|Rocky hauls off a squirrel's head
Sierra County, California; August-September, 2011 -- Camera trap set # 531
Our northern flying squirrels have a refined palate.
Not only do they relish mushrooms, truffles, and tender lichens; they also enjoy well-aged meat -- in this case road-killed western tree squirrel.
At this set amongst red firs on a north slope we expected a bear or a fox, hoped for a marten, and dreamt of a wolverine, but the only takers were the flying squirrel, a chipmunk and an American robin.
With 16 visits over 2 and a half weeks Rocky's persistence paid off.
He succeeded in running off with the head, which we had left lying on the rock.
Then he somehow managed to extract a joint of squirrel from under a slab of rock.
Fifty plus years ago, Robert T. Orr (late curator of birds and mammals at the California Academy of Sciences) told the boy-codger he was surprised to catch flying squirrels on Sonora Pass in meat-baited traps set for martens.
These appealing rodents haven't lost their taste for meat.