Short-Tailed Shrews (Blarina brevicauda) Exhibit Unusual Behavior in an Urban Environment

by Virgil Brack Jr.

Indiana State University, Department of Ecology and Organismal Biology, Terre Haute, IN 47089


Ecological studies typically stress the use of habitats by wildlife in natural environments. However, in urban environments, habitat use may be altered, or it may be easier to discern use or behaviors overlooked in more natural settings. This note details unique observations of the northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) congregating around a bird feeder, living in a flower bed isolated within a parking lot, entering buildings, eating hamburger, and using an arboreal nest in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio.

Key words: arboreal nest; barriers to movement; Blarina brevicauda; Cincinnati; foods; habitats; scavenging; short-tailed shrew