Our morning coffee has been served up with entertainment over the past week: a small, lively and highly agile acrobat has been performing right outside our living room window. (Click photo to enlarge; more photos below.)
Squirrelly is normally away in the forest, busy gathering Douglas fir cones (which are abundant on our property) and caching them in the many mounded middens he’s created. Douglas fir seeds are, after all, a favorite food for Red squirrels, and we often see him sitting on a tree limb, munching on a cone.
Most years he shows up at our bird feeder in late spring, presumably in search of a bit of variety. Or maybe “he” is actually “she”, and is seeking some extra nutrition for a young pup.
This year Squirrelly came a couple of months early – perhaps a signal that after our long, cold winter, the midden is low on grub. Fortunately he/she doesn’t ask for much: just a few sunflower seeds each morning, collected in a display of derring-do, and daintily eaten one at a time.
The morning show is well worth the cost of a few seeds, and after the winter we’ve had, we figure we should give the little guy/gal a break. So we’re welcoming our acrobatic visitor – at least for now.
See below for the impressive technique that Squirrely learned in about half an hour of trial and error. Even as I write this post, she’s learning yet more tricks that I haven’t yet had a chance to photograph!