Why Fear of Predators is Important
A study was just released that documented that the “fear of predators” is as important as the predator’s presecence itself. As humans hve removed the apex predators in many ecosystems, the behavior of the meso-predators has changed, allowing them to spend more time eating and sleeping and less time worrying about getting eaten. (See more at Seattle Times by clicking HERE.)
Why is this an important issue? It is important mostly so we can avoid this…
Mongo is so oblivous to the wild, that the Bandit, a three legged raccoon known to frequent the garbage cans of W. Seattle, ran across the road right in front of Mongo in the pre-dawn light, and he didn’t even notice.
LOL probably Mongo was in woodstock-mood with Love&Peace :o) one of our huskies once slept while a sparrow in front of him took a bath in his water bowl… unbelievable :o)
Every morning, Mongo goes out to fetch the paper. Afterwards he gets a treat. This morning on his trip to the paper, a squirrel ran right in front of him and up a nearby tree. The squirrel stopped about three feet up, and huffed and chattered at Mongo. Did he give chase? Nope; Getting the paper earns treats. So, he completely ignored the squirrel and brought back the paper.
But the squirrel knew a predator when he aw one!
Perhaps Mongo wants to lend some chillness to Choppy. She has been on raccoon patrol the last few nights, after she got to chase one up a tree the other day.
He is only casually interested in raccoons & squirrels compared to grouse and pheasant. And when he is asleep on his back like that, noting wakes him. 😉
Just the opposite of Choppy – birds are just ignored. I suspect it’s because she realizes the birds can always fly (or at least semi-fly) away from her. Whereas the squirrels and chipmunks remain on solid ground. Not that this has ever helped her catch one…
My boys are always on the lookout to chase something. Breck constantly thinks he’s fast enough to capture Robins. The bird flies away 3 feet before he gets to them. He always looks so depressed after that.
Mongo does catch the occasional pheasant, but has yet to catch a crow or robin, though he tries.