squirrels digging

January 18th, 2012 by nperlut

Southern Maine finally got notable snowfall on Jan 12–maybe 6 or so inches on campus.  Unfortunately it was followed up by rain on the 13th, then really cold temps.  This weather change created a pretty thick layer of ice on top of the snow.   I watched a squirrel under my bird feeder do its best to deal with this ice-snow sandwich.  It dug a whole down to the ground slightly wider than its body length, and particularly interesting, it ate much of the snow.  Not sure if this was a hydration activity or hunger.  I was surprised that it did not push the snow into a pile next to where it was digging.

a predation event….of a huge squirrel

January 9th, 2012 by nperlut

One of our most recently collared squirrels, 315, was found dead, cached under a leaf pile.  Veteran squirrologist Cory reported fresh fox prints nearby.   Close inspection showed no wounds.  She was a really really big squirrel: 1.7 lbs (769 g). This squirrel was tracked crossing a major road passing through campus (with 40 mph speed limit).   I would have guessed cars on the road to be more dangerous than fox.  Guess I was wrong.