Yesterday afternoon I took a walk in Schenley Park to see what I could find.
There weren't many birds -- just a flock of robins, some grackles and blue jays, one brown creeper, and a single confusing fall warbler -- but what was lacking in birds was made up by this very cute mammal.
Chipmunks were everywhere, scrabbling through dead leaves, cramming nuts in their cheeks and shouting as they ran to escape my approach. My goodness they were busy!
Despite their apparent playfulness chipmunks are actually very territorial. Except when they're babies they live alone, one per burrow, and defend that burrow against all chipmunks. They threaten, they shout, they chase each other everywhere. And they look so cute while they're doing it.
By the end of my walk I was sorry I hadn't counted chipmunks, just for fun.
Was it an illusion or were there more chipmunks than birds?
(photo by Brian Herman)