Monday, February 07, 2011

Brave Mice, Fat Owls

I have seen little bright-eyed critters running around in Rusty and Iris' cage for quite a while now. I assumed they were shrews since shrews are meat-eaters, and these little guys were eating gophers that Rusty and Iris had cached, dropped, or otherwise left lying around.

The little critters were first seen on the feeding platform eating leftover bits and gnawing on whole unclaimed pieces of gopher. Then they showed up on top of the hide box where a bonanza of uneaten food was just lying around. Then the moment of truth came: the little buggers showed up IN THE NEST!

There's a camera right in front of the nest, so when they ran around there I was able to get my first good look. These weren't shrews...they were MICE! Carnivorous mice, I guess. Carnivorous mice that had been running around in a cage with some owl with impunity. But I thought that might change since the mice showed up in the nest.


Within a day of the mice showing up in the nest I saw Rusty perched on the side branch by the nest... the perch that some viewers have dubbed the "stuffed squirrel perch" because if you look at it in two dimensions instead of three it looks like a posed squirrel.

At any rate, the mice poked in and out of the nest and ran along the edge of the nest, about a foot from dear Rusty. He just slept and mostly ignored them. Then apparently one of the mice bet the other one that he wasn't brave enough to run out and touch that owl. And one of them ran out onto Rusty's perch and all but touched his toe! Did Rusty lift a toe or make any indication of trying to catch the mouse? No.

I guess I feed them too well.


  1. I believe that Rusty views them as 'his pets', and as such.. is more entertained than hungry for them.

  2. Caught Rusty hooting briefly this morning (08 Feb 2011) at 02:15 PST - not his usual hoot, much quieter, and sounded like it was just the trills (the Barry White hoot?).

    Not important, but potentially amusing--yesterday (07 Feb 2011), at 18:21 PST (I think--didn't note it at the time, so going from memory, but definitely in the 18:00 hour), one of the mice was running around on the edge of the nest, and Rusty was clearly watching it from the center perch on the nest. Wonder if those mice have any idea of just *where* they are?

  3. I saw those mice and had to laugh.
    I told the grandson that they were very brave or very stupid.
    He told me not to worry Rusty would make a meal for Iris