An Old Friend?

No, I’m pretty sure we haven’t meet.

Squirrels are hard to tell apart.  At least for me they are.  That’s not too surprising since I’m terrible at recognizing people I’ve seen before as well.  But short of some really stand-out identifying mark, like past squirrels Foxy and Squirrelcoon, I wouldn’t know a squirrel I’d met before if I ever ran into him again.

The squirrel you see above is the last one I encountered on my park trip this past Thursday.  I got three photos of him, and they all reveal a very distinguishing feature that gave me an eerie sense of deja vu….

Flashback to October 2019

From The Nest’s historical archives…

Both that squirrel from 2019, and the squirrel I met this week are missing their right ears!!!

Could it be the same squirrel?  Squirrels in the wild aren’t known for having very long lifespans, though I’d imagine a squirrel at the park would at least be safe from human predators.  But come on, how many squirrels out there are making do without their right ear?

October 2019

December 2020

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good body shots of the squirrel from last year… but both squirrels do show a bit of a deformation in their left ear.  I’m just not sure it’s exactly the same.  2019 Squirrel seems to have a small notch 1/3 of the way down, while 2020 squirrel’s left ear looks more like it just has an exaggerated point.  If it isn’t the same squirrel, then it sure is a bizarre coincidence that I found two right ear missing squirrels in the same park within 14 months of each other!

Or maybe some sadistic person/critter out there is collecting squirrel ears!

The only creep that comes to this park is YOU!

One Eared Squirrel strikes again, or just a whimsical case of serendipity?  A Saturday Squirrel mystery we may never know the answer to…

Have a great weekend everyone!

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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27 Responses to An Old Friend?

  1. Hmm…perhaps there’s a one-eared “clan” out there…..maybe a warrior clan whose clan-members have lost an ear in battle. (yes my imagination is out of control today). Whatever the story – I’m glad you found another fun and interesting squirrel to share with us – maybe he is your old friend.

    Pam

    • And just like last time, I didn’t notice the missing ear until I got home and went through the photos! Had I noticed in either case, I would’ve made sure to get more pictures and endure the wrath of the one ear clan!

  2. ghostmmnc says:

    I think it’s probably the same squirrel. Pretty odd to have more than one missing an ear. I never knew why some have those notched ears. Who goes around doing that to the little critters?

    • I only see the ear notches on the squirrels at the park, and it has to be part of some program where they trap, mark and release them. Probably to control the population via sterilization. I’d guess their ears aren’t the only thing that gets clipped…

  3. chattykerry says:

    We have one with a floppy ear just now – probably going to name him Floppy. Then there is Polar with vivid white spots on his ear and Fluffles aka Fluffless. A feisty little girl whose tail is beat up. They have started gently knocking at the door. In my defense it has been unnaturally cold of late. Don’t tell the neighbors…

  4. Probably the same squirrel. Or there’s a trait in that particular squirrel gene pool that tends to deformed right ears…? Strange all the same and you’re right .. eerie!

    • It would take a hell of a fight for a squirrel to lose a whole ear. The odds that two of them met that same fate seem long. If it’s a genetic defect, then I guess it could be a relative! I’m skeptical it’s the same squirrel, though, because the left ears don’t match up…

  5. Squirrels have a long life span. It might just be your old friend. The photos are adorable.

    • The CAN have a long lifespan — in captivity. In the wild, their lifespan is typically two to three years. A five year old squirrel is an elder. But as a pet, they can live ten years or more. I have to assume they do not wish to be domesticated.

    • The park squirrels are pretty street smart. Earlier in the year while I was there, a huge hawk began circling overhead. While I was watching it (and failing to get a picture), every squirrel in the park disappeared for about 15 minutes!

  6. Rivergirl says:

    There can’t be too many of those odd fellows around, gotta be the same guy.

  7. The only way i can recognize individual squirrels is by their scars or other obvious traumas. Apparently squirrels fight not only predators, but with each other. I recognize my very fat squirrel because I’ve never seen another with a butt like his, but otherwise, all I can tell is whether they are gray or red and sometimes, male or female. We are probably unrecognizable to them, too.

    • Back in the days when I had my corn cob feeder, I’d watch the activity a lot… and you could always tell who the alpha squirrel was. Because if he was around, he was the only one allowed to eat the corn. Any squirrel stupid enough to get too close, even while alpha was eating on the go, was going to get violently chased away. Despite that, though, I’ve never seen any physical deformities on the squirrels in my yard…. just occasional weird colored tails.

  8. Or, there’s a unsuccessful left-handed cat out there. 😉

  9. draliman says:

    Maybe they’re all members of the same squirrel street/park gang. They do ear clipping rather than gang tattoos.

  10. mydangblog says:

    Squirrel Van Gogh–I wonder if he can paint with that tail!

  11. noelleg44 says:

    I’ve read that wild squirrels may live only one year but potentially, the good Lord willing, can live to be ten! I think it’s the same squirrel. Wonder if it was born that way?

  12. A one eared squirrel. I wonder if it hears as well as the traditional 2 eared squirrels? Does this squirrel have super sight to make up for the ear loss. How does he hold his mask on when he cavorts with other squirrels at dinnertime? I’m with Pam, there must be a clan of one eared squirrels.

    Shoko

  13. Hmm, what are the odds? That guy not only is missing one, but it looks like the other is somewhat notched too. Makes you wonder how his hearing is?

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