Tuesday 13 November 2007

Feeding Frenzy

After days of cloudy, rainy days the sun shines brightly. A breeze came up and the sunlight sparkles off the small waves; diamonds glinting in the sun. I fed the critters, the cat eyes me from inside. She is anxious to help! Yesterday she snuck up under the railing and sucker punched a blue jays. The startled bird, or the cat, knocked over the heavy metal bird feeder. I heard a big CLUNK. All the bird lost was its dignity and a few tail feathers.

The blue jays and squirrels fight for the peanuts. One bird will fly in, having waited semi-politely for the squirrel to take off, grab a peanut, then grab another, decide that that one is too small, large, old, young, the wrong colour or shape, and then finally taking its prize flies off to a nearby tree. If it is early in the feeding frenzy it eats the prize right away. You can hear them in the trees crunching the shell of the peanut. Later in the process they hide the peanut in a nook or cranny - to be recovered later.

The peculiar thing is that the squirrels, once the bird feeder is exhausted of peanuts, knows the Blue Jays trick and scurries all over the denuded canopy of trees looking for the food to recover it and bury it elsewhere. They chase each other around tree trunks not giving up a cm of territory. The squirrels bury the prize down below. Once someone wins the game, the squirrels, who can identify the smell of recently overturned soil, frantically dig up the treasure to eat or rebury it. Sometimes they discover my newly planted bulbs, but I digress.

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