We live near a retention pond with clear grassy areas and quite a few trees. Pat photographs the wild life that visits us. She photographed this red squirrel in a classic squirrel pose, sitting on a post on our deck.
In the winter we put out a critter feeder shaped like a miniature picnic table with benches. We put sunflower seeds, bird seeds, and peanuts in the critter feeder for the birds and small animals.
In the summer the squirrels and chipmunks forage for the bird seed that falls out of the bird feeder.
North America has four main types of squirrels, from smallest to largest: red squirrels, flying squirrels, gray squirrels, and fox squirrels.
Muskegon, Michigan, has a colony of flying squirrels in the large old trees north of Sherman Boulevard and east of Lincoln Street. Flying squirrels are nocturnal. They can be seen moving around near dawn and dusk.
We have gray squirrels and red squirrels (also known as pine squirrels) around our house. Gray squirrels have several coat colors including gray, reddish brown, and black.
The red squirrels are slightly larger than chipmunks. Red squirrels tend to run like bouncing baby lambs. Chipmunks scurry close to the ground. Red squirrels have tufts of fur at the tips of their ears.
The red squirrels can be pretty aggressive. I have seen a red squirrel charge several gray squirrels that are eating at our critter feeder in the winter. The gray squirrels run to at least several yards away, and then turn around and stare at the red squirrel as if thinking: “Are you crazy!? Do you want to get all of us hurt?”
Even if a gray squirrel won a fight with a red squirrel, both would be wounded. Being wounded decreases the odds of survival.
Red squirrels tend to fight each other by raising their bushy tails and yelling. Who ever acts the meanest wins and the other retreats before either gets hurt.
The red squirrels know the wisdom of Sun Tzu in “The Art of War.”
Sun Tzu: “The best general is not the general who wins the battle. The best general is the one who wins without a battle.” (A shortened version of ‘Sun Tzu’s advice).
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