Thursday, January 24, 2013

Squirrel verses Girl

True confessions, I am a sucker for a pretty face.  The furrier the better. I have been feeding the squirrels for years.

Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs.

Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs, and hamsters.  I am NOT a mouse or rat fan and my children never had hamsters or guinea pigs. Luckily, they never asked for them. We had those anoles, lizard like things and hermit crabs. UGH! Beavers are too big and porcupines, I'm not even going to touch that one.

I have never seen a flying squirrel to my knowledge BUT, I will say while I was out for a walk one day, one plopped down out of a tree right in front of my path with a thud.  I am not a paranoid person BUT I think they are following me.

As soon as I open my back sliding door to the deck, I can see them scurrying up and down the trees and I hear their chatter.  I think they have me tuned in on their speed dial.

What do squirrels eat? Everything under the sun but mine are big carb eaters and love bread. Peanut butter, I believe has made them mine forever. My friend in Texas hates squirrels. When she had them in her attic and had a hard time getting rid of them, she wanted to get a gun!   I once worked with a guy who said squirrels ate through his screen and got inside his kitchen.  I am still on friendly terms with my squirrels.

 It should be no secret now, I am a recent birder.  I inherited this bird feeder and became all excited because I will now attracted beautiful birds to my yard. All birders and bird feeders please hold your laughter.

Yes, I realize this is not a bird and I tried to rationalize this behavior. Is he or she just messing with me?  I don't name or identify my squirrels, it is just squirrel with the exception of, the fat one.  I realize this is politically incorrect. So never in front of squirrel do I mention this aloud.

Yes, I have a problem, this is a long term relationship and I need to let the squirrels know I have no intention of abandoning them but I would like to share the wealth.

To the right is the nest to the left you can see, the fat one.
I received a new bird feeder for Christmas.  I was going to buy one on my own and was aghast at the price.  It is like $100 and up for a squirrel proof bird feeder.  Surely, we can come to terms and work this out. That means more money for seed, ya know.

Today marks week 5 and here is the tally if you are interested in the war with squirrels.  Sounds like a reality television show to me.

Week 1 almost 8 days no one went near the high hanging racy red bird feeder.  Was it the color?

Week 2 I believe it was a Monday morning, bird feeder is GONE! Albatross come sweeping by and snatch it up? A tad dramatic in my thoughts, the bird feeder was later found on the ground 15 feet below its hanging spot.

Week 3 I added a chain to the "S" hook. Aha! I had them now!! .......It didn't even last the afternoon.  I could hear their chatter, "Is she kidding me"? and I hope they heard me say out LOUD, "REALLY"!

Week 4 This was a fun one.  I hung the feeder in my yard dead center,below my deck.  I looped it using a smaller "s" hook on the clothes line, so I really could not see it or all the pretty birds that were coming round but it stood there proud in the center of my yard.  They would have to walk the tight rope to get to it.  I have seen some fascinating moves from these squirrels but I was pretty sure this would do the trick.  It lasted a week.  I had no idea how acrobatic and talented my squirrels are.  This was a two person job.  They bounced the ropes and eventually it came down.  Heck of a bird feeder though.  It has not cracked yet.

Week 5 So now I am spending money, so this is serious!  The bird feeder is back in its original location on my deck. I purchased a lock-in clip, discarded the large and small "s" hook.  I wrapped the small chain around the post, the longer chain now hangs down lower and the clip allows me to open and close to take the feeder down to refill.  This is day 6 and I have no takers yet but I am hopeful.  I am only 5 bucks in so far with the clip, all other supplies I had on hand.  It is yet to be determined when I will come to the realization that $100 is cheap if you want the pretty birds to come flocking to your back door.

I have moved the location where I feed the squirrels "their" food. I am sure this is just a little communication snag.  We are still in negotiations and hopefully will come to a mutual agreement soon that benefits us all.

Monday was "Squirrel Appreciation Day" and I would be remiss if I did not recognize them at all.  They have an ever ready presence in my life and they like the attention.  There is a squirrel appreciation page on Facebook and I hear they are looking for friends.  That's the chatter anyway.

Trivia: James Cagney never said, "You dirty rat" and nor will I.  We can work this out.

Update: Week 5 Day 5 seeing some action on a snowy day!!!



 Week 6 Additional visitors

The Finch

Finch and Friends (popular spot)

Shucks this is just a yoga move.

Yup he's in!

Nuthatch (I believe)

Mystery feeder

I have never seen a squirrel do a "put up your dukes" pose before.

The staring contest.

Going for it!

and he's in...Who knew the Great Wallenda hangs out in my trees?

Up in the trees, the Great Wallenda is waiting me out.

Pretty sure he is a Hairy Woodpecker.  He's a little big for the feeder so soon I will need to upgrade.

Still working on identifying this one.

Common Wren I believe but I this the colors are extraordinary.

Th clay bell is the latest addition and as of kickoff time of the Super Bowl Girl 1 Squirrels 0 but I am pretty sure it ain't over yet!

As of today UFO but I am just as curious as they are. I believe now from research, this is a Junco.

Red-tailed Hawk he is a major dude, they can have a wing span up to 57inches. One of the things you get to see chasing squirrels.

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