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March 11, 2013

Stupid Squirrels

upside down.JPG
Ah yes... The dreaded squirrel... For the life of me, I'll never understand why people hate these guys... True, they 'swipe' seed, wreak havoc if they get inside a house, they certainly don't have the beauty of birds, but the vermin do offer up one feature that few birds can match -- humor.

Here on the back forty, to a great extent, we've eliminated much of the larceny by giving the rodents their own feeder, and keep the buggers out of the mansion by careful maintenance of the vents, etc... Still, the show must go on... And so the squirrels cavort, raid, and offer themselves up as food ("La viande du jour") for the predators that roam the yard. (BTW... Yesterday, we had a gorgeous fox meander through the backyard... exceptionally cool.) Still, I guess I could make things even more entertaining by creating this sort of obstacle course...

Sigh... What's the point? Squirrels are here to stay, and we might just as well get used to them and enjoy them best we can...

By what's left of the feeders...

CapeCodAlan


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February 25, 2010

Another Rainy, Wild Night on Cape Cod

Hi all,

squirres and dove in rain_resized_101_0065.jpg

Took this picture earlier - squirrels and dove in the wind-driven rain... The storm has only worsened since then; we've had brownouts twice. For obvious reasons, I'm going to make this post a quick one. (Thank heavens this is only rain.)

On a completely different note, there is something I do want to touch on - that of the handling of wild animals. Two days ago, a trainer (Dawn Brancheau) was tragically killed by a killer whale at SeaWorld Adventure Park. Obviously, this isn't the first time that this sort of thing has happened... Steve Irwin's death and Roy Horn's (of Siegfried & Roy fame) mauling leap to mind.

Look, no one questions the love these people had/have for animals. And no one questions the need for parks and refuges and zoos. But it is unfortunate that the public continues to be inundated with "shows" that promote close human/wild animal interaction. Wild animals (including birds) are just that - wild. Here on the Cape, many harbors have signs warning people not to feed the geese, and it seems that every day, there's someone out there trying to hand feed a goose. Sigh...

I'm not saying that we should stop feeding the birds. (In fact, just the opposite... We humans have managed to mangle the natural environment and at this point should be providing roughly 20% of birds' food source.) But I am saying that attempts to "play" with wild animals is just a terrible idea. In my very humble opinion, activities like backyard birding are fantastic so long as we keep our distance. Wild birds are not pets, "buddies", or "pals" no more than whales or tigers. They are wild animals and should be treated as such.

See you by the feeders,

CapeCodAlan


Cornell Ornithology Laboratory: Inside Birding

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eBirdseed and misc. references

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August 30, 2006

Think you have a squirrel problem? Squirrels kill dog

We get all sorts of emails from people complaining about squirrels in their feeders. Feel relieved that your squirrels are only eating a bit of your birdseed and not your dog!!

bloody-squirrelSM.jpg In Lazo (Russia), a village in the Maritime Territory, A "big" stray dog was barking at black squirrels in the branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended and attacked. In about a minute, "They literally gutted the dog," local journalist Anastasia Trubitsina told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. One local surmised that they attacked because there were no pine cones in the forest this year.

...and you thought you had a squirrel problem!

Read the full story on the BBC site
NOTE: duh, the image to the right is a Photoshopped squirrel and not an actual squirrel from the incident.
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