Category Archives: animal behavior

Bats use sonar to locate cactus flowers

Many cacti bloom at night, and that’s when the bats and moths are available for pollination. But since most bats locate prey by echolocation via sonar, how do they find the flowers? This is particularly crucial when those flowers stick out of cacti, for the bats approach the flower fast and hover before it while lapping nectar; […]

Beaver herds cattle: in Canada!

Ed Kroc sent this curious video taken in Ituna Saskatchewan and reported by the Regina Leader Post: Adrienne Ivey and her husband Aaron were out checking their 150 cattle near Ituna on Good Friday when they noticed something odd. The cattle were gathered together and walking slowly behind a beaver, with some of the heifers […]

Squirrel loves tiny ice cream cones

There’s not much I can add to this except that it’s a squirrel named Putter who, living above an ice cream shop (Fantasy Isle Ice Cream and Mini Golf in Holden Beach. North Carolina), gets two tiny cones a day. She also has a penchant for golf, ergo her name. Whether such consumption is good for the […]

“If this doesn’t get him noticed, nothing will”: the marvels of sexual selection

Just when you think you’ve seen everything amazing that animals can do to attract a mate, you find something even more bizarre. This short video from BBC Earth shows a male pufferfish off Japan working tirelessly to build a stunning “sand castle” to attract females. Narrated by David Attenborough (of course), this video blew me […]

Woodpecker hitches a ride through rain-soaked Chicago

This video came to me via Heather Hastie and Ann German (creator of the Impeach Pussy Grabber website and bumper stickers). That’s all I know about it, save that it’s in Chicago. I don’t even know the species of woodpecker, but I’m sure a reader will! (It must be a hairy or a dowmy.)  

Badger buries a dead cow

The American Badger (Taxidea taxus) is a carnivore in the family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, otters, and ferrets. Badgers were known to prey on moles, squirrels, mice, and other small mammals, often digging into their dens to nab them. Badgers have also been reported to bury their prey underground. But what was not known, and is now reported by a journal […]

Attack of the kea at Arthur’s Pass!

If I return without seeing one of these birds, I’ll be downhearted. Here is a kea attack on a car at Arthur’s Pass. The woman tried to feed one, which is forbidden, though I know it’s tempting. And here’s a video showing the infectious “play call” of the kea that incites other kea to playful […]

Early spring hawks

by Greg Mayer A correspondent in Racine, Wisconsin, shares the following photos of a pair of hawks that have been perching on his fence. I say ‘pair’ with some hesitation, because although both have been in his yard, I cannot sex them, and their co-occurrence could be a coincidence. I suspect it is a pair, […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

This will be the last batch of readers’ wildlife photos for a while. But please keep accumulating them to send me when I return. First, Christopher Moss, whose “first chipmunk of spring” photo was posted two days ago, adds a video of what he says is a mating call. (Do female chipmunks call?) His comment: “Beginning […]

Intrepid eagles warm their eggs in a storm

It’s a sign of the bald eagle’s return that there is a pair nesting at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. The two, named, appropriately, “Mr. President” and “First Lady” (I prefer to call them “Obama” and “Michelle”), were caught in the latest storms, but sat intrepidly in a snow-filled nest to keep their eggs […]