Monday, 6 April 2009

Wildlife On Fuerteventura

You shall recall that I alluded to a particularly hairy family, all sporting buck teeth, whom I encountered whilst on Fuerteventura. I am tempted to imitate that silly advertisement on television by a sofa company that invites us to Meet the Dillons.

Meet the Chipmunks! They resided in burrows inside the rocky cliffs near my hotel and they are the most endearing little creatures. I am apprised that they are really Barbary ground squirrels, though they're commonly known as chipmunks on the island.

These chipmunks must easily be half the size of a squirrel. Once they have your confidence, they'll dash over and grab a nut or piece of apple most willingly. I watched while one little fellow returned for three nuts from me and proceeded to bury two of the nuts for a rainy day (take note, Mr Brown). I viewed another chipmunk lifting its baby with its mouth and taking baby back closer to home.

Closer to the beach, on the dunes, I stood beside a pair of the most spectacular large birds I have ever seen: grey-crowned cranes. They walked about in a most stately manner, occasionally making loud, ear-piercing trumpeting calls. Apparently this exotic bird is a national symbol of Uganda.

Other birds I spotted were a hoopoe and a flock of parakeets, one of which walked over to me for several peanuts.


Elle said...

Great photos, and thank you for sharing.

Those "cute" chipmunks are considered a pest by the locals. There are hefty fines for anyone that tries to transport them over to Lanzarote (that's where I live).

But yeah - they sure are cute eh?!

The cranes are magnificent! I've not seen those before, so your photo is a real treat. I see plenty of hoopoes though - shy but beautiful birds.

I'm going to post a link to this post in my forum, and on another of our websites... so I hope that's okay.


Timothy Belmont said...

Hello Elle,

Good to hear from you. I can well understand the reasons why they are excluded from other islands; they are rodents.

The National Trust has such policies about introducing non-native species on to its inland islands and is necessarily wary.

Nevertheless, the chipmunks are wonderful little creatures and most of us adore them! They are most content to remain on Fuerteventura, I'm sure.

All the best,