Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Bad Seed

What happens now? Did Chippy the Challenger get his seeds, or did he meet with untimely peril? And why is the squirrel back? I can give you these answers right now, but they may open up new questions.

First, no, poor little Chippy didn't get the seeds he was after. The only thing that Chippy got was a meeting with the Bad Seed. Here she is in the picture above. Chippy dared to cross the path to get to the extra food he craved so much, and this mean old squirrel relentlessly chased him away, not once, not twice, but several times.

I'm sure the pose above looks charmingly cute when you first look at it, but it's one of the most deceptive things you've ever seen. Take a closer look. Look at the intensity on her face. Look at the strangeness of her tail. Look at the ground just to the front of her hind feet. What does it all mean?

 This little girl is jealously guarding all of the seeds within her domain. She is actually in an attack pose! Sure she looks relaxed, but those groove marks on the ground in front of her hind legs are there so she can push off to pursue any interlopers. She used them several times! I watched as she kept close watch for any intruders.

She didn't even like me standing there eyeballing her seeds, though she tolerated me just in case I might have some extra seeds to share. She even came over to beg for more, but she was always on the lookout for her enemies. Completely ruthless!

But now here comes poor little chippy! He knows she's there lurking in the shadows, in an attempt to conceal herself from the ones she's after. And he has watched while she chased after several of his brothers. But Chippy is determined to challenge her for the seeds that he deserves so much.

So now to bring the exciting conclusion of this story an even bigger dimension, I have caught some of this action on video! So this episode of Rat TV shows the red squirrel jealously and angrily guarding all of the seeds around her.

We get to watch as Chippy makes more than one attempt to get his rightful share, but is chased away at every turn by this bad seed of a squirrel. Can't she share even a little bit? Chippy only wants what's rightfully his. Why would she do this?

This is my second video that you can watch in HD! This link to the video on YouTube may also help if you have trouble watching it here.

Here's the bad seed in action as she chases another little chipmunk from her seeds. She's a mean one!

She will go to any length to chase away the other animals. Here she is chasing another chipmunk down the path. She is ruthless. Completely ruthless!

I watched her chasing the other animals for several minutes before I moved on to visit the nature center. I came back half an hour later, and found her there angrier than ever, and still after the little chipmunks. Why would this evil bad seed do such a thing? Is she just plain mean and nasty? Or does she have another reason?

This story is not over yet. I know the source of her evil power. Tune in tomorrow to discover the truth!

Nature Center Magazine - Copas is back from a one week vacation! His feature for this week is the state of Delaware. Don't take his articles lightly. They offer some very valuable links and information for each state he features.

(One final thing. I'll try to visit some of your sites very soon. I've had a very busy few days, and I've only had time to write these posts. Just this much has kept me up past midnight each night. Thanks for all of your comments.)


  1. Red Squirrels are particularly aggressive. I have seen them chase away much larger gray squirrels many times. While this squirrel is busy defending its food source, Chippy will find another and dine in peace.

  2. The Red Squirrel may be fierceful and aggresive, but this is nothing as compared to the Eastern Pondhawk, which kills and eats their own species.

  3. So the chipmunk lost some turf until a human appears with food, since the chipmunk has more tolerance to humans.Had a squirrel steal a neighbors flag yesterday and take it clear up a tree to make a nest with it.

  4. I bet she has babies to feed and she had to protect food to bring to the nest????

  5. what an encounter you have experienced, and captured with your camera, i am learning too since i am not so good with the behavior of chipmunk, squirrel and bunnies :)

  6. Poor Chippy I can't wait to hear the conclusion to the story

  7. The zoom into the red squirrel in the video was great! I bet you are loving your camera!

    Like The Retired One, I imagine she's got a family, although squirrels do tend to be a little bossy in general (the fox squirrels here are, at least).

  8. That is a great post, love this one.

  9. She's cute but it appears trouble, well if you're another animal at least. :-)

  10. I love the last picture! Flying squirrel! I hope the source of the bad aura not coming from the cameraman! :D

  11. I think I can learn a bit more about squirrel action here...we had a whole family move into one of the campers out here over the winter...they are so possessive it was nearly impossible to get them to go away!! But I need to hear the end of your story!!

  12. I love Red Squirrels and used to have some around but they have all disappeared. I think it's because there are way too many Gray ones here. But they all used to eat together. I have old pictures of all of them getting along. But that is because the food was plentiful and they didn't need to fight over it. They never seemed more aggressive. In fact they'd hide in the rock wall when the bigger animals came around. But they do have a loud chatter when scared or in danger or trying to keep something away from them. They are so pretty. You have captured this one well Ratty and I love your stories. Great post!!

  13. Whoa! what a meanie.. eating to sate hunger is one thing but chasing away everyone else is another thing. Someone oughtta teach her a lesson. oh well.. it's still a squirrel so there's no guarantee it'd ever learn. =D

    Great captures and story Ratty.

  14. Ratty, she is a mean little neurotic mess. I've never seen squirrels duel for food. They are always too happy to share it all. Although I have on a couple of occasions watch squirrels fiercely chase each other. I felt scared for that bird too. I really am anxious for the outcome of this story.

  15. That little squirrel's actions kind of made me want to go out in the forest with some treats for the scorned chipmunk. I always tend to root for the underdog...errrr, underchipmunk. The video is great.