A guide to campus wildlife

A CSUN Squirrel calmly devours a mid-afternoon snack. (Photo Credit: Brian Andrade)

A CSUN Squirrel calmly devours a mid-afternoon snack. (Photo Credit: Brian Andrade)

BY ANDREW GOODMAN

Among the flat land and deep into the bowels of the San Fernando Valley, there lies the unique environmental habitat known as the California State University, Northridge campus. It is home to some of the most unique species in the world, rare breeds that are only found at the university. Through years of observation and analysis, we have determined that the wildlife on campus has developed its own personality, as generation after generation of species exhibit the same qualities. Let’s take a look at some of these fascinating creatures and their ways of life.

The Squirrels

       Among the most unique species in the animal kingdom are the CSUN squirrels. Known for their unbelievable ability to sneak up behind people and steal their food, these legendary creatures are one of a kind. Stare deep into the eyes of one of these squirrels and it is almost like they are reading your mind, trying to anticipate your next move. Nowhere other than CSUN is it common to find creatures with such a lack of fear of humans, as you can approach them and they will not retreat. It has been said they will even crawl into the trunk of your car if they sense a tasty treat is within range.  It is rumored that these squirrels are the first university squirrels to create their own Facebook page, although it is unclear if they created it themselves or a human created it for them.  A word of advice: keep your eye on that slice of pizza next time you take a seat around Oviatt Lawn.

The Ducks

       If one were to find themselves walking by the pond on a particular afternoon, they would find themselves face-to-face with the ducks. The ducks are not quite as obnoxious as the rest of their wildlife counterparts, as they seem to be content with avoiding interaction with humans. That is, unless food is involved. Much like the desperate college students that visit the pond daily, these ducks are suckers for free food, sacrificing their safety and ignoring their fear of interaction for a quick snack. For the reasonable price of 25 cents, viewers can hypnotize these peaceful beings by purchasing a handful of food for them to waddle over and eat. It is a fun experience and hanging with them is a great way to reduce stress. Two things to be aware of: the ducks love to fly right above peoples’ heads so keep an eye out.  Also, avoid messing with their ducklings or adorable mama duck has the tendency to turn into a raging phoenix.

Two ducks look on. They can often be seen around the pond waiting for students to feed them. (Photo Credit: Brian Andrade)

Two ducks look on. They can often be seen around the pond waiting for students to feed them. (Photo Credit: Brian Andrade)

The Geese

       Up next we have the notorious geese that roam the area around Live Oak Hall, daring anyone to come near. In the spring, these geese make their home at the pond with the ducks and live peacefully without disturbing students. However, it is not uncommon to see people chased around by these creatures, especially when one disturbs their habitat. The geese have become so popular that they have even prompted the creation of signs delegated to leaving them alone. Who knew geese could command so much power and attention? If you are ever near the bookstore and hear blood-curdling screams of terror, it’s already too late, somebody has fallen victim to the geese.

The Crows

       CSUN crows could also be known as the vultures of the San Fernando Valley. These beasts are often larger than human heads and can devour leftover fast food meals at the speed of light. Also known as flying garbage cans, these birds love to make as much noise as possible when students are trying to study. They are the ultimate trolls, stealing your leftover food and bugging you to their best ability before flying away laughing. Luckily unlike the squirrels, these creatures usually only approach the food after you have already left it, so don’t expect one to swoop down and steal a sandwich right out of your hand. Then again, it could happen.

The Trees

       Finally we have the trees that do much more than make the campus the beautiful place it is. In addition to providing much-needed shade to the students at CSUN, they also provide a home for the other wildlife that exists on campus. The trees are the squirrels’ best friends, a place to dash up and avoid the students that are chasing them when they steal their food. They provide leaves as a food source to the geese as well as the ducks that share the pond during the spring. The crows use them as a place to nest and hang during the day. The trees are more than meets the eye, they are the ultimate sources for life on the CSUN campus.