Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22: Persistence

The snow has now drifted high enough in front of my office window that a squirrel has discovered it can access my window feeder. I heard some scrabbling on the wall this morning and looked out, curious. A squirrel, looking particularly fluffy and cute in its winter coat, looked back at me.

Or rather, I thought it was looking back at me, but I slowly realized it was really eyeing the bird feeder in front of me on the other side of the window, sizing up its potential approach. The snow below the feeder was spattered with little squirrel prints and seed hulls. This squirrel was onto something big.

After I sat back down, I heard scratching again, looked up, and laughed out loud to see this at my window:

In fact, I'm still chuckling to see it again. The brazen rodent slipped off the window frame a few times, and got scared off more than once by my arm raising the camera, but eventually reached the mother lode.

Its persistence was rewarded, albeit rather briefly, because the feeder was so small it would lose its balance and have to hop off. But it kept coming back. It eventually got so used to my presence that a simple knock on the window had no effect. So I was able to observe it rather closely, until apparently it felt its exertions were not worth the meager results and it swished away to seek easier fodder. Still, I've got to hand it to squirrels--they've got brains the size of acorns, but they know how to focus every little brain cell to figure out how to get what they want. I've personally seen very few bird feeders--maybe two--that were genuinely squirrel-proof.

Squirrel in my feeder--
is it the food or challenge
that motivates you?

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