Sunday, February 26, 2012

hair yesterday, gone today

The mysterious malady that afflicts squirrels in the winter has arrived, in spite of all the mild weather.  While walking around PCV and Stuy Town I've been finding squirrels in various stages of deshabille, as they lose parts of their glorious fur coats.


One of Spunky's kids

A Stuy Town squirrel

A young gray
It seems to mostly affect the young squirrels, although Spunky has been rather hard hit. Some think it could be mange, while others say that hair loss in squirrels (especially winter-related hair loss) can have various causes that are difficult to determine. Usually the squirrels recover nicely, especially if they get good nutrition.

I found some old pictures of the first squirrel I tried to help, back in February of 2008-- this time 5 winters ago. We called him Pockets, because after his fur started to grow in, there were still two small bald patches on either side that looked like pockets.

He already has some hair here, but when I first saw him he was almost entirely nude and could have died from exposure. And it was cold that winter! But with plenty of TLC, Pockets grew into a very pretty little squirrel. Here he is 3 months later:
first cherry

What I remember best is how Pockets overcame his natural fear as a baby squirrel, and would approach me, staying out in the cold for long periods of time (often after the other squirrels had left), to get extra nuts. Even as a small baby, he seemed to know exactly what was needed to survive. And survive he did!

No comments:

Post a Comment