Bird Feeder Bandits

... Journal Entry

In recent weeks several new and now regular visitors have turned up in the garden in the form of highly acrobatic bird feeder bandits. Cute, agile, highly entertaining but a bit of a pest really.

We have for many a year been feeding the birds in our garden and enjoying watching the many species that frequent the feeders and enrich our lives with their presence and their antics. They are such fun to watch and good for the soul. 

Whilst feeding wild birds is a very rewarding pastime, it isn't without its cost so we tend to keep an eye on the rate of consumption of the various foodstuffs we buy in and put out in the various feeders. Buggy nibbles, peanuts, dried meal worms and sunflower hearts typically are the favourites of the various species of birds that live in our neighbourhood. 

Well recently the rate of consumption of sunflower hearts increased dramatically. An entire feeder full was literally vanishing in a day. Either the various blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, bull finches and friends were having parties for out of town visitors or there were interlopers at work.

Then one morning whilst sitting having breakfast in the conservatory, out from the holly trees and onto one of the feeders leaped... yes indeed... one of those most infamous of all bird food bandits, a grey squirrel, notorious across many a garden for their acrobatic antics in their pursuit of their favourite food peanuts, well no actually turns out this one was just 'nuts' about sunflower hearts.

Not just in small quantities either. It would continue chomping its way through a container of seeds for as long as it had the strength to hang on to the container. Talk about an, "Appetite hale and hearty"! What it couldn't finish off, a pal would rock up not long after to complete the job.

Mind you, hanging onto the wide, slippery, plastic container as it emptied out and so lost its ballast so to speak became more and more of a challenge and the squirry acrobatics more and more entertaining accordingly.

These little guys really do deserve their reputation for being quick, lithe, agile, acrobatic high wire performers. They are just amazing. But eventually...

Whoa, wheyey, whoops... 

Aaagh, oh no.... even the most agile get it a bit wrong sometimes.

Like cats, however, they can spin round in mid air ready to land happily on all fours!

Where did I just come from, up there? Really? Wow!

Now whilst they look cute and can be very entertaining I do have to say they have become something of a pest. They drive away the little birds whilst they are in the garden. They guzzle large amounts of expensive bird food (not the cheap stuff which they ignore), dig up garden bulbs and do quite a bit of damage about the place. Not for nothing are they nicknamed "tree rats". So in many ways welcome visitors they are not. But they are very photogenic I must admit.

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.