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Monday, November 2, 2009

Squirrel Antics

I'm one of those goofy people who has multiple bird feeders, bat houses for the barn & a makeshift squirrel feeder.

Since fall is here and winter is on its way, I thought it was time to put out the squirrel food and see how long it would take for them to arrive. I can't say 'return' because last year's young guy was squished in front of my house by a car... So we'll wait and see if any new squirrels show up.

I put the fresh nuts out late yesterday afternoon and was surprised to find my first visitors early this morning. As was the case previously, the Stellar Jays are the early birds, followed by the squirrels (2 of them this year) and lastly, the crows tried unsuccessfully to encroach as well.

The first picture attached is the squirrel I'm going to name Righty since he always comes in from the right side of our house (or driveway side).

The next couple of pictures are of Lefty. Yeap, you guessed it...he always comes and goes from the left side of the house .

Lefty is definitely the main squirrel who has claimed the feeder as his own and he's not hesitant to chase Righty off whenever possible.

While both squirrels are pretty aerobatic, I was able to get some great shots of Lefty jumping into & out of the feeder and a nice close-up of him chewing on his new found nut. Secretly, I think he was probably peeking out and watching to keep Righty at bay. Sharing does not seem to be his strength.

Being a bit of an obsessive when it comes to animal training, I'd often thought it might be fun to befriend and train one of these little guys.

However, the reality is that wouldn't be such a wise decision for several reasons. First, I don't want the squirrels to get too comfortable around my home as I have a few dogs who would love a chance to test their hunting skills on these little guys. Second, they're squirrely! Seriously, squirrels can be erratic & unpredictable, not to mention they may have natural diseases.

So, with all of that said, I've embraced their natural instinct to stay away and curb my own curiosity by being satisfied in simply feeding them from a feeder.

They get a free meal and I get to watch them - a win-win for all.

Oh, one more word about feeding squirrels. They're greedy little critters! If you fill the squirrel feeder, they'll spend the entire day taking the nuts (long after they're full) and burying them. Since nuts are expensive, I suggest only putting out a handful at a time to keep them coming back.

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