Thirsty Thursday

Folks,

You don’t have to go to the shore to see giant wading birds. We have them right here in our woods!

The Great Blue Heron seems to be at home in even the smallest pond damned along the streams, as long as he can find fish. Or frogs, snakes crayfish and…yes, sadly enough, rodents.

Luckily this old squirrel is a bit well-padded, I don’t think I’d fit down his gullet too well.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

You see a flash of red in the woods…

It’s a…?

I’ll check back later with your answer!

~~~

Need to have a better look?

We heard a knocking the woods and spotted this Pileated Woodpecker down low! That’s pretty rare, but he had found a dead limb that had fallen and was working his way up it.

While Nutmeg and I held still, he got to the hole in the branch and just stayed there, pecking away at it, making it larger and sucking down some insect with his tongue.

He must have heard more chewing away in there, because we got bored and left before he did!

O is for Owl

The Barred Owl, who keeps watch in our neighborhood!

And maybe O is for Oops! Sorry we’re so late this morning, but now I bet you see why we weren’t too enthused about today’s Blogging From A to Z Challenge letter. We could only thing of something dangerous!

Yet as dangerous as owls are, they are endangered themselves. You humans don’t seem too keen on keeping dead trees around, and dead trees are where many owls nest. Have you considered putting up an owl box on your property? They can be purchased or made from plans…and it seems like most of the plans we are seeing in a online search are for barn owns, which need lots of open land.

In spite of our squirrel instincts to avoid owls, we’re going to hunt down some plan sources for your humans. In the meantime, here’s a good overview of why you should want owls in your life from Rodales Organic Life.

H is for Hawk

Traditionally, Monday on The Squirrel Nutwork is reserved for a column called Motionless Monday featuring wildlife statues. Hickory Squirrel hosts it. So normally, we would show a hawk like this:

Fun, huh?

That’s how we squirrels would rather see a hawk–motionless! But instead…

It’s no fun for us squirrels when the Cooper’s Hawks come visiting!

And lately…

A pair of Red-shouldered hawks are courting in our neighborhood, so we have to watch our over our shoulders all the time.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Here’s a good one for you–

What’s this mulch doing at the bottom of a tree in the woods?

I’ll check back in later!

~~~

Several of our readers guess correctly:

These chips fell from the tree as a Pileated Woodpecker chipped away at the tree. And how do we know it was a Pileated? Well, we saw him, but also the holes are squares, which is how a Pileated makes them.

This tree is skinny, so the woodpecker was after the wood-boring grubs in the tree, not trying to make a nesting cavity.