Here at the edge of the wood we were amazed by a new finding that birds respond emotionally to song. “The same regions (of the brain) that respond to music in humans, responded to song in our sparrows,” said Donna Maney, a neuroscientist at Emory University and one of the authors of the new report. With this in mind we are determined to give our squirrels every opportunity. Hopefully they will show talent with this violin because really do we need another Ted Nugent?
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?
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.