Environmental reporter Ted Williams has actually been walking us with the colors, smells and also sounds of spring this last few weeks. Ted writes the earth Almanac feature for Audubon magazine, and he"s back with us.

Mr. TED WILLIAMS (Writer, Audubon Magazine): Hi, Debbie.

ELLIOTT: for this reason the pets we"re going to talk about today space not amongst nature"s grandest creatures. We"re going to talk around muskrats and also antelope squirrels?

Mr. WILLIAMS: Right. The factor they"re referred to as antelope 설 설 is because they - when they run - and most 설 설 escape predators through climbing trees or diving right into the floor - yet antelope 설 설 run like antelopes and they - their tails speed up and also they have actually a white romped the looks prefer an antelope.

ELLIOTT: Where execute they live and also what space they approximately this time of year?

Mr. WILLIAMS: Well, castle live in the Pinion-Juniper Woodlands of ours desert West and Southwest. They have actually to deal with a lack of water, and they have ingenious tools for dealing there is no that. They obstacle saliva top top their deals with with your paws.

ELLIOTT: Now, what does the do?

Mr. WILLIAMS: That simply cools castle off with evaporation. They have actually extremely efficient kidneys, for this reason they don"t need to waste much water through urination. If that gets too hot, they"ll rise a cactus and let the wind blow through their fur.

ELLIOTT: so what space the antelope squirrels doing in the springtime?

Mr. WILLIAMS: Well, right currently the males are vying for dominance, competing for females. It"s quite funny to watch them. They chatter and also chip and also growl, and actually show up to box. Climate they mate and the mrs may provide birth come one or 2 liters of five to 14 young.

ELLIOTT: You"ve been additionally been city hall the muskrats, which is really common in your component of the country, new England. What space the muskrats doing this time that year?

Mr. WILLIAMS: If it"s ice, they could be popping through push holes, i m sorry they maintain all winter. It"s favor a seal in the Artic will certainly come up with the ice to breathe and look around, and also they"ll perform that. You might see them doing that. Or if ice is melted you might see what looks choose a point out of silver- moving across the water at dusk, and also that"s the bow wake of a muskrat. And also you know, the rat is an unfortunate name. They"re really not a rat.

ELLIOTT: What room they?

Mr. WILLIAMS: They"re a vole. Castle are 4 times the dimension of a rat. If you check out a heap of mussel shells - that"s one of their favorite foodstuffs - that"s a authorize that muskrats have been about feeding.

ELLIOTT: are there other methods to spot them? Don"t they do a sound? Can"t girlfriend hear muskrats?

Mr. WILLIAMS: Well, yes, castle - the muskrats - the females do a squeaking sound this time that year when they"re mating. There was in reality a well-known song called "Muskrat Love."

ELLIOTT: oh no.

Mr. WILLIAMSL: Which approximates with exceptional accuracy that the sound of the female squeaking.

ELLIOTT: does that average we"re going to have to have a hear to "Muskrat Love" through Captain and Tennille?

Mr. WILLIAMS: Absolutely. You have to listen to that song.

(Soundbite of song, "Muskrat Love")

ELLIOTT: Is the really what the muskrats sound like?

Mr. WILLIAMS: It yes, really is.

ELLIOTT: Ted Williams writes planet Almanac, a monthly function in Audubon magazine. Many thanks for speaking with us, Ted.

Mr. WILLIAMS: Thanks, Debbie. It to be a pleasure.

(Soundbite of song, "Muskrat Love")

Ms. TONI TENNILE (Captain and also Tennille): (Singing) and also they whirled and also they twirled and also they tangoed, singin" and also jingin" the jingo, floatin" favor the heavens above. That looks favor muskrat love.

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