Tag Archives: bird feeders

Too smart to quit

A biology professor in Canada tells it like it is. Squirrels are just too smart for us to keep out of bird feeders. Although he tries.

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Speaking of birdfeeders, you say potato, I say...

Can you prove a bird feeder isn't a squirrel feeder? A woman in Canada was cited for "providing sustenance for squirrels." Since neither squirrel nor bird feeding is illegal where she lives, the question is whether she is attracting vermin through her "bird feeding" habits.

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The war on squirrels

Slate recently covered the 1918 "war on squirrels" where California children were enlisted to kill ground squirrels who were responsible for the destruction of millions of dollars worth of food crops. Children enthusiastically came forth with over 100,000 squirrel tails that were captured in a week, and crops made a brief recovery.

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And in North Carolina, people are going nuts for squirrels, but not in a good way: more people than ever are seeking "pest control" services for squirrels.

But squirrels fight back

Not to be deterred by these attempts at eradication, squirrels recently attacked children in a British park, where "In one instance a child was feeding a squirrel when six others ran out from a bush and bit his hand." Six squirrels at once??? Apparently medics had to spend three hours treating the wounds.

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The Chicago alderman who suffered an injury after a squirrel  jumped into his bicycle spokes is back on duty. The accident happened shortly after he implored the city council to fight the Chicogo squirrel problem. Upon his return, he repeated his plea to "ban squirrels," although he claims it was in jest.

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Police Blotter

In Wisconsin, a woman reported that "while her 10-year-old son was waiting for a bus, a man in a car threw a $5 bill at him" -- and in other news, a squirrel was trapped in a home, made a mess and died.

A teenager who broke into a home to steal guns was thwarted by the homeowner's pet squirrel, who startled the teen and "attacked" him.

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A man dodged hitting a squirrel while driving and lost control of his Jeep, hitting a utility pole, a street sign, a tree and a flag pole. The squirrel and driver were unharmed.

The ongoing attempted murder trial for a man who shot his neighbor in the buttocks last May has been postponed to June. The incident began with an argument over squirrel feeding. The accused has stated that he thinks feeding squirrels is a way for him to commune with his dead parents.

Squirrel rescue

Although squirrels are very self-sufficient, once in a while they need our help. A man in Omaha freed a squirrel who had gotten her head stuck in a cereal box.

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In Lowell, Michigan a family found a squirrel who had been impaled by a dart. Wildlife rescue was able to capture and treat the squirrel, who is expected to survive.

A Floridian squirrel got stuck between a sliding door and the screen for almost an hour. Another squirrel stopped by to see what the heck was going on. The squirrel was eventually freed without injury.

And New York's finest took a break from policing the streets to rescue a baby squirrel who was blown from his nest!

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While I'm not a fan of squirrels as pets, this Florida family is getting chemotherapy for their pet squirrel who has breast cancer.

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Squirrels and Food

A squirrel is either commuting between NY and Philly, or each town has yet ANOTHER pizza squirrel. Boston recently laid claim to its own pizza squirrel. In case you haven't guessed, squirrels enjoy pizza.

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In Canada, a squirrel and a crow disagreed on who was going to get that last slice of pizza.

Squirrels and Sports

Baseball season is here, and perhaps you've been wondering, what's the Rally Squirrel been up to? And will he predict this year's World Series Champion?

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Power Problems

Squirrel related power outages were reported in SeattleKetchum, ID, North Lakeland, FLTerre Haute, IN, Laureldale, Pa, East Duluth, MNOntario, Canada, Williams, AZ, and Morganton NC.

A squirrel "triggered" an electrical problem, leading a nightclub in Thailand to burn down. There was no indication of what exactly the squirrel did.

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In memoriam

Students in Houston raised funds to preserve a much-loved campus squirrel with unique markings.  The cause of death of the White Tailed Squirrel is unknown, but his taxidermied body will carry on his legacy forever.

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In Kansas, students held a memorial service for Ralphy, a campus squirrel who was found dead and "didn't deserve to die."

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Hunting corner

Squirrel: It’s what for dinner

The Missouri Department of Conservation recently posted a new video on making Squirrel Sausage. Start with fifteen squirrels...

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Representatives in Mississippi recently proposed extending the squirrel hunting season, to give dogs more time to work.

And the Holley Squirrel Slam, subject of a 2015 lawsuit that was tossed, has once again been targeted. The Fire Department of Holley, NY has been advised to seek legal council after a lawsuit was filed by a local squirrel supporter. The "Slam" offers cash and other prizes to folks who bag the most squirrels on Slam Day.

