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Squirrely mals were tagged with f luorescent orange paint before release. These returned, usually within three days. The roof’s hole was patched, steel wool barriers were installed, trap and release continued. Later on, the squirrels were transported much farther away prior to release. The distance required to prevent returning squirrels was greater than five miles! I stopped feeding birds, too. Gray squirrels are prolific. Squirrels begin to breed at one year. They mate twice a year and produce, on average, about six kits each time. Gestation is 44 days, and kits are born pink and hairless. A pair of squirrels may produce more than

All around Delmarva you can look up into the trees and see their nests. 100 offspring during their lifetimes. Early mortality is high because all predators love to eat them. Name a local carnivore; squirrel will be on its menu. I have witnessed squirrels being taken by fox, owl, red-tailed hawk, bald eagle and black snakes. Despite heavy predation, the aver-

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19 N Harrison Street, Easton MD 2160

September 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times September 2013

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