Here at the Edge of the Wood we are not sure if the residents organize into pee-wee soccer leagues when our backs are turned, but we do know they are extreme parkour practitioners. Squirrels have padded feet that cushion jumps from up to 20 feet and can run 20 mph. So next time you are choosing up sides for soccer, you might want to look up in a tree and ask a squirrel. Just make sure the ball isn’t made of peanuts.
- A new study finds that songbirds follow a strict annual schedule when migrating to their breeding grounds – with some birds departing on precisely the same date each year. How do they know? Science has yet to discover the secret. In the meantime let’s welcome our migrating friends with fresh fruit and sunflower seeds. What could be more inviting?
To become a city squirrel of course. “As we rapidly increase the spread of urbanisation around the world, urban areas may end up being important places for some wildlife, so it would be good to know what they like about those areas, what allows them to do well.” says Dr Bill Bateman, “We need to know how we can help their continued success, and perhaps encourage other animals to share our urban spaces.” It seems squirrels are brilliant at living in cities as long as they can find a wide varied of foods to eat, and green spaces to chill in. Here At The Edge of The Wood we wish our city cousins the best…but the porch light will always be on.
Not for our birds. Some berries are higher in fat and energy, making them a better meal. On average a cedar waxwing consumes 228 dogwood berries a day. That would equal 184 pints of blueberries for an average human. Want to know about berries for birds? Head over to Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Everything will become berry clear.
Here At The Edge of the Wood we are disturbed about feathers being used in fashion. When you see a feather in a hat or braided into hair there is always a bird who has lost her life. Does fashion really need this? No. Leave the feathers to this red-tailed hawk and the fashion to creative innovators like Stella McCarthney. Beauty doesn’t have to mean misery any more.
No, it’s an Eastern Screech-Owl. He makes a distinctive whiny at night that could be mistaken for a horse. The particular owl lives at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center. His name is Martino, and if not for the skill and intervention of the dedicated staff and volunteers we wouldn’t have his gracious presence. That certainly is something to be thankful for.
At The Edge of the Wood we revere scientists. For 19 years, the owl researcher Denver Holt has journeyed to Barrow, Alaska, to study the lemmings and owls. Holt says, “If climate change results in habitat changes and it affects the lemmings, it will show up in the snowy owls because 90 percent of their diet is lemmings. The owls are the key to everything else.” The health of owls tell us about the health of our world. So get to know an owl. She might have something important to tell you.
At 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 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.