 pm:

Lost a nice rainbow over at the marina yesterday.I was using a large MEPPS spinner w/squirrel dressing on the hook...Maybe next time I'll take a net.

By Therese from just below the bridge on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 06:39 pm:

If for nothing else, squirrels are good for giving my dog something to chase off his winter fat. I happen to like them, but then I have also known some intelligent and friendly rats. Round here we have every color, but black predominates, although I recently saw one that was black at the hind end and brown at the fore. One thing about squirrels: if they don't like us they don't use us for target practice. That duty goes to the sea gulls (plop!).

By T, MN on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 07:08 pm:

Does anyone know of a birdfeeder that actually keeps the squirrels out? I don't mind them. But,I put the feed out there for the birds and the squirrels here chase them all away. Poor things:(

By maijaMI on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 08:06 pm:

Re: why the color differences in relatively small areas. It's not the type of trees or nuts. We used to live under 75 year-old oaks. There were many grey, brown, and black squirrels. The black were much less in number, but definitely dominant. It was interesting watching them chase the others out of "their" territory.

I say "brown" but maybe they were red squirrels. Someone said they were the pesky ones who could get into houses. One did once chew through a fiberglass screen and was found stealing our bread. That one got scared off and none of the others ever gave us any problems.

By DH, Temecula, CA on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:17 pm:

Does Dollar Bay still have a herd of albino squirrels?

By Bob Brown, Alabama on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:37 pm:

Squirrels and Baseball...reminds of the two Detroit Tiger baseball scouts that came down to Alabama to see the Montgomery Bisquits play. They borrowed a couple of 22 rifles and went squirrel hunting in the woods near here. They did not kill a squirrel and only saw a few of them. On their way out of the woods they saw a skinny, gangly boy with a string of squirrels over his shoulder. No Gun. they asked him how he got them. He had them get real quiet, took a smooth stone of his pocket and made a few squirrel chirps and a squirrel looked out from behind a branch about 90 feet away. He took that stone in his left hand and zip...knocked the squirrel out of the tree. The scouts asked, "Can you do that again?" "No problem!", the boy said. And he repeated the action, ping!! another squirrel. The two scouts said, "Come with us to Detroit and we will make you a famous lefthanded pitcher!". The boy said, "I am not left handed." The scouts said, but we just saw you hit squirrels in the head at 90 feet with no problem." The boy said, "Yep, I am really right handed, but Paw makes me throw lefthanded 'cause I mangle them too bad with my right."

By Fran,Ga on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:39 pm:

I don't know but some years back my sister had a bunch of them in her yard in Dollar Bay.She hasn't said anything about it lately so I guess they aren't there.She took pictures of them. Really unusual.

By moi on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:39 pm:

ert,GA & north end,

I looked up the sound, and I agree- it was an American Woodcock that I'd heard.(Too dark out- I missed seeing how it flies.)

The red-winged blackbird fits my description of the sound, but the sound was that of the woodcock.

Thanks for your replies!


By misty on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:41 pm:

The word colour is from England too!!!

By MidMich on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:44 pm:

Cheryl from Mich, You had a wonderful story about the squirrel you befriended!! That was awesome of you to do that. I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother had a gray squirrel that would come to her door to let her know he was there and was hungry!!!

By Fran,Ga on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:45 pm:

On TV I saw a squirrel proof bird feeder. It had something around the bottom of it.It would hold the birds weight but if a squirrel got on it it spins it off. Very funny to see!! The one I saw was being sold in a specialty store that sells products for birds.

By Steve, Eagle River WI on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:17 pm:

Around here we have mostly black, but at any time you can see the black and gray running around the yard. Farther down state you only see the gray?

By Tammy, Howell on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:23 pm:

I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful person/people who have provided this sight. I was able to post one message and not only get in touch with a cousin I have not seen in over 20 years...but also received a nice email from someone my dad had worked with. Thank you

By Lowell MO. on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:35 pm:

What about White Squirrels?? and I don't mean Albino's. A friend down here had a whole tribe of them on his place and wouldn't let anybody hunt around there. Guess those are quite rare.

