- The Spring 2014 Squirrelologists: from back left to front right: Zach Delorenzo, Alec Batceheller, Ryan Fawcett; Chito Hernandez,Shane Murphy, Sarah Fleischmann, Erika Iacona, Shannon Gillen, Sarah Croston, Sam Peterson. Missing Rocket Hart, Shawn Nguyen, Matt Miller, Jake Farrell.
- When I asked them to act like their study species, well, this is the best I got. Although they are a valiance field crew, this enactment is not terribly impressive.
Sarah Fleischmann, a dedicated squirrelologist, returned to her dorm room on April 1st to find an invasion by >40 Sciurus carolinensis. They are plotting and watching–revenge for chasing them around all the time!!!
Two weeks ago the UNE Squirrel Project had a first–we recaptured a squirrel that was wearing a non-functional collar. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was when I realized the squirrel was wearing a collar. I wanted to kiss, or at least, hug it. The frequency tag was eaten off so I had to send it back to the manufacturer to find out the frequency. Turns out is it old 245, who was first collared 7/5/2011! Before that collar died, the squirrel was known for epoch movements across campus. Hopefully he is still a wanderer.
I was out recently checking traps and both a squirrel and a juvenile red-tailed hawk were waiting for me. This bird was incredibly curious, sitting on a stump watching the squirrel. The squirrel was quite vocal (grunting), certainly not pleased to both be in that trap and so close to such a predator. A squirrelologist told me that he saw that same hawk in that forest the day before. Let’s hope, now that it has a collar on, that it does not become lunch. That said, in the first week of wearing the collar, the squirrel has staying in that forest patch. Life must not be too dangerous there.
Yesterday, while out putting a radio-collar on a new female I noticed she had fleas. While I have seen fleas on bobcats in the winter, this is the first time I remember ever seeing them on grey squirrels in ANY season. December and January have been colder than average. The average low and high for Biddeford this December was 8.2 F and 29.2 F, respectively; the long-term average December low and high temps for Biddeford are 19 F and 37 F, respectively. The average low and high for Biddeford this January was 13.6 F and 31.7 F, respectively; the long-term average January low and high temps for Biddeford are 14 F and 34 F, respectively. Hardy fleas!