Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Squirrel Wars

There seems to be a lot of violence around here lately.  First woodpeckers fighting over suet, now red squirrels fighting over seeds.  Guess they've seen too many GOP primary attack ads.

But like battles waged over the air, these local wars rarely lead to any actual harm for the participants.  Usually there's just a lot of noise and gesturing and puffing up to make oneself look bigger than their opponent. 

I have a terrible habit of not taking my camera with me when I go out to the studio to work.  I've missed deer, fox and rabbit, and many a grand show put on by posturing birds squabbling over seed.  But on this day, back in November, I had my camera ready when two red squirrels quarreled over a feeder stocked with black oilers and peanuts.
My feeders are pretty squirrel proof, so when I am out in the studio I put a half cup of seed in the "squirrel feeder", this old tin-roofed model nailed to an old barn beam.  The squirrels know the sound of seed in the feeder and are usually there within a minute or two.  On this occasion, however, two showed up in quick succession.  A brief battle ensued.

I'm pretty sure I heard the food bucket.

Oh crap, it's occupied.

Oops, he saw me.

I'll make a quick pass to the other side.

Can he see me under here?

Guess so.

I'll try the front again. Uh oh....

Pow! Bam! Bitch slap!!

The interloper finally defeated, the king of the feeder can finish his lunch.

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