Squirrels Please Come Back!

We used to have a dozen or so squirrels eat sunflower seeds beneath our bird feeder all day long. Trying to keep them off the feeder was a lot of fun for us. Then one day this month they just stopped showing up. It is as if they migrated en masse or were exterminated or cleansed or something. Can someone provide some explanation for their disappearance please? My children are inconsolable because of their absence. Any suggestions on how to attract them back home would be appreciated. I know they are a nuisance but I'd rather have them than having an empty yard.
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Peanuts worked for the chipmunks, in the shell, are fairly cheap to the entertain both the squirrels and the kids. No more than a small handful at a time.
BetsyB

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They must all be in my woods. I've never seen so many this early. They do migrate with food availability.
Tom J
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franzen snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

It could be something as simple as someone in the neighborhood with a new cat.
But if your rodents are truly gone you can come to my place next spring with a live trap and some carriers and take a replacement dozen (or two or three). The oak and hickory trees were very productive this year and the nuts are thick on the ground. That invariably means that the woods around here will be overflowing with young squirrels by early spring.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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franzen snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com said:

Either something* has been hunting the squirrels or they are off feasting on a nut tree somewhere else in the neighborhood and will come back after they have finished eating/storing the nuts. Squirrels do not live by sunflower seeds alone.
*Could be a cat or some other four-footed predator, or could be a hawk. Just this week I saw a large hawk make a try for a squirrel. The squirrel dodged very neatly, then ran around tauntlingly while the poor hawk just stood and stared. (I wouldn't have minded if the hawk had gotten the squirrel. Hawks have to eat, too.)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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I've noticed a scarcity of squirrels around here too. Maybe they're forming a million squirrel march on Washington. But, seriously, over the years, I see animal populations wax and wane. Probably normal. Frank
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