Monday March 01st 2010, 12:07 am
Filed under: Wildlife

Two days away from my usual spot and it was a squirrel war on my previously-rodent-free birdfeeder. And they are emphatically copycats: if one does it, each one in the vicinity has to try, just like little kids: Well, but HE got to, so why can’t *I*?

Yo? Did you see your littermate hit the ground running from up there when I opened the door? It couldn’t have been fun.

So today one was keeping an eye on me, judging to see if I might walk away out of sight so it could have a go at that awning pole and then go leaping across to the food from there. Like I didn’t know exactly what it was thinking–I’ve seen them do a “Mother May I” game, running a few feet forward if I turn my head away, freezing if I turn back to see.   They charm me so, the little toddlers.

What he didn’t realize was the neighbor’s cat was watching him intently from halfway across the grass. Not stalking him; more like it was watching the wing-and-foot show and noting where future snackage was to be found should the need arise.

I opened the door and squirrel, birds, and cat fled to safety.

Those black squirrels’ preoccupation with me and that feeder was Darwinizing them.  I took some aluminum foil. I taped a short length of it to the pole opposite the feeder–nothing harmful in any way, but nothing for agile little feet to pitch their in-tent from either.

Went off to church. Came home to find crinkled foil, still holding–someone must have tried from below–and a little black squirrel sitting among my amaryllises on the picnic table, staring longingly up, wondering if maybe, just maybe, he could make the leap from over that-a-way.  All that lovely, lovely millet and sunflower seeds.

Not a chance. (So far.)

8 Comments so far
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My parents have a bird feeder like this one:–P2267C34.aspx?UserID=13249368&SessionID=C8hIInw4kNczLn3u4OCp

If a squirrel or large bird lands on it, it slides down and closes. We’ve found it to be very effective.

As a side note, the cages that go around feeders are horrible. We had a young squirrel squeeze in, gorge himself, and then get stuck trying to get out. My dad and I had to use wirecutters to free him.

It was nice to see you on Saturday at Stitches!

Comment by Julie 03.01.10 @ 2:08 am

You make it sound like it’s a series. I could listen to the story on the radio while I knitted – very entertaining!

You are a truely talented woman. 🙂

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 03.01.10 @ 6:40 am

Giggle. Cat’s away, mice will play…

Comment by Channon 03.01.10 @ 7:44 am

Honeyman and I have been playing the “keep the squirrels and raccoons off the feeders” game for years! They get more athletic and smarter every year! It’s a constant battle. And has become expensive. But we do it…and do it…and do it some more. Gotta love all the critters!!!

Comment by Jayleen 03.01.10 @ 9:30 am

Squirrels are smarter than we are. I’ve spent a fortune on “squirrel-proof” feeders that aren’t–even those mentioned by Julie. The little rascals just sit on top and scrounge away. I gave up.

Comment by Abby 03.01.10 @ 10:24 am

I like Suzanne’s idea — an ongoing radio serial (or is that cereal?) — The Adventures of Ma and Pa Squirrel, and their daily effort to keep from starving. Tune in tomorrow to find out if Scroungy Cat or Two-Legged Hominid will once again thwart our plucky heroes.

And you want a joke following that? Well …

A mother said that before she could visit her daughter in Japan, she needed to supply some important information for security. The list included passport number, height, weight, year of birth, and anticipated hair color at time of arrival.

Comment by Don Meyer 03.01.10 @ 3:20 pm

LOL Maybe you need to write “the Squirrel Chronicals”

Comment by Diana Troldahl 03.01.10 @ 3:44 pm

I have one of the slide down feeders and it is effective, but to protect my suet, am giving cayenne a try. So far so good. But I can’t believe it will last!

Comment by twinsetellen 03.01.10 @ 10:11 pm

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