Thursday, March 2

Mama Kat Thursday: Throwback Thursday: The Unwanted Squatter

This weeks Mama Kat prompt choice is to "share something I was writing about last February."
So here's one of my favorite amusing posts from that month last year:

The Case of the Unwanted Squatter
The definition of "Squatter," is someone who takes up residence in a home or property they do not legally own, without authority or permission to do so.

In spring 2015, I remodeled this old, dilapidated bat-house into a nice nesting box suitable for a medium bird, such as a wood-pecker. I designed it with a hinged wood flap on the bottom that's wired shut on one-side, so I could open it later in the year and clean it out.
Being it's for wood peckers, I had also added a generous amount of wood-shavings, so they wouldn't tear up the box making a nest.

About the end of January in 2016, I decided to empty it in preparation for spring. So, Hubby got out the step ladder and spotted for me as I dutifully climbed up to drop and released the hatch to empty old shavings or possible nesting materials.
Slowly, I lowered the hatch and discovered something unexpected inside--something with a brown, furry leg! 
Startled, I dropped the door.
An odd wad of nesting material fell to the ground and some little critter jumped to an adjacent maple tree trunk, then ran higher to peer down at us with huge black eyes.

It had a wide, flat, finely furred tail that immediately made me suspect it was a flying squirrel, but I didn't even know Florida had any and really had never seen one in person before.

So I looked it up---and it was, in fact, a Southern Flying Squirrel, which is a nocturnal kind of squirrel that's only active after dark.
Southern Flying Squirrel
But what I read about wasn't anything good. They like living in colonies together and they are voracious little eaters of everything! They eat everything: berries, nuts, leaves, bark & seeds, but also carrion, insects, bird eggs and even baby birds and so small
the bars of my squirrel proof feeder, which is designed for regular squirrels, certainly would not keep them out!

I guess she remembered I had a "nice hotel," because I found her back in there again this January, too---but this year she had a youngin' in there with her.
He was a little fur-covered, half-pint version of the parent and looked scared to death as I shooed him off the ground and up the fence, so he'd be safe and his Momma could find him. 

So, I guess I'll be leaving that bottom door open early in the fall next year.

Thanks for Visiting!


Lori said...

Awww, she's a cute little critter. I've never seen a flying squirrel. We had a couple scorpian squatters in the garage recently though. I love your little birdhouse and the stone flower on the front - cute!

Trudy said...

It looks so cute and harmless. HA! But that would have scared the tar out of me... I would've fallen off the step ladder.

My son moved to Florida last year. I'll tell him to watch for flying squirrels!

KatBouska said...

A flying squirrel! I would have panicked. But I'm proud of her for finding a safe little spot for her baby. :)

John Holton said...

She isn't wearing a little helmet like Rocky the Flying Squirrel, but I can see the resemblance. I'm surprised she got into the hole...

Jennifer said...

What a cutie! We have a squirrel that comes around but just a regular ole one. We call him Charlie LOL.

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