Sunday, October 09, 2011

Calls of Science and The Wild

Squirrel kits inside our storm shutters

This entry is written to fit Sunday Scribblings prompt #288: The Call.

Call of Science

As I wrote here, I'm following the progress of the #SciFund Challenge. In all, 240 scientists have answered the call to participate in this science crowdfunding experiment.

Artists and graphic designers! -- The #SciFund Challenge logo contest (cash prize) will be active for the next couple of days.

You can also read my guest post at the #SciFund blog. My post contains writing tips to help scientists connect with non-scientists while pitching their projects. I write from the perspective of a hybrid: I have a master of science in psychology, but I am not a scientist per se. (I like to think of myself as a science fan.)

Call of The Wild

A family of squirrels has taken up residence inside one of our storm shutters. Their nest is tucked between aluminum slats mounted on tracks and one of the windows in my studio. Normally the window is covered with a shade, but I can hear them knocking about. Last night I decided to say hello. The action in the first video starts about 20 seconds in.

Today I increased my camera's zoom a bit. The three kits have their Alvin, Simon, and Theodore moment at around the 3:12 mark in the second video.

According to the blog Squirrel Pest Control Guide for Beginners in its section "Caring for Infant Squirrels (Kits)", three kits (at minimum) are the typical number to which a female squirrel gives birth. They depend on her entirely for their first 75 days of life.

I believe the mother is still with these little ones. Their actual nest is to the right of frame in the videos.

I'm currently taking a laissez-faire approach. The fact that they're nesting in an area made of aluminum and stucco-painted concrete (plus metal window screen with glass behind) means they're away from material that could be more easily damaged. At least, that's my theory. I'm not treating them as pets (i.e., I'm not feeding them), just letting them have their space and enjoying a couple of photo ops. Otherwise, my window shade stays down.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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