Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Man, do I hate squirrels.

Anyone who maintains a bird feeder will tell you the same thing.

It's a gorgeous day outside. I'm working from home today, so I decided to fill the bird feeder, which has been empty since last October because the squirrels go apeshit for fresh seeds. We get the special, gourmet birdseed with dried fruit and nuts, which apparently attract cardinals. So far, we've attracted a single cardinal and every species of squirrel within a ten block radius.

They jump from the fire escape to the feeder, swinging it violently back and forth and smacking it against the window, scaring the crap out of the birds and driving me insane. J forbade any refilling of the feeder back in November after I started looking at ads for BB guns. For Christmas, as an act of good will and peace on earth, I asked for a Super Soaker. She said no.

So today, I decided to calm down, enjoy the day, restrain myself, and refill the feeder, knowing the neighborhood finches were getting upset with me for being such a baby. It took awhile for our urban woodland creatures to get over their shock of finding it filled with delicious stale seed from last year, but they found it. And I've never seen anything like it.

It was a bird feeding frenzy, an orgy of aviary gluttony which glued me to the back window, transfixed, for a good twenty minutes. They numbered in the dozens, covering the fire escape, the deck, the feeder, and the surrounding trees. They dove in and swooped and pecked and threw seeds everywhere, sometimes six different birds on the feeder at a time, and it made me feel great about making them fall off their winter wagon and keeping the scene alive.

You have to put something out there for the benefit of those who really need it before the bastards take advantage. You can draw parallels with this theory to a lot of things in life: Government programs, real estate, laws, pharmaceuticals, the music industry.

And in the grand tradition of the lawless working the system for their own benefit, the squirrels arrived at our feeder to feast. Four of them, then six. Grey ones, brown ones, even a black one. They started to do their dance. They knocked the remaining seed out of the feeder. They smashed it against the window. And they made their snivelling squirrel noises, and they fought, and they gorged themselves, and they drove me over the edge. And I gently took the feeder down. But it was good while it lasted.


Moggy said...

I got a squirrel resistant bird feeder and the squirrel can squeeze between the bars and sit inside while he stuffs himself.

I haven't yet filled it this year.

Nice picture.

Sara J. Allen said...

Hilarious. Urban battle with squirrels. I'm teaching The Things They Carried in my class, and I might share your story of combat.