How old is that Blue Jay? Really?

blue jay with kousa dogwoodAt The Edge of the Wood we always enjoying watching everyone prepare for winter. Here we see a Blue Jay and a squirrel vying the delicious sweet fruit of the kousa dogwood tree.  According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site the Blue Jay’s “…fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.” No wonder the Blue Jays are always talking up a storm. They are probably exchanging gardening tips.


When is a house not a house?

house finchWhen it’s a House Finch. They  like to nest under the eaves of buildings, thus the name, though they also will nest in trees, shrubs, and on the ground.  The House Finch has not always been found in the eastern United States. In 1940, they were illegally captured in California and imported to New York by pet dealers. Fearing prosecution, the dealers released their “Hollywood Finches” on Long Island in 1940. Since then the finches have spread to all corners of the east and have even rejoined their relatives in the west. It seems even Hollywood was too small for this little finch.

Will the Real Squirrel Please Stand Up?

impostor squirrel tries to make friendsHere At the Edge of the Wood no one is fooled by this fake but it is good reminder that squirrels are flesh and blood not mere cardboard cut-outs.  Thoreau writes in Walden, “The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.” So slow down and drive the speed limit!  You can smell the roses along the way and spare a furry friend his life.

5000 Feathers and Counting

Turkey FeathersA wild turkey has between 5000 and 6000 feathers, some in striking iridescent gold and bronze. So the next time you want to draw the classic turkey by outlining your hand, you might want to ask a few hundred friends to help.


Home is Where?

Floating with squirrels and catbirdThe Edge of the Wood would like to salute Abby Putterill. Putterill, 16, adopted Hammy, a mopane squirrel, two months ago after the tiny animal was found injured and abandoned at Zimbabwe’s Bally Vaughan Wildlife Sanctuary, which is owned by Putterill’s parents. The little orphan is living in her hair. She just let Hammy stay in her ponytail after he climbed in and got comfy one day. Besides sleeping and showering, the pair are virtually inseparable, she said. Here’s to Abby! She already knows that home is where the heart is.


We Now Praise Cheek Pouches

cheek pouches are awesomeCheek pouches are pockets on both sides of the mouth. They allow for rapid collection of food, but also serve as temporary storage and transport.  Some hamster moms can hide their young in their cheek pouches to carry them away from danger. Other species are known to fill their pouches with air to make them more buoyant while  swimming. Clearly everyone would be better with a cheek pouch, as this amazed song sparrow seems to express.

Spring Migration is On!

Song Sparrow joins inThe tiny Song Sparrow on the right is a newcomer to The Edge of the Wood. She seems interested in the kerfuffle. This tiny sparrow is less than two ounces and may have come all the way from Mexico to join us. Her lovely song is a welcome addition to the morning chorus.