The Red Squirrels along the boardwalk are familiar with humans and expect to be fed. They are not shy in approaching people and if you stop where they are, they will climb your leg, expecting you to give them food such as a peanut.
My husband and I spent time feeding the birds recently and the squirrels were quite indignant. We ignored them initially and the furry rodents made a high pitched sound with open mouths, as if to scold us. We gave them peanuts before we left however.
Near the end of the boardwalk, where a new bird feeder is enjoyed by the chickadees and nuthatches, the squirrels appeared to be stymied. They couldn’t enjoy the black seeds like the birds were doing. I previously posted this photo of a squirrel eating the leftover seeds at the base of the feeder, flicked out by the birds.
More recently, one squirrel figured out how to climb the feeder.
We thought he didn’t make any further progress. Notice how far the cages are from the post.
Last week, one squirrel sat on a branch behind and above the feeder, figuring out a way to secure the last of the seeds at the bottom of the cages or waiting for the cages to be filled again.
This week we learned not to underestimate squirrels. We couldn’t believe our eyes as we approached the feeder and there was a squirrel in the centre of the cage in one of them.
While we watched, he jumped from the outer part of the cage to the pole and slid down to the ground. We waited to see him move into the feeder again but weren’t lucky enough to see the reverse move.
These are clever rodents and we enjoy life with them along the boardwalk. There must be thousands of peanuts in storage along that boardwalk, ready for winter this year. You have to admire the instinctive forethought and determination of the furry creatures. We can learn much from them.