Saturday, July 29, 2017

SQUIRREL MAGPIE FEUD

     July is an interesting time of year to watch Red squirrels.  As I said in my last post they are setting up territory and there's some competition. Sometimes the competitions are a bit odd.

     I do my stretching so that I can look out my front room window. I have a bird feeder out in the front yard so it gives me a few minutes to watch the bird feeder and anything else that happens.

     So a few days ago an event took place. For some reason a Red squirrel was harassing a magpie. The squirrel would chase the magpie and the magpie would just keep ahead of the squirrel. There seemed to be a half dozen short sprints where the squirrel pursued the magpie. The magpie would hide under  car and as soon as he came out the squirrel would chase.

    Now a few years ago I saw a different squirrel magpie confrontation. This time there were two magpies and they had a Red squirrel cornered. The squirrel was on the tree trunk and one magpie was above and the other one below the squirrel. The squirrel wanted to gain the branches of the tree where it would be safe. The magpies were hoping the squirrel would make just one mistake and they would have lunch. The squirrel shifted from one side of the tree to another. He couldn't get up or down.

    Finally the squirrel took a leap from the tree trunk and set off across the yard and street. The magpies flew above the squirrel, but as long as they were in the air the squirrel was safe. The squirrel ran under a fence and it threw the magpies off their game. They just thought the squirrel somehow disappeared and didn't realize the squirrel was on the other side of the fence.

   So the squirrel magpie competition goes both ways.

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Photo by Bill Heinsen


 

35 comments:

  1. Interesting encounter between the squirrel and magpie. I've never seen that here. In fact, I've seen very few magpies in my time.

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    1. Lucky you to not see many magpies. I'll send some.

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  2. Always fun to watch challenges like these.

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    1. There are many interesting chases.

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  3. I did not know that magpies were much like squirrels in their nature. We have very few magpies here.

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    1. Magpies rarely go after squirrels as there's much easier food to get.

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  4. I love watching their little dramas. We don't have magpies, I can just see it all in my mind! Your favourite little critters, those squirrels!

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    1. Lucky you with no magpies. I could send you at least a million!

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  5. Battle of the quick wittiest! Love to watch!
    Have a blessed day.

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    1. Quick witted...good term. It's just like a flash.

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  6. Are Canadian Red squirrels named after you Red? Perhaps because they are hairy, cunning and enjoy gobbling nuts.

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    1. Well, I'm very much missing the speed of the squirrels.

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  7. Surely a magpie wouldn't attack a squirrel, would it? Surely not to EAT it. Maybe just to drive it away from its nest or something...?

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  8. I didn't realize that magpies would eat squirrels. I guess they must be pretty tasty. :-)

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    1. Magpies are opportunists and eat anything.

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  9. I didn't now Magpies would see a squirrel as lunch!

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    1. I would think magpies rarely catch a squirrel. Magpies will eat almost anything.

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  10. I knew by the name, this would be a good post! I've never seen a magpie. It looks kind of big, like a blue jay maybe ?? Poor squirrel. Glad he got away. :) I like funny little squirrels. My husband hates them because they are so destructive.

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    1. Your comparison with a magpie is right on. They are both from the same family.

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  11. I also wouldn't have thought magpie's ate squirrels. Hawks yes, but not magpies.

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    1. I would think magpies rarely catch a squirrel . Magpies will eat almost anything.

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  12. When I first moved here the squirrels were hiding the bird feeder. I haven't seen any now for a month. I am concerned that people do try to execute them.

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    1. Some people like squirrels and feed them.

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  13. I don't like seeing feuds between species because I know all too well how a lot of them end ... I already know nature is cruel and favours aggressors, but I don't like to see it right outside my window! Yes, I'm in denial ...

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    1. It's hard to see nature in action but that's the only way it works.

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  14. Hi Red, These last two posts have helped me define more precisely what is meant by "squirrely behavior." The dictionary says, "restless, nervous, or unpredictable." These last two posts should go in the dictionary as examples. :-) Have a great week ahead!

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    1. I quite often use the term squirrely.

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  15. HAHA! This is a funny story. Animals can be quite entertaining.

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  16. These were very entertaining. I've seen many entertaining events.

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  17. I red squirrels sound dominating as crows.
    You have very interesting stories to tell

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  18. I can watch hi-jinks like this for a long while. Nice photos!

    Out here we have "Acorn Woodpeckers" that place acorns in the holes they make in trees. They wait until larva (can't remember what kind) develop in the acorn, and then peck a hole in the end of it, and eat the larva. They are patient, the local squirrels are not, and want the acorn now. So there is a constant ongoing competition going on. I can also watch that for hours.

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