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Wed Sep 4, 2019, 07:24 PM

Squirrels listen to birds' chitchat to gauge if trouble's afoot - study


Research shows eavesdropping more widespread and broader than originally thought

Nicola Davis
@NicolaKSDavis
Wed 4 Sep 2019 14.00 EDT Last modified on Wed 4 Sep 2019 15.31 EDT

Squirrels eavesdrop on the chatter of songbirds to work out whether the appearance of a predator is cause for alarm, researchers have found.

Animals including squirrels have previously been found to tune in to cries of alarm from other creatures, while some take note of “all-clear” signals from another species with which they co-exist to assess danger.

But the latest study suggests animals may also keep an ear out for everyday chitchat among other species as a way to gauge whether there is trouble afoot.

“This study suggests that eavesdropping on public information about safety is more widespread and broader than we originally thought,” said Prof Keith Tarvin, co-author of the study from Oberlin College, Ohio.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/sep/04/squirrels-listen-to-birds-chitchat-to-gauge-if-troubles-afoot-study

Whenever I have heard squirrels screeching I have almost always run outside to spot whatever cat might be lurking around to chase it away from the bird feeders in our back yard. Had never seen this as "eavesdropping" on squirrels, always noticed after seeing squirrels were plastered flat against the sides of trees, and yelling, they were looking at a stalking cat, or a hawk, sitting on a fence, and often started bringing a broom with me to save time.


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Reply Squirrels listen to birds' chitchat to gauge if trouble's afoot - study (Original post)
Judi Lynn Sep 2019 OP
Rebl2 Sep 2019 #1
Duppers Sep 2019 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 08:04 PM

1. I have

noticed over the last several years the crows and the blue jays sound the alarm when a hawk enters our backyard or is nearby. They squawk like crazy and all the other birds flee. Occasionally the tree squirrels will run too, but not always. Squirrels will carry on if a cat wanders through the yard.

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Response to Rebl2 (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 11:08 PM

2. Same here.

There have a protection cooperative.

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