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.
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.
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