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An alternative to killing: sterilization via Nutella

Gray squirrels are causing problems for the red squirrels in the UK. But folks don't want to kill mass numbers of cute gray squirrels. The possible answer? Delivery of oral contraceptives to gray squirrels via Nutella.

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It's been a rough few months...I submitted two manuscript revisions (one of which has been accepted! Huzzah!)! I went to New York City to be a panelist at the Better with Pets Summit! And I'm madly preparing for my final experiment that I hope will lead to my receiving a PhD sooner rather than later.

But, until the graduate school tidal wave returns...it's time to find out what squirrels have been up to for the last two months (no surprise, they've been busy).

Squirrels’ Reign of Terror

Marin County on high alert

squirrelattackThe biggest news of late is the report of EIGHT separate squirrel attacks in a neighborhood in Novato, CA. Some of the attacks occurred when a squirrel jumped from a tree onto its victim. The problem began a few weeks ago, when the squirrel entered a school, biting a teacher and a student before being chased out of the building.

More recently, a squirrel attacked an 87 year old man, giving him injuries on his hands and face. Because of the proximity of reports, and similar behaviors reported, animal control believes the same squirrel was involved in all of the incidents.

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This weekend, police reported they believe the squirrel is dead, as attacks have ceased. Warning flyers have been posted in Novato just in case he is not.

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Yet another klepto-kitty

Are cats becoming more likely to steal or is the internet just making us more aware of these thieving felines?  Yet another cat wandering the neighborhood and bringing goodies back home, such as undies and even a bag of weed. This kitty seems to have a preference for My Little Pony. Some cat experts have weighed in on this behavior before.  Read veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman's take here.

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Bird feeders spread avian "pink eye"

birddiseaseAs sad as this makes me to say, there is yet more evidence that bird feeders can do more harm than good (aside from attracting more squirrels than birds). A new study showed that birds who prefer feeders over foraging are major players in the spread of disease to other birds in their flock. If you feed birds, clean and disinfect your feeder every time you fill it please!!

 

 

 

What kind of movies do chimps want to see?

My undergrad advisor, who worked with Kanzi the chimp, told me that the chimps he worked with loved to watch football games and videos of chimps fighting. A new study, using non-invasive eye tracking, looked at what chimps look at when watching a video of humans, including one wearing a gorilla suit. By changing some features of the video on second viewing, the scientists could see what the chimps remembered, and what they expected to see.

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Human Vs. Squirrel: It’s a Never Ending Battle

Squirrels can get into enough trouble on their own, but somehow, involve a human, and someone is going to get hurt (usually the human)

Someone made the mistake of offering his hand to a squirrel in the Grand Canyon. The squirrel bites him. Then a bunch of other tourists try to pet the same squirrel. Just sayin.’

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This man went to claim his bicycle, only to find a squirrel with the same idea in mind. The squirrel made a go for his GoPro, too.

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And for the second time in a few weeks, a squirrel has “gone wild” in the NY subway system. They must know I'm headed there.

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3 Comments

It's been a while since I've updated you on the latest squirrel news, and there's a lot to say!

How did this squirrel get on a plane?

customsA stowaway on a flight from Costa Rica, this baby squirrel was turned over to US Fish & Wildlife. What happens to foreign squirrels? This one is going to be rehomed by the Houston Zoo.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ground squirrel too tubby; gets stuck in own burrow

Stocking up for the winter is a good thing, unless it's too much of a good thing, as in the case of this ground squirrel. Luckily he was helped out by some passers-by.

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Squirrel flirts with death at NASCAR race

In another "squirrel vs sports" moment, a squirrel almost got squished by sprinting across the racetrack at a recent NASCAR event.

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Squirrels and crime

A man was arrested for heroin possession after he was reported chasing squirrels with a stick in Boise, Idaho.

Police were called when a grey squirrel refused to get out of a woman's handbag in England. The police officer then committed a crime himself, when he released the invasive squirrel back into the wild (law requires that they should instead be "humanely dispatched").

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And in the pet squirrels are a bad idea column...a woman in Texas (oh Texas) was bitten by her neighbor's squirrel, B.B., needing stitches and antibiotics after the attack. Keeping a squirrel as a pet is actually not legal in Texas (at least not without some paperwork). The good news: squirrels don't typically carry rabies.

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Spiders build decoys

Spiders in both the Phillippines and Peru have been observed building decoy spiders. This behavior had never been observed before but brings up so many questions! Are there evolutionary advantages? Are some decoy spiders better than others (depending on why they do this in the first place!) Is this tool use in a spider? Can they count to eight? I see a field of research developing before our eyes!! Read more here

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