Nut Case: Squirrel Packs On the Pounds

Humans aren't the only species packing on extra pounds during the holidays. Some squirrels are letting themselves go, too. While many squirrels are eating well this fall in New England, one portly squirrel in Bangor, Maine, is so big it earned the nickname “Fatty McFatterson.” Most squirrels sprint, but Fatty lumbers and waddles after supplementing nature’s bounty by helping himself to seeds that fall to the ground from bird feeders. He’s clearly the alpha of the yard. It turns out that many pint-sized rodents aren’t so pint-sized as they gorge on abundant beach nuts, hazelnuts, acorns and a bumper crop of mushrooms this fall. Unlike many other mammals, squirrels don’t hibernate, though they do spend a fair amount of time in their nests in colder weather. It should be interesting to see if Fatty can exit his nest when spring rolls around.