This week in squirrels April 8, 2014

A little shameless self-promotion

My research examining how fox squirrels assess food and how these behaviors are influenced by factors such as season, food type and competition was recently published in PLOS|ONE, and thanks to open access, you can read it here; or you can read the abridged version at PLOS|ONE's blog, EveryONE.

Regardless, I encourage you to check out our video of these squirrel assessment behaviors:

How squirrels terrorized a golf course for years

A warning: how feeding those cute fuzzy creatures can cause unexpected squirrel problem behaviors, such as destroying golf bags, climbing your legs and humping towels back in the clubhouse. Read more about what this Falls Church community went through here

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Squirrel Q&A with Etienne Benson on the Washington Post

askEverything you wanted to know about squirrels but were afraid to ask, here.

Dead squirrel used as a threat

There's always those scenes in mafia movies where a threat (i.e. detached head) is left on someone's doorstep (or sometimes it happens in real life). Someone attached a dead squirrel to a board, and left the board with a man's name written on it, on his doorstep. No motive has been determined.



More dead squirrels

redkiteIn a scene befitting Nature of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, a bird of prey grabs a squirrel right out of a tree.






Squirrel hunting could get you in trouble

I don't know, hunting animals in your attic seems like a bad idea. The bullets went through the walls and this guy accidentally shot his neighbor who was working on the roof next door. No word on whether he actually shot the squirrel.

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Squirrels cause disruptions 

In Madison, Indiana, power and phone service were knocked out by a "squirrel suicide."

One squirrel survived, and another died in this house fire in Cincinnati, likely caused by the squirrels. They had a nest in the roof of the home. The survivor had a singed tail.

A squirrel who wandered into an office building in Washington DC was caught and removed from a conference room by animal control. No word if this was a Code Pink protester.


Squirrels and oak trees, working together

Squirrels might be tree seed predators, but they are seed dispersers too! They are critical to the survival of their food source. They bury each food item in a different location, and carry many seeds a great distance. The farther the seed is buried from its host tree, the greater chance the seed will be forgotten, and have less competition from other trees.  Those forgotten seeds someday will grow intro trees. Read more here

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And in the cute column...

When this guy found a mama squirrel guarding her babies while renovating a chimney, he built a little house for for her to keep the squirrel family safe and dry.

and it's baby squirrel season!!! Contact your local wildlife rescue if YOU would like to handfeed some littles yourself...and read about Wildcare, a Bay Area rescue group, here.

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