> To add to the squirrel predation discussion -- several years ago in
> north-central Massachusetts I observed a gray squirrel depredate a chipmunk
> in August. I heard the chipmunk screaming and then saw the squirrel
> it up a white pine to a leaf nest. Moments later the screaming stopped and
> something fell from the nest. The squirrel came down, retrieved the
> chipmunk's head, and carried it back to the nest.
Also, snowshoe hares have been known to kill songbirds captured in mist nets,
as well as eat their eggs and nestlings. Rodents and lagomorphs (rabbits and
hares) don't feed as low on the food chain as we might think. It's probably a
good thing they're not bigger.
> Re: squirrel predation---I observed a chipmunk take a goldfinch from my
> feeder and kill it. So I guess a squirrel would not have any qualms about
> doing them same. It is not the Disney version of nature out there.
> Carolina Wren and Tufted Titmouse here in Brandon singing.
> Sue Wetmore
> I don't know anything about squirrels... Maybe it is just because I am
> studying Calcium sources for birds, but could squirrels be breeding now or
> soon? If so, they need a source of calcium that they would not get from
> seeds and nuts, perhaps eating dead birds will supply some Calcium.
> Birds in our area supplement their diet with snail shell, and calcareous
> grit during laying and before chicks fledge. Various types of birds have
> been studied, including insectivores and fruigivores.
> Bill Calfee
> Dorset, VT
> [log in to unmask]
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "william gilbert" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 5:41 PM
> Subject: Squirrel eats bird
> Well this is a first for us. (South Burlington).
> Grey Squirrel munching contentedly on a house sparrow.
> The deceased was probably a winter kill or other natural cause, we do not
> know, but we never see our squirrels predating or lurking in ambush.
> However, a Grey Squirrel page on the web states:
> Squirrels also eat insects, caterpillars, and an occasional clutch of
> birds' eggs and young birds in the nest. Individuals consume 400- 900 g of
> food a week.
> But we had never seen it happen.
> william gilbert