This week in squirrels May 2016, Part I

I have really fallen behind on my squirrel news reporting responsibilities, and there has been SO MUCH squirrel news, that this week will require two posts to catch up. Today, a lot of power outages, squirrels and food, and squirrels in schools and squirrel rescue. Stay tuned for Part II, which will feature A LOT of squirrels and crime, squirrels and sports, this week in cute, and MUCH MORE!

Annoying squirrels for science

slateI'm very excited that my research examining fox squirrels' responses to a frustrating task has finally been published. This was my first study in graduate school, and although my research questions have changed a lot since then, I had a lot of fun with this one! I spoke with Rachel Gross at Slate about my study, you can read all about it here!

Power Outages

vandalA squirrel "committed suicide" in Lockport, NY, causing three schools to be canceled. Squirrel-related power outages also happened in Berwick, LAWestbrook, MEKennewick, WAGaffney, SC; and Bartlesville, OKAustin, TX is apparently being held hostage by the threat of "hacking squirrels," and in Madison, a squirrel was electrocuted and started a grass fire. Another person in Madison reported vandalism in the form of snipped electrical wires, which was blamed on a squirrel – perhaps the same one that started the fire?

The omnivore’s dilemma – nuts….or pizza?

Last year, a New York city rodent (a rat), took the world by storm when she was filmed dragging and eating a slice of pizza in a subway station. "Pizza Rat" may have been the best PR rats have ever had. But the rat's cousin, the squirrel, also has a taste for human food.

I prefer NY style pizza, but looks like Chicago pizza has one fan…in this squirrel

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Not to be outdone, Portland has their own pizza squirrel...

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...and now Ann Arbor wants a “piece” of the action.

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Even the squirrels in Florida are eating pizza

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and now pizza squirrel has gone international – even the British squirrels are getting into it:


This is a new one…"fried chicken squirrel?"

They’re often called “chicken of the tree” but a squirrel got the best of one bird.

And in Kentucky, we have a “sundae squirrel” – I’m starting to get a little concerned about the health of my rodent friends!

And finally, in this week's rodent junk food news, milkshake squirrel is back.

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Some squirrels with healthy eating habits

This squirrel was observed by local police officers stealing an apple, brazenly climbing up a tree in full view to dig in!

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Other squirrels are desperate for nuts…and will do what they can to get them!

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stormNo storm is going to stop a squirrel either - this squirrel braved 70 mph winds to get at a bird feeder!


Squirrels and schools

Pest control workers were set to shoot some squirrels (I guess that’s how they do it in Arkansas?) -- but instead sent swat teams running and caused a school shutdown.

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And a rogue squirrel injured two school children in Corbin, Kentucky.

A squirrel in Iowa has been dubbed "Fred" and has won children's hearts after peeping into their classroom.

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Squirrel in a “bonnet” (aka squirrels and cars)

I mostly like the Brits call “under the hood of a car” a “bonnet.” But a lady found a whole family of squirrels there. With video!

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Maybe it was this squirrel who found themselves homeless after a tree was chopped down.


And a squirrel in York, Pennsylvania was up to similar tricks - building a nest in a truck.

Cars aren't just good nests - for some squirrels, they're a great place to store food!

Squirrel rescue

rescueA mom squirrel saved her babies from a fallen tree.






And a vet saved a squirrel who got himself stuck in a bottle.


Rescued, released, still hanging around - this squirrel stayed close to home.

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This baby squirrel was rescued from house fire, and nicknamed “Crispy.” Crispy was sent to a wildlife center for rehab and release.

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Strange squirrels

foxcoatWhen a gray squirrel isn’t gray - people seem particularly fascinated when they encounter a squirrel that isn't gray...but many "color-morphs" pop up in populations, including all-white and all-black squirrels. And even fox squirrels come in many variations.


baldyOf course some squirrels have no hair at all! In the UK, one such squirrel, Baldy, was rescued by a wildlife rehab center. It's believed that Baldy died of cancer. Another naked squirrel, Earl, was found in North Carolina.



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Or perhaps you have no tail...this little guy lives on the Berkeley campus, and I think it is one of my displaced research subjects! People have fallen in love with his "stumpy" tail.





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