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Bl**dy squirrels

Discussion in 'Personal' started by bedingfield, May 7, 2012.

  1. bedingfield

    bedingfield New commenter

    For the past 2 years, we have had blackbirds nesting in our clematis and it has been lovely to see the parents going in and out, feeding them etc.
    Today I was looking out of the window and saw the blackbird sitting with grubs in its beak waiting to go into the nest. Coming up behind him along the fence was a grey squirrel. The blackbird flew away and the squirrel went straight into the clematis. By the time I got outside it was too late... The squirrel had gone and so had the last of the chicks.
    I know that it's nature, but still so sad. I didn't realise squirrels even ate meat, but I have just searched the internet and it is quite common for them to steal eggs and eat chicks.
    Now I know why they're called tree rats.
     
  2. bedingfield

    bedingfield New commenter

    For the past 2 years, we have had blackbirds nesting in our clematis and it has been lovely to see the parents going in and out, feeding them etc.
    Today I was looking out of the window and saw the blackbird sitting with grubs in its beak waiting to go into the nest. Coming up behind him along the fence was a grey squirrel. The blackbird flew away and the squirrel went straight into the clematis. By the time I got outside it was too late... The squirrel had gone and so had the last of the chicks.
    I know that it's nature, but still so sad. I didn't realise squirrels even ate meat, but I have just searched the internet and it is quite common for them to steal eggs and eat chicks.
    Now I know why they're called tree rats.
     
  3. How sad - like you I am under no illusions about how nature is red in tooth and claw but it is a real shame none the less.
     
  4. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    I am at a loss to see why this is in any way sad.
     
  5. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Magpies also steal eggs and young.
    I once worked in a school where there was an enclosed quad that you could see from the general office. Every year a pair of ducks nested and hatched ducklings. Every year all the babies were eaten by magpies. Nature can be quite cruel.
     
  6. Ming_the_Merciless

    Ming_the_Merciless New commenter

    Squirrels in turn are eaten by owls, goshawks and common buzzards.
    Squirrel eats bird, bird eats squirrel. Which is worse?
     
  7. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    The OP enjoys the busy and burgeoning life of a Blackbird's nest in their clematis more than the existence of a slightly plumper squirrel and a distressed bird having lost a major investment of effort and instinct.
    Simple enough, it's fairly a normal personal preference.

     
  8. You heartless man! The death of anything cute and fluffy is sad and blackbird chicks are very, very fluffy!
     
  9. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    squirrel eats bird is worse
    Mind you a fox ate one of our drakes yesterday.
    That was a bonus from our point of view.
    Horrid little *** it was.

     
  10. bedingfield

    bedingfield New commenter

    Grey squirrels (not native red ones) used to be classified as vermin and during the war people were paid to kill them.
    So for me - grey squirrel eats bird is worse as it is not a native species.
     
  11. lrw22

    lrw22 Occasional commenter

    They're a pain in the ****. There are loads around here, they went through a phase of coming into my loft every night to have a good run round and steal my loft insulation for their nests! We had to get a pest control man to put super strength warfarin down. He said he'd been called to another house nearby where there had been 10 of them nesting in the loft.
     
  12. Ming_the_Merciless

    Ming_the_Merciless New commenter

    Hmmm.
    Suggest you read "Interactions between the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), great tit
    (Parus major) and jackdaw (Corvus monedula) whilst using nest
    boxes" - Journal of Zoology Volume 255, Issue
    2,
    pages 269–272, October 2001
    The abstract notes that "The presence of great tit clutches and broods in the spring did not prevent red
    squirrels from occupying boxes. Only 28% (n= 12) of all the recorded
    great tit clutches produced fledgling young in 1994 to 1997 and red squirrels
    were found to have consumed some of the chicks and eggs."
    Red squirrels are predators of birds too.
     
  13. I used to quite like squirrels - we had a family who lived in the tree in the garden of our old house and they kept me amused staring out of the kitchen window while doing the washing up for many hours.
    Then I got the dog.
    After hour number 937 with the dog boinging hopefully at the trunk of a tree under the mistaken belief that if he did the Tigger impression long enough he'd either grow wings and be able to fly up to the squirrel sat winding him up at the top, or the sky would suddenly start raining squirrels - the novelty of them wore off.
     
  14. ALL squirrels are omnivores. Just Tufty is cuter looking and belongs here.
    We tend to shoot a grey or two every year. They get drunk on fallen apples and pears and get very aggressive.
    One decided his range included the roof of the shed - really dangerous walking out to the car as it would fly down the roof and screech. Once, when drunk it leapt at Climber... and was dead 5 minutes later. We don't mess with them, horrible critters.
     
  15. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Are squirrel cubs starving to death cuter?
     
  16. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Assuming you are talking about the grey tree rats... they are classed as vermin. You can nail the ***. There are squirrel traps available that they climb into and get their verminous necks broken.
     
  17. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Surely you can only consider them as vermin if you have proof of individual squirrels acting in a verminous way? Classifications don't take into account the vast variety of habitat and opportunity available. Magpies, round here at any rate, are no doubt more carnivorous than the local squirrels . . . . . . .but the squirrels dig up my newly planted bulbs and munch them . . . . but so what? I wouldn't trap them f.fs, I'm on their turf no doubt, not the other way around.
     
  18. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    No you can't
    <h2>Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 (WMPA 1996) (C.3) </h2>
    Under section 1 WMPA 1996 it is an offence for any person, with
    intent to inflict unnecessary suffering, to mutilate, kick, beat, nail
    or otherwise impale, stab, burn, stone, crush, drown, drag or asphyxiate
    any wild mammal.

     
  19. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Nope. Under various orders moles, grey squirrels, rabbits, mink, stoats, weasels, rabbits, rats and mice are classified as small ground vermin and can be caught in spring traps
     
  20. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Hear, hear!!!!!
     

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