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Observing the Seasonal Changes of Small Mammals and Birds

Estonians are a people that live in harmony with the wildlife and land around them. As a culture and people, we have lived like this since time immemorial. As cities have expanded and more of the population has adopted a fast-paced urban lifestyle, though, staying in touch with our earthly surroundings has become increasingly difficult.

Photo by Steve Bonisteel from
Photo by Steve Bonisteel from

When engaged in making a living or gaining an education, there isn't much time to stop and smell the flowers. Or, for that matter, time to look up to the sky and see what our avian and smaller mammalian neighbours are up to. But with autumn in full swing now, take just a moment and you'll notice changes in the behaviour of birds and other critters.

Blue jays become noisier and more visible during autumn. Being what you might call extraverts, the reason for this noise is that they are gathering together to enjoy the abundance of food and the company of fellow blue jays. Calls may be used to communicate the location of food. This excitement is increased during years that oak and beech trees drop more acorns and beechnuts than usual, known as “mast years.” At the same time, their calls alert other birds to the threat...

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