Tag Archives: Blue Jays

Happy New Year….Matilda.

Here at The Edge of the Wood we want to send a special New Year’s wish to FOTW (friend of the woods) Matilda and we  wish everyone a joyous 2016. In the words of the luminous Albert Einstein, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” So give yourself a treat…. go to a park, walk around for a bit or sit under a tree for as long as you like. Just like Einstein, you never know what you’ll discover.

It’s Official….Squirrels are Quick Learners

Day Lilly and SquirrelHere at The Edge of the Wood…. well, we didn’t do so well on our SAT’s. But squirrels know how to ace it. A new study has shown that grey squirrels are  quick learners capable of adapting tactics to improve efficiency and reap the best rewards. Pizza Ka Yee Chow of the University of Exeter, explains, “The results are quite remarkable – the squirrels made a decreased number of errors as they learned and progressively changed their tactic to increase efficiency and obtain the hidden rewards.” We would personal love to see study halls abounding with squirrel coaches…  I hear they don’t mind getting paid peanuts.

 

Can Birding Change the World?

Grackle and Blue Jay on driftwoodTrish O’Kane thinks so. She runs a program at the University of Wisconsin that pairs university birding students with underprivileged middle school students in a unique environmental studies program. The kids explore nature and learn about environmental justice issues affecting their communities. They are shown that  nature belongs to all of us and not just the few. So get outside and enjoy the bird songs…it might inspire you to do great things.

How old is that Blue Jay? Really?

blue jay with kousa dogwoodAt 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.

 

Can A Tree Save Your Life?

Squirrels in the cherry blossoms Scientists Milena Shattuck and Scott Williams studied tree dwellers versus ground dwellers and found that mammals who spend the majority of their time up a tree  live longer than those who scurry along the ground. Trees can provide food, shelter, protection from predators….. and they’re a great place to raise the kids. Trees…you can never really have too many.

Can A Bird Save Your Life?

Blue Jays and Northern FlickerNext year, the International Space Station will be fitted with a dedicated  wildlife receiver  to monitor the epic journeys of tiny birds and insects. The data will be used to warn us of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. It will also track animal-borne diseases like  West Nile Virus.  The ever shrinking size of transmitters is allowing scientists to put a device on the smallest of critters. Soon these new transmitters will weigh about 2 grams. Here we see two Blue Jays sharing information while a Northern Flicker eavesdrops. Soon we will be able to eavesdrop too.