A wild turkey girl made an appearance at the feeder today. The squirrels looked as if Godzilla had come to town. Wild turkeys were reintroduced to the east end of Long Island several years ago. They are elegant and very good parents, as we have seen several broods being ushered across the road by watchful mothers. This one seemed to be attracted to the buttercups and cornflowers.
We set up some mirrors today to see what the squirrels would do. The first reaction was to run away. The next was a cautious curiosity. The next seemed to be “Who is that handsome devil in the mirror?” Are animals self-aware? We here at edge of the wood think so. But it’s just nowhere near as important as a good peanut.
Do animals communicate interspecies? Here at the edge of the wood we often observe the squirrels and chipmunks listening to warning calls from the Blue Jays and Grackles, and responding. We often wonder if the crows (Blue Jays and Grackles are in the crow family) do this on purpose to get the mammals away from the food. It usually works, and we all know how smart crows are.
Yes the squirrels, birds, and chipmunks seem to enjoy the spring. The chill of winter is behind them and it is time for a little fun. Food becomes more abundant, and everyone’s mind turns to love. Here at the edge of the wood we notice the playfulness around the feeder. The squirrels are storing some of the food instead of immediately consuming it. We see them digging small holes and inserting a peanut or sunflower seed. Squirrels can remember hundreds of these caches and this survival technique helps the earth by dispersing seeds widely. So remember, the next time you see a giant tree, maybe it was a squirrel that actually planted it. Here they are among the tulips, forsythia, and daffodils jumping for joy.