Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Sciurus

With Winter knocking very loudly on the door, there is one animal which above all others, seems to have its work cut out preparing for the long, cold days to come.  I refer of course to the Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).
 These cute little rascals are well known for displacing our native Red Squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris).  Their habit of feeding at ground level - not up in the trees as the Reds do - gives the Greys the edge by being able to eat fallen acorns.  The Greys also eat tree bark,  all sorts of seeds and nuts, fungi and will even steal birds eggs and hatchlings.  With such a wide variety of food stuffs, it's easy to see why they have thrived far more than the Reds.
In the woodland around Shipley Hill, the Squirrels are as busy as..... well, as squirrels!  Collecting nuts and burying them in caches for the Winter.  Lets hope they remember where they've buried them.
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