About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Squirrels reveal first signs of spring

Black squirrel near Michigan State University in Lansing, MI
Do you think spring will ever come?- Holt, MI

The first sure sign I've seen that spring is near is squirrels "dancing" with each other. If you feed the squirrels and think they are looking especially fat right now, it may be that the females are eating for three or four. You can spot the experienced momma black squirrels because they look like they are running around with only their fluffy pants on. They pluck out the top half of their body hair to line their nest.

Another sign I've noticed is the increased activity at the finch feeders. American Goldfinches are the only finches in North America to go through a complete molt two times a year. In the spring the duller olive green wardrobe of the male is switched over to the bright yellow feathers with a stylish black cap and black and white wings. The spring molt requires a large amount of nutrients and energy which probably explains their ravenous behavior at the feeders right now.

Related Articles:
Average dates for birds return to Michigan the in Spring? http://bit.ly/IMYNQe
When is bird migration over? http://bit.ly/IMZ7OQ
What birds migrate from Michigan? http://bit.ly/IMZsB3
What to know about feeding birds in the spring http://bit.ly/I5s6h9

1 comment:

Andrea said...

You’re correct about the “fluffy pants” look in Spring, as well as the fact that mama’s will pluck some fur to line their dreys.
Note however, that it’s not just the mama’s that have fluffy pantaloons in Spring! All Eastern Grey squirrels shed from head to tail in Spring and shed once again in Autumn, but this time from tail to head! Also interesting to note that they only shed their tail fur in
Happy Vernal Equinox 2018 from the “Squirrels of Oshawa” (you can find us on Facebook!)