Gray squirrels in nestbox, videos

This video from the USA says about itself:

Gray Squirrel Nursery – Life In Bird Boxes

9 September 2016

Squirrels have moved into bird nest boxes to raise their young in late summer. This actually works out OK since the birds won’t use them again until from late winter through early summer when the squirrels are not using them. A tree has grown too close to the Screech Owl nest box so once the young squirrels leave I’ll trim the branches. The flycatcher nest box I’ll move to a safer location after the squirrels are done with it. Squirrels deliver their young very early then care for them in nests for over two months as they slowly grow. It’s kind of relaxing to see the mother squirrels hanging out of the nest box.

This video from the USA says about itself:

9 September 2016

Restless Gray Squirrel Kittens (obvious baby boys) enjoying their last few days in the Screech Owl nest box. Their eyes are open and they are growing fast since there are only two instead of 4 or 5 kittens. Mother will have to move them soon because she can only get to the owl nest box by jumping from an overgrown branch to the roof of the building where the box is – if the boys get much bigger she won’t be able to make that long jump holding them in her mouth. After she moves them out I’ll cut back the tree branches and the box will be ready for the Screech Owls in December.

Gray squirrel babies open their eyes for first time

This video from the USA says about itself:

7 September 2016

Its Gray Squirrel Nesting season for 2016 in Florida – Three hours of squirrel kitten watching. One mother squirrel has two kits in the screech owl nest box in this video and another has very small kits in a flycatcher nest box in which I don’t have a camera. The birds are not using the nest boxes right now so this will work out OK – I’ll have the nest boxes secure by December for bird nesting season. These squirrel kittens just opened their eyes for the first time today.

Chipmunk calls in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

29 August 2016

Cluck – Cluck or Knock – Knock on wood sounds echoing loudly through the forests and mountains – these incredible sounds are made by [Eastern] Chipmunks and seeing is believing! After three years of documenting these loud sounds that carry for 100’s of yards through the forest and suspecting they were from Chipmunks, but not knowing how they could be so loud I’ve finally caught the little ones in the act. They put a lot of effort into these calls with full body involvement.

This loud calling typically starts in late summer – here in the Great Smoky Mountains it was August 29th. These calls have absolutely nothing to do with a warning call after seeing predators such as hawks as some scientists have concluded in limited studies mostly in the northeast, but likely have everything to do with Chipmunk communication, perhaps territory. These sounds will echo through the forest sometimes for hours with several joining in especially in October. Because Chipmunks are so small and the forest so vast it is very hard to actually find the source of these loud wood-knocking noises, but today I got lucky with one sitting on a pile of rocks at the forest edge – the Chipmunk seemed to enter an almost trance-like state for a few minutes.

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.