The sounds of pleasant, relaxed bird chatter made eastern grey squirrels resume foraging more quickly after hearing the sounds of a predator, researchers found.

Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images


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Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

The sounds of pleasant, relaxed bird chatter made eastern grey squirrels resume foraging more quickly after hearing the sounds of a predator, researchers found.

Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

Squirrels eavesdrop on the casual chitchat of birds to figure out when it’s safe enough to be out in the open and foraging for food.

Researchers have found that a squirrel becomes incredibly vigilant when it hears the shriek of a red-tailed hawk, but it will relax and resume its food-seeking behavior more quickly if the predator’s call is immediately followed by the easygoing tweets of unconcerned birds.

The findings, described in the journal PLOS One, add to a growing body of research that animals take advantage of all available “public information” when trying to assess t

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