Follow by Email

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Exploring squirrels' trickery with burying nuts

Everyone knows that squirrels bury nuts to eat later. However, researchers have discovered that squirrels often play tricks. They'll dig a hole, then NOT bury a nut in the hole. When a squirrel knows that something or someone is watching, and digging up nuts a moment later, he may dig a "fake" hole. This way he could discourage the watcher and get him to give up (maybe a BlueJay or even another squirrel).  A squirrel may even re-bury a nut, in the same or another place, to make it harder to pilfer.

Some common birds sing at a higher pitch when living near a highway, or a similar noise-producer. This way, they can be heard above the low-frequency noise of traffic. If the same bird travels to a quieter, more natural setting, he or she switches back to the customary, low-frequency song.