January 16, 2011

Sparrows From Another Dimension

Filed under: animals,birds,nature,observations — Penrod @ 9:41 PM

In a downtown area, or almost anywhere, it amazes me just how many sparrows share our living spaces. They are on the sidewalks, pecking at real or imagined jots of whatever. They will crane their necks to get a good look, as they watch us approach.  They then bop out of our way only just until we pass by.  Then they are almost instantly back again – going about business as usual.

I wonder just how many people don’t even know they are there?  They are everywhere. Look towards those awnings above, say, a produce store.  Without a doubt, there are always some sparrows up there, peering down for any opportunity of a scrap.

A favorite short-term perch of city sparrows is any chain link fence – one bird per frame, facing into the wind.  They are able to sit quietly, if only for a moment,  since they are perpetually excited.  There, each will watch every single move that another bird makes.  To me, sparrows seem just damned happy all the time.  They are naturally high on life – and cute as a button 🙂

January 15, 2011

Awwww Nuts

Filed under: animals,commentary,nature — Penrod @ 6:37 PM
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Did you ever see animals do something so cute that it breaks your heart?  Something that is so adorable that it even makes the meanest of warriors go:  “awwww”

We all know that squirrels bury nuts, but have you ever looked closely at the routine they go through as they hoard their stashes?  One day this last fall, while looking out of a window, I noticed a family of squirrels burying acorns.  I stopped what I was doing to watch for a bit.

Each squirrel was poking around in the blanket of colored leaves until an acorn is found.  Then they sit up, hold it to their mouth, spin it a couple of times to test it for quality, or something.  Like a flash, it is off to the burial site – in this case only a few feet away.  Then it’s: “dig we must’ ….. deposit acorn ….. cover acorn ….. pat the dirt twice.  After all that, it would grab a close-by fallen leaf and place it on top of the freshly-packed dirt and give it a quick pat!  They all did this, without fail, each time.  The whole thing was just like watching fireworks burst and me going “ooooooo……awwww” each time.

Oh.  There were two baby squirrels there too.  But all they did, was eat the acorns 🙂

Now, I don’t know if these squirrel routines are the standard overall, or some learned traits peculiar to this particular squirrel neighborhood, but regardless – it was something I was glad to observe.

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