Squirrel feeding

These pictures show my squirrel-proof bird feeder. It was rather expensive, but has given me a great deal of pleasure. One small squirrel has learned to use it. He/she gets on the feeder in two ways. One is by leaning over from the support stake, and getting paws on part of the feeder, and then swinging its body around and underneath. The other way is more dramatic. The squirrel poses on the top of the feeder, and then slowly lowers the front of its body to the perches at the bottom. The feeder is longer than the squirrel, so the squirrel eventually loosens its rear paws, and drops, catching itself on the perches and holes, and then distributes its weight around the perches. At first it tried to use only one or two perches, but that dumped the squirrel on the ground. Now its acrobatic success rate seems over 50%. The squirrel's weight is supported by all the paws, each on a perch or in a feeder hole. Although the local squirrel population is a dozen or more, only one squirrel has learned to feed. The others watch, but generally don't even attempt what this animal now does routinely. This may be a picture of a genius squirrel, or, at least, a very limber one.

Maintained by greenfie@math.rutgers.edu and last modified 2/20/2004.