Q: Not too long ago in the place of the japanese William Avenue region, we read all working day a racket of crows coming from the nearby woods. We imagine it could be known as a murder and the crows have been earning a horrible sound all day. What could they be accomplishing? (I might look for them if they keep on.)
— Randy and Jackie R., Pittsfield
A: A group of crows is normally termed a murder. It is also recognised as a flock. And the term has been so known as for centuries and is mostly a expression for a significant accumulating. I presume not only a noisy gathering when they mob a hawk for instance. If you find out both the mob or the nest, please let me know. I remember about 10 years ago whilst kayaking on the Housatonic River in the “mouth” of Woods Pond most likely in Lee, I discovered a new bald eagle nest approximately concluded. There need to have been a dozen crows mobbing the pair. When I returned a handful of days afterwards, the crows ended up gone and so ended up the bald eagles. They experienced abandoned the nest.
Q: Is this likely to be a massive yr for chipmunks? I have not noticed any for a yr or so and never ever as a lot of as this 12 months. Should be 4 or more in the backyard. Will they lead to problems to our backyard? (We are new at it.) Do you know everything about them? Do they make superior pets?
— Jimmy, Richmond
A: I have not read of an enhance in the species. Potentially the community cat has gotten old. I will say that this spring various chipmunks have proven up for the initial time in about a calendar year in our yard, while that doesn’t signify considerably. And as significantly as understanding about them, I know adequate I guess, to not to go out of my way to depart them by yourself and not feed them, just as I test to not feed its much larger rodent neighbor the grey squirrel.
Currently, I do not consider of native animals as pets, so I would say that they would not make a very good pet.
Jap chipmunks are herbivores (primarily) feeding on seeds, nuts and fruits, with occasional earthworm, slugs, and insects along with chook eggs, and even mushrooms. Contrary to their more substantial cousin the woodchuck or groundhog, they do not hibernate and inventory food for the winter, whilst they will appear out of their den on hotter sunny winter days if they know a close by chicken feeder the place they can collect seeds.
They are inclined to dwell up to about 8 many years, supplied a hawk, fox, coyote, bobcat, or housecat doesn’t catch one as a meal.
There was a time when I kept wild animals, native and unique, (quite a few prior to permits have been required). Today, I do not motivate wild animals to be saved as pets, nor does Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife.
Again in the early to mid-1960s, when I ran character courses at the Berkshire Museum, I commenced retaining a wide variety of creatures. An individual brought me a little one chipmunk and I elevated it as a caged educational live animal to aim on a little assortment of ever-developing additions that would make a great tale someday. Just one issue I utilized the animals for was as an instance of how not to hold wild indigenous animals as animals. There ended up a number of additions to the office that we did convey up as “pets,” for instance a infant armadillo we named Amy, that lived 15 yrs, would follow me all over and sometimes be authorized to wander around the initially ground of the museum just before it opened. A single of its favored chores was to check out the museum’s science curator, Bartlett Hendricks, and untie his shoelaces! A different was a Nepalese partridge I believe that was brought to a Stockbridge youngster as a household pet. He grew exhausted of it and gave it to silly me, who should have advised it be presented to a zoo.
Q: I remember you writing very last summertime about chipping sparrows coming into your shed to discover seed. Do they even now do this yr?
— Martha, Pittsfield
A: I think the similar particular person arrived mid-April and I observed it wandering out of the garage wherever I once again spilled seed, likely subconsciously on goal. I have not seen it as often as I could not locate the millet that I am applied to presenting the sparrows.