Squirrel milk

October 14th, 2013 by nperlut

I got a fascinating call from Sarah Rowe of SquirrelRescue in Columbus, Ga last week.  She is a squirrel rehaber.  She told me that there is only one paper describing the nutrition of squirrel milk, that this paper is from the 1970′s, and that due to changes in technology, it is out of date.  She asked if I would be willing to catch lactating squirrels, milk them (potentially with an automated rat milker), analyze the milk (pretty easy to send away to a lab) and write it up.  While this is an interesting and certainly applied question, its a bit out of my league.  If any other squirrelologists are interested please get in touch with Sarah. And let me know how it works out!

The Mother-in-law effect

October 14th, 2013 by nperlut

I can’t explain it, I know its not sound science, but our probability of catching squirrels increases every time my mother-in-law visits from Boston.  We put on two new collars when she visited last Friday.

mark you calanders: 7th International Colloquium on Arboreal Squirrels, Helsinki, Finland 1-5 June, 2015

September 13th, 2013 by nperlut

7th International Colloquium on Arboreal Squirrels will be arranged in Helsinki, Finland in 1-5 June, 2015. The preliminary announcement is on the Colloquium web site:


Michael Phelps new training partner: the grey squirrel

September 13th, 2013 by nperlut

This week, while riding the ferry across the Saco River to campus, I heard my second amazing swimming grey squirrel story that must be shared.  In this case a squirrel was out on a buoy and 50m from the wood edge.  The boat captain thought the squirrel was stuck there–presumable out in the mud flat at low tide.  He pulled up next to the buoy and tried to grab the squirrel with a net.  It had different plans–jumped into the water and swam to shore on its own.  A few things to note.  First, this the mouth of the Saco and tides are STRONG.  Second, this water is really salty.


In a related story, a guy who boats on the Androscoggin River, downstream of the dam in Brunswick once followed a grey squirrel as it swam entirely across the river.  This is no small brook–commonly 300-400m wide.


The moral of the story–never doubt the grey squirrel!

bad idea: squirrels on the beach

May 22nd, 2013 by nperlut

Collar 504, our beach bum, learned that squirrels apparently do not belong on the beach.  He was seen a number of times foraging in the small dune and beach edge during April.  Today he was found dead buried under six inches of sand.  Not sure what killed and cached him.  Given that he was not eaten, perhaps a domestic dog or cat?