Birds, squirrels, and a lackadaisical cat

Cat is NOT watching the mockingbird bush

Cat is NOT watching the mockingbird bush

June 5 – While the mockingbird pair know right where their baby is, we don’t! As the cat moves around the area, she is loudly scolded by one or the other parent. Speaking of birds, a sparrow flew into our big front window as so many other birds have done. This one was not as fortunate however, because it died on impact. I was surprised to find that nothing had carried it away from the scene.

And speaking of birds, a couple of wrens made a nest out in Dale’s workshop in the barn, and when the eggs hatched, out came two cute little ones. As of yesterday, they were still inside, flying here and there, trying to figure out how to get outside. Must be the parents didn’t communicate with them very well, because the little ones were shooting here and there leaving droppings all over the place, never quite knowing what to do to join their parents outside the door.

Earlier this week when Dale went out to lock up the barn, he decided that he would be their foster parent for a bit and get them outside. He chased them round and round until they became tired and dropped down behind some of the tools and other stuff on his work bench. After picking them up in his hands, he walked out the door, and tossed them up into the air–all the while listening to one of the parents out in the barn scolding him for all the help he was giving their little ones! Now won’t those tiny little birds have a strange tale to repeat to the next generation!

Since the squirrel population has expanded greatly, we don’t have as many birds at the feeder. Mostly cowbirds and mourning doves. The three gray squirrels and the three orange/brown with the big bushy tail seem to think they own the entire yard. And I really think they are correct. Last year, if I banged on the back window, the squirrels would skedaddle back to the woods, not to return for awhile. Now they act as if they don’t even hear me! Even when I go out into the garage and loudly clap my hands together, they lift their heads, look in my direction, and then go on eating. As a last resort now, I clap, then yell loudly, but not very pleasantly, and a couple rush off down to the woods, while the others look right at me for awhile before they climb up nearby trees, where they look as if they were pasted onto the bark.

Cat observing a neighborhood squirell

Cat observing a neighborhood squirrel

Our cat has become our watchman. Well, at least she jumps up into the bird food box and watches the squirrels as they scamper around but several feet from her and continue on with their feast.

Today as I was coming in from the orchard area, I saw a very interesting sight on the other side of the driveway. Cat was sitting very quietly at the bottom of the big maple tree, really intent on what was happening just across the driveway from her. About 15 feet in front of her a young squirrel was sitting on its bottom, chewing whatever it had managed to find to eat: maple keys or food from the bird feeder. Neither animal was bothering the other until I slowly walked to the driveway. Off like a shot that squirrel raced down to the woods, while Cat, who couldn’t see the departure because of her position behind the tree, searched for a bit to find her “friend,” and probably wondered if the squirrel had sped up into the branches. Sometimes I wonder if our cat has eye problems! – CHRIS

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