Your article on squirrels was a very interesting read. A few years ago, I chanced upon a baby squirrel (eyes still closed) laying on the ground in my neighbour’s backyard. Through the supervision of a provincially recognized squirrel rehabilitator, my family raised the squirrel (Whirley), and re-released her in our backyard. We had a mature Silver Maple, which Whirley made her home. There was a drey in a branch that overhung our back porch, and she would spend her nights there. In the mornings, I would call up to her, and watch as she would peek out of the drey, stretch and yawn, before slowly making her way down for breakfast.

Whirley grew up quickly. We had first found her in the spring; she was living in our tree all summer, but by late August she had moved into a tree in a neighbour’s backyard, coming back most days for visits. At some point in September, her daily visits stopped. This is an amazing part… she came back for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Father’s Day. By summer, she was visiting pretty regularly again, and vanished in the fall. After that, we would see her occasionally, and after the next summer she did not come back.
I will admit that prior to this experience, I assumed that squirrels were dirty and unintelligent creatures. I enjoy animals and wildlife, and I have had some experience with rodents, such as pet mice, rats and rabbits… none of which impressed me other than their “cute” factor. Whirley, however, has given me cause to change my mind. She was one of the most interactive and intelligent creatures that I have ever had the good fortune to know. Some of my stories leave people amazed.

Click here for a link to a montage of photos and videos of her. I hope you enjoy.

Paul Laufer, Peterborough

Black colour morph of Gray Squirrel -Wikimedia

Whirley was a black colour morph of the Gray Squirrel and similar to the squirrel in this picture.


Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.