Tag Archives: Friends

Are Squirrels Environmental Activists?

This squirrel knows a health environmentRachel Carson’s 1962 book, SILENT SPRING, ignited the environmental  movement in the United States. In developing her theories, she garnered information from citizen scientists who, in their own backyards, had discovered  squirrels and birds poisoned by pesticides.  By showing concern for the smallest inhabitants of their communities, 1960’s citizen scientists changed the world. Here at the Edge of the Wood we applaud environmental activists, in all shapes and sizes.

Do Squirrels and Cardinals Play Sports Together?

Squirrel and Cardinal

Here at the edge of the wood we feel animals don’t really need organized sports, the forest is full of spontaneous games. However, a squirrel did once help a “cardinal” in a decisive game of baseball. In 2011 a squirrel scampered across the plate during Game 4 of the division playoff series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cardinals, who were facing elimination at home, won the game and adopted the “rally squirrel” as an unofficial mascot and  went on to win the World Series. They paid tribute to their animal friend on their World Series ring, one side  includes a tiny squirrel in mid-flight, leaping over a home plate.

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.

When is a squirrel like a bat?

Squirrels and Grackles chat it up

Here at the feeder we love to watch everyone interact. We find these encounters quite complex, and we wonder what is truly going on. It has been found that squirrels can communicate via ultrasound on a frequency higher than human hearing just like bats. So while the squirrels, chipmunk and grackle look as if they are having an awkward social moment, they might actually discussing the upcoming Warhol retrospective at the Met surrounded by newly flowering phlox.

Squirrel frenemies

Squirrels eyeing each otherHere at the edge of the wood we noticed that some squirrels will dine quite close and others will not  tolerate each other. Is there a social structure at work? Does it depend on friendship or kinship? We noted some alpha behavior and some diplomatic maneuvers. Clearly these squirrels need to play a larger roll on the world stage. Here they are in front of the newly flowered kousa dogwood and cranberry viburnum.