Monday 1 July 2013

The Baby Squirrel Adventure Continues

    Early last March, I put some covers over the gutters on my house, to prevent the leaves from filling them up.  The covers that ran along the front of my house didn’t quite make it all the way to the end of the gutter.  It left a 2 inch (5 cm) gap uncovered.  I figured that that wasn’t too much of a problem, because how many leaves were going to be blown into that little opening.  At the time, the furthest thought in my mind was baby squirrels.
    In my June 22 blog, I wrote about finding a baby squirrel climbing up the side of our house and looking inside the bathroom window.  It was a mystery to me where it had come from.  Since then I discovered that their nursery was in our roof.
    Despite the fact that I had once sealed all the holes to our roof with wire mesh, a mother squirrel had found an opening, and had decided to have her family there.  I thought I would just wait until the little ones were ready to be out in the world, then I would seal up their entrance to the roof.
    The other day, I was walking around the house and I heard a scratching noise coming from a downspout in the corner of the house.  The downspout comes down from the gutter and into a buried pipe that drains the water away.  In between the buried pipe and the down spout was a crack through which I could see some tiny paws and some eyes peeking through--one of the baby squirrels must have squeezed through the opening of the gutter guard and was having  great fun running back and forth in the covered gutter until it fell down the downspout.
    I got some tools and took the downspout apart so the baby squirrel could climb out.   It was about a foot below the opening.  The sides of the pipe must have been too slippery because after an hour he still hadn’t managed to climb out.  
    Since we were just about to go to the Dunster Ice Cream Social,  I thought I’d better try to get him out before I left.  I went out to my shop and got a thin strip of plywood, then slide it into the pipe.  Because it was wood and had a rough surface, I figured the baby squirrel would be able to use it to climb out.  It did, and as soon as it was out, it scampered across the lawn and away from the house.
    I had noticed that while the one squirrel was trapped in the drainpipe, its sibling continued having fun,  running back and forth through the gutter.  Since both baby squirrels were out of their nest in the roof, I thought I should take advantage of the situation and seal up the hole they had been using to access their home.  I screwed a board across their entrance.
    Several hours later when we returned from the ice cream social, the mother squirrel was on the spruce tree chattering, and the two baby squirrels were running around across the surface of the roof, trying to figure out how to get back into their home.  This activity continued until it got dark.
    The next morning to my dismay, I discovered the mother squirrel hanging on the side of the roof, chatting to a third baby squirrel still in the roof, trapped behind my wire mesh squirrel proof barrier.  I got a ladder and ripped the mesh away so the mother and child could reunite.  The trapped baby squirrel was soon out, but one of the original baby squirrels slipped back into the roof to take its place. 
    In frustration, I just walked away and decided to let the squirrels alone for a couple of days.  Yesterday and today, I have seen no sign of squirrel activities, and I hopefully think that maybe the whole family got fed up with all the trouble cause by that interfering human and took off to find a new home in the woods.  I hope so.  At any rate, I am not going to seal up the remaining entrance to my roof until I am more confident that they are gone.

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