Friday, June 15, 2012

Bird/mammal interaction

I saw an unusual bird/mammal interaction on Thursday while I was at work.  I was parking near a building at Smith College and noticed a small mouse at the base of a shrub perhaps 10 feet away.  Directly above it was a House Sparrow that repeatedly dove at it pecking it and chasing it.  The mouse would at times chase the bird but it was usually the House Sparrow chasing the mouse.  This continued for a couple minutes before the mouse ran to another shrub and then to the side of the building nearby.  At this point a Northern Cardinal that had been feeding on the ground nearby came over to the mouse and chased it and pecked at it until the mouse ran along the side of the building and out of sight.  This all happened in the middle of the day in bright sun in a landscaped area in a built up part of the campus.  There were no nests nearby that I could see.  The mouse seemed small (perhaps a third of the size of the House Sparrow) and is probably a young mouse that has not learned that being out in the open on a bright sunny day is not advisable.  What really surprised me was how long the mouse stayed out in the open and chased and was chased by a couple different species of birds.  An interesting interaction to witness.


  1. Nice. I like that you saw the interaction of some of the smaller creatures. It says observation and curiosity to me. Taking some time to see some simple things.
    I remember the grounds at Smith being quite nice. I remember the Gingkos being especially striking. At the time they were the biggest I had seen. Their ancient and interesting leaves, a sea of yellow in the fall.

  2. There are some great varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers down there with many not likely to be found anywhere else in the area...very interesting spot.