May 27 – June 2, 2013 Kaw Valley Almanac

May 27, 2013

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2 thoughts on “May 27 – June 2, 2013 Kaw Valley Almanac

  1. Hi, I haven’t seen or heard any chipmunks so far this year, which is really unusual. What are your thoughts on why that might be? Thanks very much!

    • Are you talking about the thirteen lined squirrel? Here’s a picture of it:
      http://kufs.ku.edu/libres/Mammals_of_Kansas/spermoph-13.html

      If not, check that website for your critter, as all the mammals in Kansas are listed there. According to that article on the 13 lined squirrel, they are probably in the midst of having young ones right now, so maybe they are just preoccupied at home and don’t get out much right now! Of course there could be a disease or even worse, someone could have put out poison and exterminated the local population you are used to seeing. That’s exactly what happened to a population I enjoyed over in Topeka where I work. The colony was exterminated by housekeeping because they were afraid the friendly critters might bite someone.

      Same folks knocked down a bunch of swallow nests because some folks complained about their swooping behavior, thinking they were attacking them. I quickly told housekeeping that they are insectivores and most likely they are drawn to people walking outside, hoping that the person will scare up a bug or two for them to pick off, and that they are a great asset for keeping the bugs down. I also found out that knocking down their nests now and then can actually keep parasite and nuisance bug populations down in the nests, which are re-used and therefore can build up enough mites and other parasites to create a health issue for the young as well as the parents.

      The swallows have since rebuilt and they are now sitting on eggs for hatching, soon to eat that many more bugs!

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