How To Befriend A Squirrel – Step 5
This is the final part of a five part series about the rehabilitation to release of two young squirrels. We recommend starting at the beginning with Step 1: Find a Hungry Squirrel.
Step 5: Give Them A Reason To Stay
This entire adventure began with a fallen tree. It concludes with the same tree.
We have several chainsaws to maintain the trees in this area. We have a massive stack of wood processed from the fallen tree. And a wide range of woodworking tools for our Avion Build. So, when Cowboy decides to make a hawk-proof squirrel house, he has every tool at his disposal.
Returning to a hollowed out portion of the tree base which had been their original home, Cowboy realizes that, while one, easily defensible opening is nice, two are better. So, he opens a second, covert exit in the back of the log, to be positioned facing an ivy covered wall where predators are unlikely to notice squirrels sneaking from house to thickly ivy-covered ground to a dense row of bushes.
Next, we know that the squirrels like to play on the wide flat roof of this squirrel house as well as use it as a vantage point to inspect the forest around them. So, while Cowboy leaves the roof, he adds a hole from the roof back into the main home for quick exits and covers the opening and most of the roof with a second arch of hollowed wood.
When we rerelease the squirrels into the new and improved home, they quickly take to it. Modifying it on their own by adding dry dead leaves to their bedding to make a nest so deep that the squirrels can burry themselves in it through the long, cold winter nights.
The security of the hew home is quickly tested. Within an hour of the rerelease, a hawk comes by and spends an hour rotating between trees in the yard, looking for an opportunity to strike. Tenzing and Hillary man the peepholes (squirrel the peepholes?) and warely watch the hawk for the next hour until it gives up and flies away.
A New Normal
We still come out to give them nuts and make sure they are adjusting fine. But so far, they are managing quite well on their own.