Squirrels in southern Maine are so fluffy and fat for the winter that they are now terrorizing the neighborhood dogs.
These grey squirrels are described as “chonky, chunky, big-boned and rotund” because of their roundness and big size compared to an average-sized squirrel.
Beth Ditkoff, the house owner where squirrels usually visit, said that there were a lot of squirrels scampering around before, but they don't scamper anymore - they're now lumbering, waddling or plodding to the bird feeders. Some squirrels have figured out how to unlatch the feeders to get access to the seeds, whereas others simply stick their heads into the feeders to eat, then take a brief nap, and then wake up to eat again.
A neighbor reported that a fat squirrel has developed the habit of knocking on her glass door to remind her that the bird feeder is empty!
Furbearer biologist Shevenell Webb reported that foods for squirrels were plentiful in the summer. This could be the reason why the people are seeing such large animals or “Squirrelzillas” this year as compared to past years.
Squirrels are not true hibernators. They just stay up in their nests during the winter with the food they stocked up the whole year.
Jennifer Clements, a registered nurse in a care facility, said that, “Planting native plants on your property, like oak trees, is a great way to enjoy and keep our wildlife healthy in the long run.”
Image Credit: Beth Ditkoff/BDN