Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Equilibrium of Squirrels
It's not one of those trick titles this time, it's really a tribute to squirrels :)
There might be a handful of people out there who don't like them, think of them as vermin, but most people love to watch squirrels. All those grunty little chittering noises and the way they freeze up like statues for no apparent reason (Did I leave the kettle on?). And they scamper, scampering is just the cutest thing ever.
Squirrels are aerial masters and natural born show folk, performing gravity defying feats with the greatest of ease, the greatest of confidence. I admire squirrels for those reasons, but lately there's a new lesson learned from Little Chunk, Flicky and all the rest.
We've tried out many different types of bird feeders in the last few months, this type of sock is common these days, but they're no good. I put them out and the next day, they have been ripped to shreds by the squirrels; those were abandoned early on. I looked at squirrel proof feeders at the store, but my goal was never to deny the squirrels, rather to discourage vandalizing.
After some trial and error, Clyde and I have settled on a system of one gallon milk jugs, we go through about one a week, so that's the most convenient. We make a new feeder by carving out two of the side panels, sliding a wooden skewer diagonally across the bottom and threading wire through the top for a handle. Keeping feeders clean is a priority, hence the revolving jug method.
As you can see, there is plenty of easy access for all. Initially, we thought the squirrels to be greedy, that they would empty the feeders every day, but that was not true. Just like people, those squirrels only wanted what they thought they couldn't have, those socks were forbidden fruit.
Little Chunk visits the feeder everyday, several squirrels do along with a great quantity of birds. Now that it's just sitting there free for the taking, the squirrels are not being greedy. They take what they need and leave the rest.
If a squirrel can find that balance so easily, why can't I?