There comes a time of year when squirrels cease to strike gardeners as adorable wildlife, and increasingly seem like insatiable pests.
This week's column was inspired by a couple of recent (somewhat) amusing run-ins with squirrels on my balcony. As I dug into the natural history of Quebec's squirrels, I discovered there is a complex conservation story therein, as seems to be the case with nearly every urban wildlife or ecology topic we've explored with Drawn to Quebec.
In the case of squirrels, it turns out the gregarious grey squirrel (which can be black, grey, and even reddish brown) and humans may be inadvertently cooperating to displace the much more reclusive native eastern red pine squirrel.
Of course, there are always humans with (innovative) ideas that hark back to yesteryear. Perhaps the most fun I had doing my research for this week's column was while reading a number of articles by people advocating for hunting and eating urban squirrels.
Let us know in the comments if you've ever tasted squirrel!