Red squirrels on the Isles of Scilly


This video from Britain says about itself:

Red Squirrels on The Island of Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Filmed on August 7th 2016

Video Produced by Paul Dinning – Wildlife in Cornwall

Water voles’ comeback in England


This video from England says about itself:

Frustrated Northern Water Vole (Arvicola amphibius) trying to reach some succulent Willow leaves…always just out of reach!

Filmed at Slimbridge WWT.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Water voles returned to Yorkshire Dales tarn

Saturday 20th August 2016

WATER voles are being returned to a lake in the Yorkshire Dales in what is thought to be the highest reintroduction project for the endangered mammal in Britain.

About 100 of the loveable rodents are being returned to Malham Tarn by the National Trust, which says it will be the first time the mammals have been seen since the 1960s when they are believed to have been wiped out by escaped [American] mink from nearby fur farms.

The water vole — inspiration for the character Ratty in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind In The Willows — is Britain’s fastest declining wild mammal.

The trust is releasing the animals, which have been bred in captivity, as part of a major new vision for land management in the Dales, with another 100 to be released next June.

National Trust Malham Tarn ranger Roisin Black said water voles had thrived in the area before.

“By reintroducing water voles to the tarn, we hope to give these rare animals the chance to recolonise the streams in the high Yorkshire Dales.”

Squirrel steals pileated woodpecker’s food


This video from the USA says about itself:

Squirrel Attacks Pileated Woodpecker and Steals Its Bugs

11 August 2016

Gray Squirrel stakes out a female Pileated Woodpecker on three different days and waits until she has exposed bug infested wood with her powerful beak and then attacks – scaring off the woodpecker and then immediately begins to eat where the Pileated Woodpecker just exposed the rotting wood. It is either doing this to gain access to the tasty ant larvae under the bark or there is something about the wood such as minerals or “medicine” that the squirrel finds appealing.

Although it is not uncommon for squirrels and woodpeckers to occasionally have a tussle I have never heard of or seen this unusual behavior before. Clearly the squirrel has learned to take advantage of the Pileated Woodpecker‘s hard work – no doubt for some nefarious purpose. This may go on all the time in dense cover like this its just that I was lucky to notice it.

Baby squirrels in nest box, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

5 August 2016

Mother Gray Squirrel spends much of the day and night in the owl nest box nursing her newly born “kittens” as baby squirrels are called. She has added some nesting material and when she leaves she covers the kits up so any bird poking its head in the nest box might not see them as they would be easy little meals. They are totally helpless and their eyes will not open for at least another month.

Irish, Dutch grey herons catch rats


This video, from Pijnacker in the Netherlands, shows a grey heron catching a rat.

This is another video from Ireland. It says about itself:

2 August 2016

[Grey] Herons are predatory birds that like to catch and eat rats throughout the day and night when they are hungry, this is amazing feeding behaviour from these birds. Herons hunt and catch and eat rats and other small rodents throughout the day and night as part of the heron’s daily diet. A heron will look closely at the foliage that rats like to forage in and when it spots their movements, the heron will then stand motionless as it watches the rats foraging, its neck then begins to move from side to side as the heron determines the best time to strike with its sharp bill.

Gray squirrel babies in owl nestbox


This video from the USA says about itself:

31 July 2016

Surprise! Two baby Gray Squirrels were delivered in the Screech Owl Nest Box yesterday. I took it down to clean and inspect it and it seem heavy – lo and behold mother squirrel was inside with two newly born helpless kittens not much bigger than large peanuts. Incredibly precious and the first time the owl nest box has been used in its location under the gable of the outbuilding.

Mother squirrel has to make a big jump to get to/from the nest box. My main concern is that that box is extremely hot in the morning with direct sun and just plain hot even in the shade in the afternoon. So far so good – but squirrels spend a very long time in the nest box as they are born so premature. Stay tuned!

Blue jays and gray squirrels in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Blue Jays Prank Squirrels – and Humans!

26 July 2016

Blue Jays seem to delight in terrorizing the Backyard Gray Squirrels and manipulating us humans with their false alarm calls. When I hear these loud group alarm calls I usually grab the camera and head for the door as something interesting may be up!

But it doesn’t really take much to trick a squirrel or myself and the Jays have learned to use their vastly superior intellect to get more peanuts by drawing me out in the morning this way. They then settle in for a peanut party which I am too nice to deny them as I have left them alone for a month in Florida, but they do seem to have a bit of a guilty look on their faces.