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Many of the females had ragged ears or other signs of the hazards of living. Males with aggressively court females and defend access to them (see my post from May 7 for more on that). I assume that many of the scars on the squirrels were from squirrel-to-squirrel interactions during breeding season. Once we had the chance of watching a red-tailed hawk swoop down and steal a squirrel off the ground. The hawk was successful and we then watched it eat the squirrel. I imagine that not every attempt ends this way and that many a squirrel lives to climb another tree, hide another acorn, a scar as wide as a talon bears witness to the fact that squirrels are prey.
Ecological notes: The squirrel was eating a walnut from our tree. This has definitely been a bumper year for walnuts and a red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) has been fiercely defending it, trying in vain to fend off the grays from stealing a snack.
Where: We spotted the squirrel on one of the wonders of the modern world of Latham Ct (the Silver Maple in my driveway).