Category Archives: Behavior

When is a Chipmunk Like a Chicken?

Here at The Edge of The Wood we noticed that chipmunks can talk up a storm. They can sound alarm calls for as long as 30 minutes but what are they saying?  Scientists noted three distinct alarm calls, one of which is called a “cluck.” It is a very specific warning of an aerial threat like a red-tailed hawk. So if you hear a cluck, don’t think chicken…a chipmunk might be warning you to duck!

What are Owls Saying About Climate Change?

great horned owl at the rescue centerAt 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.

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.