American Red Squirrels are remarkably adaptable. They are able to feed on a tremendous variety of foods, which allows them to inhabit a variety of habitats, from their preferred coniferous forests to deciduous woods and even suburban and near-urban areas throughout their range. Given this adaptability it surprises me that they don’t show up in my yard more often. This squirrel quickly discovered the bird feeder and spent some time vacuuming up the fallen seeds beneath it.
It didn’t take long for it to discover there was more food inside the bird feeder hanging from a hook attached to the fence; when I checked later that afternoon it was on top of the feeder.
I only saw the red squirrel in my yard once more a day or two later. A day after that I noticed a road-killed red squirrel about a block and a half away while on the bus on Grassy Plains. As I haven’t seen any red squirrels in my yard since, I can only presume that my visitor had been hit by a car. It was quite distressing to see, which is one of the reasons I don’t name the birds and critters that visit my yard, or try to distinguish them; most urban squirrels and chipmunks have such short lives that it’s better to not become attached them, as I would mourn each and every single one that I lose.
Hopefully the Nashville Warbler that stopped my yard briefly the same day is doing much better, and reached its breeding grounds successfully.