Sunday, October 23, 2011

Alphie Has Two Mommies

It turns out that Alphie the squirrel has more siblings than I originally thought. I thought there were three babies:  one gray and two brown  (pictured  together here for the first time):

Alphie (the alpha squirrel)  and Bettie (the beta squirrel) 
But yesterday two gray babies were poking their heads out of the hole where the nest is.

orange tree nest
So there are at least four babies in this nest.

But  even more interesting, there seem to be two mommies!
Meet Mew Mew
I had been feeding a small black squirrel along with the brown one that I've already introduced here as the Mommy Squirrel of this orange tree brood. I  thought it was a  junior male, but yesterday I found out that it too is a nursing mother.

Mew Mew
How Mew Mew got her name

When she came up on the bench to get fed, she issued the most heart-rending cry. I did a double-take -- this squirrel was mewing like a kitten!   At first I couldn't believe it was coming from the squirrel, and thought maybe there was a cat in the vicinity. But then a nearby squirrel chimed in and began mimicking her. It was absolutely amazing to hear the two of them mewing!  (don't blame me, I'm a squirrel nut - things like this turn me on).

Squirrels have an entire soundscape in their repertoire, much of which is rarely  heard, since they do not often seem impelled to vocalize. Like hearing a tree fall in a forest, one has to be in the right place at the right time to get treated to squirrel talk.
A boy and his grandmother meet Mew Mew.

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