Feeder Watch – Fall 2018

my 100th post of the year!! woohoo!

This fall saw an increase in action at my feeders that is starting to wind down. I had to replace my smaller round one because I didn’t keep it clean like I should have, and the wet seed that clogged the portals turned into concrete when it dries. My new one is a bit bigger and has deeper feeding trays, and my squirrels have figured out that two of them can sit on it at a time when there aren’t enough sunflower seeds on the ground to satiate them. It’s a tight squeeze but they make it happen (proving that they’re as smart as a recent Nature documentary on PBS claims). One of my bluejays has even taken to landing on it, though that usually only lasts a few seconds. We had a new visitor a couple of times over the past couple of months, an  American Red Squirrel I named Rick. He’s about the size and color of a chipmunk but is most definitely a squirrel, and has all the spunk and sass of George and Gracie.  

Both our chipmunks, Chet and Sheila were active until about three weeks ago, so I’m assuming they’re already hunkered down for the winter. I actually have proof now that we have a male and female because of their reactions to me when I was putting food out in mid-October.  Chet ran to the nearest downspout and when I followed him to see if I could get a photo with my phone, to my surprise he started chirping. I also followed Sheila as she ran back to her side of the lawn, and when I got within about three feet of her, she froze for a few second before dashing up the nearest tree.When I came in, I googled “do chipmunks chirp” and it turns out the males will chirp when threatened and the females will chirp when trying to attract a mate. I feel terrible that I scared Chet so bad he was singing like a canary and next time I see him, I’ll keep my distance so he won’t have to cuss me up one side and down the other.