I live in Watauga county NC. This is in the mountains. I have had for the last two years that I lived here more or less 5-8 grey squirrels all the time. We feed the deer corn and the area where the deer eat has always been good for squirrels. We throw bird seed and sunflower seed on the ground for the squirrels. We have lots of nut trees etc close by. Suddenly the squirrels are missing.Any clue as to why?
David & Sandy
Hi David and Sandy,
Well, I haven't received this type of question before, but there are a number of possibilities regarding the disappearance of squirrels in a home/yard environment. Squirrels have a number of natural predators...foxes, rat snakes, coyotes, hawks, owls, and even feral cats among others, will all feed on squirrels. If a transient member of one of these predators were to suddenly move in, even if for a short time, it's possible they could have taken the squirrels. There's also the possibility that a disease happened to affect the particular group that you had in your yard. Without any hard 'evidence' like carcasses, scat with pieces of bones, visual ID of a predator or evidence of dead squirrels in the yard with no injuries (evidence of disease), it's really impossible to guess. I'm not sure what the feeding cycle is for squirrels preparing for the winter, but it may also be that a different food source with a nutrient that they need became available elsewhere in the environment and they're just not coming around. Sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer, but those would be my guesses.
We have had evidence of a bear trying to climb up onto our deck. We have bird feeders on the beck hand rails. We have a 1000 Volt electric fence around the deck to prevent the squirrels, raccoons and bear from climbing onto the deck. We had several squirrels shocked and killed because their claws got hung onto the wire and died. No more for a year now. The raccoons do not attempt climbing any longer. We are just puzzled, no carcasses found. We are in the yard all the time. We will advise what happens, we are upping the food available for the critters.
Thanks for the response.