Monthly Archives: February 2013

When is a Blue Jay like an Elephant?

Blue Jay takes off

All over the globe elephants are known to mourn their dead with utmost reverence and emotion. Scientists are now finding out that Western Scrub Jays also perform a ceremony, screeching over the body of the deceased for as long as half an hour. Dr Teresa Iglesias, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Davis, states that this research does not confirm whether the jays are having an emotional reaction but it is not out of the question. “If it works for us, why not other animals?” she said. Thank you Dr Iglesias for the scientific common sense.

Blizzard Thank Yous

Two-handed peanut

Here at the edge of the wood we want to extend a heartfelt  thank you to everyone who took care of our animal friends during the big blizzard. This woman in Fort Tryon Park, New York City charmed us as did these Marine Unit Suffolk County police who rescued a baby deer from freezing waters as her deer family looked on. Let’s hear it for these firefighters in Natick, MA who saved an older horse who got stuck in the snow. Keep your eyes open people because one day an adorable animal may rescue you like Lilly the Pitt Bull who saved her unconscious owner from an oncoming train.

Are Squirrels Altruistic?

This squirrel is watching you

Here at the edge of the wood we never see baby squirrels. That’s because their doting mothers keep them snug and warm until the little ones can fend for themselves. But what about orphans?  University Guelph Professor Andrew McAdam, along with researchers from the University of Alberta and McGill University, revealed that red squirrels will adopt pups of relatives that have lost their mothers. Not all the time, mind you, but enough to trend it. We applaud these altruistic moms and wish them a lovely St. Valentine’s Day. Maybe a nice nut log from the kids would say it all?

Do crows gossip?

Two Grackles gossiping

Here at the edge of the wood we notice our crows really do talk up a storm. But what are they saying? University Researchers in Seattle, while wearing masks, captured seven crows, tagged them, then let them go. Whenever the scientists walked around campus with the masks on, the crows would “scold” and dive-bomb them. The researches learned that along with the ability to recognize individuals, the crows could also harbor a grudge. Soon their crow family members were doing the same thing. It seems that crows take the golden rule very seriously. So when you see a crow, a person, or any animal, treat that creature the way you would liked to be treated. No one wants to be embarrassed  by a crow.