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Feedback Q&A on Behavior

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 281 comments and questions on Behavior issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of most recent 10 letters

Topic

Title

Country

Squirrels Squirrel made a home in the feeder USA
 
Squirrels Squiirels are acting crazy USA
 
Squirrel Defenses Squirrels claimed Mango tree as their own Sri Lanka
 
Squirrel Defenses Consequences of squirrel losing tail USA
 
Hookbills Bird is screaming at night USA
 
Squirrel Defenses Will a squirrel's tail grow back? USA
 
Squirrel Defenses Source for squirrel losing tail Canada
 
General Smiling makes one feel better USA
 
Squirrels Pitch in squirrel's fur USA
 
General What is a normal person? Philippines
 

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Squirrel made a home in the feeder

Topic: Squirrels

Question

May 14, 2017

OK, I hope this one does not stump you, but I had bought many months ago, a metal squirrel feeder with a lid, and my Wife and I have enjoyed watching them, eat, play, get closer and more trustworthy of us.

But a couple of days ago a very strange thing occurred. As I was standing on our deck looking at the squirrel feeder over on the fence, something looked odd, so I went over to look. A squirrel had climbed INSIDE, with the lid closed and appeared all curled up, either asleep or I was afraid had died. I wasn't sure what to do. I finally rousted him awake (Whew, wasn't dead), but he sure appeared afraid.

I went to prop the lid open, looking for something to use, figuring if I propped it open, he'd leave. Well minutes later I came up with something (He had plenty of time to escape while I was looking, but hadn't). While I was in the process of trying to prop the lid open, the squirrel came flying out of there, startling the CRAP out of me>>LOL.

Well I figured, lesson learned for him or HERS>>LOL. Won't do that again. Well late this afternoon, early evening, there it was again. It took me longer to prompt it to leave, and I decided to take the feeder down, and plan to give it and the near new bag of feed away.

But I am still wondering, why this behavior, why now, this one squirrel after so many months??? Didn't appear ill, because it ran like the dickens.

Steve - USA

28046

Answer

It sounds to me like the squirrel thought it found a good home that included a source of food. Of course, you frightened the critter when you tried to prop open the lid.

We had a squirrel feeder on our back deck and supplied it with peanuts. But then one of them ate a hole in the sliding screen door and would start to come into the kitchen to beg for food. We then removed the feeder to discourage them.

They are clever little animals and fun to watch, but they can be a nuisance too.

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Squiirels are acting crazy

Topic: Squirrels

Question

June 10, 2015

I have seen this on more than one occasion. Squirrel looks healthy, but they don't seem right in the head. It will appear to throw it self to the ground and do flips in the air. Roll and tumble. Run in short bursts and repeated the same actions. I am in hopes that you are able to answer some of these questions for me. Should I be concerned? Thank you for your time. DKD

Debbie - USA

26084

Answer

Adolescent squirrels can tend to act crazy, especially during mating season. It may be an effort to impress a possible mate or just to have fun.

Some people wondered if it was a sign of rabies. However, that is doubtful, since very few squirrels catch the disease.

At the very least, observe and enjoy their antics.

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Squirrels claimed Mango tree as their own

Topic: Squirrel Defenses

Question

May 30, 2015

Dear Sir,
In my back yard I have a small mango tree. When there are fruits it's inhabited by two squirrels only. However about 20m away there was another Mango tree where about 10 -12 squirrels come and eat mangos, but they never come to my Mango tree. So we happily eat mangoes with these two who may eat about 8 - 10 out of about 300 or so that are available through out the season.

Recently my neighbour cut his tree. We were scared that all those squirrels would attack our tree, but to our surprise non did. Does this mean that squirrels have their own territory and do not allow others to come to their location? I know that such a trait is there with tigers, cheetas etc.
Please enlighten me.

Kind regards.

Nalin - Sri Lanka

26041

Answer

It certainly looks like the two squirrels in your Mango tree had staked out their claim to the tree, probably through some urine markings. Perhaps they also had shown aggression toward other squirrels that wanted to eat from "their tree", such that the others did not want to take any chances trying to get the mangoes.

Since there are probably many other places they can go to get their food, they just moved on to a different territory.

Marking their own territory is a good way to avoid costly fights among the various animals.

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Consequences of squirrel losing tail

Topic: Squirrel Defenses

Question

January 13, 2015

There is a squirrel in my back yard whose tail is absent. What are the consequences of the loss of this appendage for the squirrel?

Thank you for answering.

Joanne - USA

25700

Answer

Sometimes a squirrel will lose part of its tail when trying to get away from a predator. A major use for the tail is to help with balance, although it is also used for communication, as well as warmth when sleeping.

Hopefully, the little fellow will be able to get by without its tail.

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Bird is screaming at night

Topic: Hookbills

Question

September 4, 2014

Hi,
Thank you so much for reading this.

I live in Auburn California and for the last several nights, between 2 and 5 am something is screaming all by itself. It fades then gets louder and closer then seems to fly away again yet I cant see or hear any kind of wings. My backyard is all natural oak like a forest. The screams sound like between an old small dog or even an old lady. Its deafening.

Upon much investigation its gotta be some kind of Hook bill.

The screams are heartbreaking. Is there anything I can do to help him? Its calling for something I don't think we'll ever find. I just want to hold him and tell him everything is o.k.

I know this is stupid, but maybe I can find a way to comfort him. Is that possible?

Tonight is the third night. I'll hear if he's still out there. If he is, I'll email you back. If he isn't, I guess there's no reason you'd have to email me back as well.

Thank You for your time,

Oona - USA

25337

Answer

If the screaming happened only one night, I'd guess it was an animal caught by a coyote or such. But several nights in a row, it sure sounds like some sort of bird.

The screams or squawks may not be calls of distress, but perhaps some normal noise-making, especially if it happens about the same time in the late night. Could it be a mating call?

If it is a pet hook bill that got lose, you might see it during the day.

You might check with the Audubon Society in California to see if there is something you can do.

It is nice that you are concerned. Best wishes on helping out our feathered friend.

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Will a squirrel's tail grow back?

Topic: Squirrel Defenses

Question

May 3, 2014

If a squirrel loses it's tail will it grow back?

Ann - USA

24919

Answer

Apparently, it partially grows back, resulting in a stump for a tail. Where the bones in the tail have been lost, they will not rejuvenate.

People have reported seeing squirrels with a furry stump for a tail.

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Source for squirrel losing tail

Topic: Squirrel Defenses

Question

April 29, 2014

How does a squirrel's tail break off so easily. Can you please tell me your source for this.

Marley - Canada

24908

Answer

I don't think the squirrel's tail breaks off easily, but it will break if grabbed by a person or other animal. There aren't many good resources on this.

The Univ. of California-Davis Wiki has a mention of it in answer to a question.

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Smiling makes one feel better

Topic: General

Question

February 15, 2014

PS. :}:}:} smiling does make one feel better! Thanks again,

Claudia - USA

24518

Answer

Not only does smiling make you feel better, it also makes most other people feel better too.

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Pitch in squirrel's fur

Topic: Squirrels

Question

September 27, 2013

why don't squirrels have pitch in their fur?

Tina - USA

24058

Answer

I'm not sure what you mean by "pitch in their fur".

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What is a normal person?

Topic: General

Question

June 11, 2013

being a normal person

merah - Philippines

23771

Answer

A normal person is one who behaves in a way that is consistent or similar to most other people. However, this varies with different groups or cultures.

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