Monday, March 28, 2011

Squirrel Sanctuary - Update

M-L writes:

Now that spring is here, the red winged black birds are back and hanging around the sanctuary.  Every one seems a little leery of them- the squirrels of all types, as well as the sparrows, chickadees, finches, cardinals and even the bold-as-brass bluejays. The blackbirds aren't interested in eating, just sitting in the trees and staring at all the feeders and trays.  After they leave, everyone comes out of the hidey holes in the bushes and trees and starts eating again.  

The single squirrels and the relaxed eaters, I assume the males, are chased off by the frantic eaters, the moms. The moms shovel the seeds in as fast as their little teeth can chew, then check out the nut tray, throwing the empty shells out onto the deck in disgust, and boot it over the trees to their waiting young. Of Oscar and his girls, only Missy was seen today, and she was in full mother mode, with no time for a chat or a cashew, as she chased off other squirrels, ate quickly and left. 

I like just watching the way the squirrels relate to each other.  The chittering sounds as they verbally communicate is supplemented by  frantic tail waving.  They get so worked up, that if they weren't using their claws to hold on, I think most squirrels would find their bums levitating from the updraft created by their swirling tails. There are definite hierarchies, based on gender- females rule, and age- with the parent aged squirrels ranked in order of size or bravado.
I seem accepted more, in that the squirrels still run away when I visit the sanctuary, but return much quicker to the feeding station after I have filled the 6 seed trays, 4 bird feeders and 2 nut trays and gone back inside. I guess I am seen as just a necessary nuisance and not a huge threat any more. I'm glad they still have caution around me, as not every member of my species is as accepting of  other species with whom we share this world. 

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