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?

the memorable Project Squirrel

April 11th, 2013 by nperlut

A 2013 UNE graduate, Michelle Forbes (ENV/BIO double major), recently sent me the following email:
My friend from Scotland, whom I met in Honduras asked a group of her friends to provide a “snapshot” of their school, something that makes it unique… Couldn’t think of anything more unique than squirrel tagging… take a look! :)
What is most amazing about this to me is that Michelle did not work on the project. She did experience it for a lab class. Apparently though, the project was rather memorable.
Here is a link to the story in The Saint, the student news paper at St. Andrews University, Scotland:


keeping them busy

April 11th, 2013 by nperlut

Its good to keep these squirrelologists busy. We put on a 5th active collar yesterday afternoon–a very figity male who lives a bit too close to two large parking lots and one 35 mph road. We shall see how he fares…..

And interestingly, I recently got a resight from a neighbor of the university. One of our collared squirrels has been crossing a 25mph road to feed at her 2nd story bird feeder. Whoa!

birders, squirrels, and stories

January 28th, 2013 by nperlut

Pretty much every birder I have told about this project has had a squirrel story to share with me.  Almost all of these stories are about their bird feeders.  Naturally, few of them are complimentary to the squirrels.  Check out this article in the Bangor Daily News by Bob Duchesne: