Our birdfeeder was the hub of bird and squirrel activity all winter long. At one point, we counted 5 squirrels all within 20 feet of each other, feasting on the sunflower seeds that we had scattered on the ground for the ground eating birds, or that the Chickadees had flung to the ground from the bird feeder when they weren’t satisfied with the size of their seed. It was quite the entertainment. We noticed that birds and squirrels became more competitive relative to the number of seeds or perches available. If plenty, they would tolerate each other just fine, but if in short supply, there would be much chasing and scurrying of little footsies and wings with lots of chattering and squawking.
These photos span from February to May 2015.
This was no zoom-in. I was right beside him!
Lovely red tail!
Enjoying the animal activity up close.
The Chickadees weren’t afraid of the squirrels and would land right next to them on the feeder and flit away with a seed.
Them squirrels chewed off the green plastic feeder insert to get better access to the food within – and well, just inserted himself in there instead.
Oh yes, and there were birds too 😉 (Chickadee)
Chickadee using its beak to crack the sunflower seed open. It was neat to hear the tap, tap, tap of many little beaks in the trees.
Pine Siskins and Chickadee
Fast flutter of a Chickadee
Pine Siskins and one American Goldfinch
Purple Finches (why aren’t they called Red Finches?)
Purple Finch and Pine Siskin
We scattered seeds under the trees for the ground feeders
One day, we noticed a juvenile Sharp-Shinned Hawk eyeing the birds. The little birds knew it was there and went very quiet, hiding in the trees, but he was very patient. After awhile, a little bird forgot(?) he was there, or threw caution to the wind and flew out from the trees but the hawk was quickly on its tail. Was it ever fast! I think he may have caught it, but it was out of our yard in a flash.
“Is he gone? ”
“Who?” (no, just kidding, he was sniffing out seeds when there were no predators around, but thought it was cute for this comic strip)
“I think so…” It was amazing how many little tunnels those squirrels made from the trees to the feeder. Good for quick retreats from questionable presences or other squirrels.
One of the questionable presences…or is it delicious presents? Hmm…
Spring brought some new birds such as the Common Grackle with its beautiful blue iridescent head.
At first, this squirrel didn’t tolerate the little chipmunk and there was a lot of chasing and scurrying about, but the little chipmunk’s persistence won out. Awesome! Go chipmunk!
Like splotches of paint on the lawn. So cool!
American Goldfinches. These guys get pretty aggressive when vying for a perch!
Oh yes, and our trusty little birch reindeer (Chris’ friend makes them). He survived the snow and ice, mostly, but seems to have misplaced his googly eyes…
“Do you see what I see? (Do you see what I see?) An eye, an eye, winking at the sky…” Must have got shoveled off the porch at some point. Oops. We found the second one too, so all is well that ends well. Til next winter anyway.