Saturday, December 26, 2015

Gray Squirrels Eating Pine Cone Nuts


Pine Nuts are tasty! Squirrels are excited about a bumper crop of Longleaf and Slash Pine Cones this Fall. It takes much hard work, but under each "leaf" of the giant cones is a tasty pine nut that squirrels - and humans - love. The Longleaf Pine's cones are huge up to a foot long and heavy - weighing more than the squirrel. Once the squirrel has chewed a skinny "handle" it will try and drag the cone to a safe place to finish them off. This is also great food for humans. Stands of Longleaf pines once covered much of the southeastern US, but today they are becoming rare due to past timber harvesting and rampant development as they take many decades to reach up to 60-100 feet tall. Even the more common in this area Slash Pine's are getting rarer. They are both a critical part of the natural habitat and the conservation area behind the Backyard has a rare stand of original native longleaf pines exceeding 60 feet. Toward the end of the video you will see another squirrel in a slash pine eating pine nuts and note the difference in the cones.

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Gray Squirrels Eating Pine Cone Nuts