Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.


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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Two Magpies Chase a Red Squirrel

     I noticed two magpies flipping around my green ash tree this morning. Then I noticed what all the flipping was about. They were chasing a squirrel.

    The magpies had a plan. They kept the squirrel in between them. The squirrel would run down the tree to find one magpie at the bottom. The squirrel quickly moved to the opposite side of the tree so the tree was between him and the magpie. As the magpie moved to go around the tree the squirrel ran up the tree until it met the magpie who was guarding the top of the tree. All of this took place in the first 3 meters of the tree. 

    I was surprised that the squirrel seemed to be wanting to leave the tree and run on the ground. Finally, the squirrel did leave the tree and I thought he would be a goner. However, the one magpie flew just behind the squirrel and didn't seem able the hit the squirrel from above. The squirrel ran under a fence and it was game over as the magpie had to fly over the fence and by that time the squirrel had disappeared. 

     I noticed one of the magpies sitting on the fence with it's mouth wide open so the squirrel gave them a good run for their money.

    I have never seen or heard about such a conflict. Magpies are usually satisfied with something much easier.

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