Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bird Tree Day Update--Jan. 2

This morning the juncos were back in force. I watched for a long time as they worked...they figured out to hover near the crackers and peck off seeds and bites of crackers. Then a cardinal was doing the same thing, very pretty against the dark breen boughs. Some crackers were gone, and some were missing quite a bit of the lower half.

Then the squirrels came, two of them! There is no aerial access, so they had to nervously hop across the snowy yard, first one and then the other somewhat later. The first one scouted around the ground under the tree for awhile, then started to climb. It randomly explored various branches, pulling the tips to itself to smell them apparently. Its weight really bowed the springy branches. Yet it seemed not to visually notice decorations nearby. So it took awhile for it to figure out where the goodies were.

To get at a cracker decoration, one squirrel basically hung by its hind feet from a branch to reach out and grab a cracker and start nibbling. A couple times it slipped and had to scramble back up from a lower branch.

They didn't just grab the popcorn strings and run, as I'd expected. When they discovered one, they examined it very closely and took something off it a little ways to daintily nibble. I think they were looking especially for the dried cranberries. Eventually they started breaking off popcorn pieces and munching on them, in typical "squirrel with nut" posture.

They had all afternoon to work on it while I was at work, so no telling what's left out there in the dark now. I'll keep you posted.

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