By Ken and Mimi from da UP on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 10:46 pm:

My dad lived in Bowling Green, KY and every am he was out feeding the white squirrels. There were about 6 of 'em on the fence. Mimi has gray and black ones in her back yard. I have gray ones that come around and not so many red ones anymore. :>) Remington 77, .22. Nice shot, RCW.

By T, WA on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 11:09 pm:

T in MN, is there a Wild Birds Unlimited Store in your
area? They have plenty of squirrel-proof feeders. One
is the metal hopper type, with a door that closes when
a heavy bird or squirrel tries to feed. The best, though,
is the pole system. It must be set up far enough away
from trees and buildings so the squirrels can't jump
down on them from above. Also, you should definitely
attach a squirrel baffle to the pole. Even if they can
climb up the pole (and they will!), they can't get around
the baffle to get to the seed. The baffle we bought at
WBU is the hollow cylinder type. We have gray
squirrels and a little northwest cousin of the red
squirrel, called the Chickaree, or Douglas Squirrel. And
Norway rats, too... they are really nasty.

By JBM .CenterLine Mi on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 11:19 pm:

I feed both birds and squirrels. I found a way to keep squirrels of my bird feeder, it's fool proof.
I have 3 feeders for the squirrels. And 2 for the birds. They leave the bird food alone, there to busy in there own feeders, I put in sunflower seeds and reject peanuts. They like that better then the seeds I give to the birds.

By Patt on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 11:46 pm:

In Howell there are mostly red & gray squirrels in town and in the country but in the city park that boarders Thompson Lake there is nothing but black squirells. Go figure>> As far as keeping the squirrels out of your bird feeders just last week I bought some bird seed at Wal-Mart called Squirrel Free. It is coated with chili pepper coating that birds can't taste and squirrels can't handle. Figured it was worth a try and by jove indeed the squirrels do leave it alone.

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Thursday, April 8, 2004 - 12:13 am:


Wait until I tell you about the cousins I have found through here that I'll bet YOU don't even know about, like I didn't! Weird... And there will be E-Mails coming to you telling you, "Oh, I knew this Keckonen, or I knew your Grandma Hilda". Someone here actually has a basket that Grandpa Tiensivu hand made. If you aren't already, you will be hooked on this sight quickly.

I am so happy to be in touch with you again... You have NO idea. I've been talking about it all day long!

By T, MN on Thursday, April 8, 2004 - 01:10 am:

Thanks for answering my bird-feeder question! I'll be ready for them next year!!!

By Louan-Elk Rapids MI on Thursday, April 8, 2004 - 02:28 am:

In Traverse Ciy, back in the '80s, there was a black squirl with a tiny spot of white on the end of it's tail. That must have been a pretty sexy thing for the black squirl population because the next year there were three black squirls with white on their tails. Each year after that, there were more and the white patch grew to the whole tail. There were the years when they looked a lot like skunks and finally, after five or six years, all the squirls in the neighborhood were white. That's selective breeding. They were not albino.

By Renee in AL on Thursday, April 8, 2004 - 03:33 am:

There is a town in Southern IL that has mainly white/albino squirrels. They are a big attration and as such are protected by laws. I think the colors of a certain breed mainly have to do with the genes of the squirels in the area and what works in nature. There are different color variations of the red fox too but the other colors are not commonly seen.
As for weird sounds...give it a couple more months and we all will be hearing some strange ones as this is the year for the 17 year locust to emerge!
Best wishes to all!

By jim of ann arbor on Thursday, April 8, 2004 - 02:13 pm:

I've heard that black squirrels are more aggressive and will tend
to drive other species out, cuz they're larger and eat more,
leaving less for the others.

By Joy, MS on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 10:51 am:

I have a lot of squirrels in my back yard and today I was out at like 9 and 5 squirrels were running around and we didn't know why well we looked behind the wheelbarrel from a distance and there they were making this wierd noise and all the other squirrels were just making the usual noise just more of it I'm clueless on the world of squirrels so does anyone know what was going on? ( I actually think that they were mating but I'm not quite sure ) Thanks

By Joni, Ohio on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 08:38 pm:

Just seen today a white squirrel,
behind our home, in Dayton, Ohio.
Strange to see this, I never seen a white

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