Sep 06 2009
September isn’t the best time of year to hear wildlife. The birds have stopped singing and a lot of animals are quiet as they prepare for winter.
Not this guy, though. He’s as loud as can be when he’s worried and my presence in his woods worries him.
I’m out on a peaceful hike. There’s no noise in the woods. I’m looking at the ground, watching my step over roots and rocks when, Yikes! A red squirrel shouts right above me and I nearly jump out of my skin. As soon as he’s startled me, he subsides into a long, scolding chatter. He flicks his tail and stamps his feet. He is mad!
Red squirrels are highly territorial – even aggressive. They scold other red squirrels just as much as they scold me. I’ve even heard one scold a goshawk - a dangerous feat if there ever was one! I’m not sure what advantage it gives these guys to be noisy around danger, but maybe they just have so much attitude that they don’t know how to shut it off.
This red squirrel sure “got” me. He had my heart pounding until I figured out what he was. There might be a louder animal in Maine at another time of year but for an all-around noisy, brash animal you can’t beat this tyke. I give him the Loudest Animal award.
(photo by Chuck Tague)