Wednesday, October 04, 2006

When Opportunity Knocks

Roger put up a baffle beneath the bird feeder well over a year ago. Its purpose was to keep the squirrel out of the feeder, and it absolutely does the trick. At first the squirrel tried everything it could to get beyond that baffle, leaping over and over from a rock that's about two feet away. But, after a while, it gave up and seemed content with the seeds that the other birds spilled to the ground. There's definitely plenty of that. Birds are surprisingly picky and messy. They'll toss out peanuts and sunflower seeds still in the shell for something more to their liking. We have quite a variety of birds that come only to feed beneath the feeder, as well as the squirrel. It really is the perfect arrangement.
We raised the hook the bird feeder hangs from a while back to accommodate a new feeder, but that new feeder didn't work out. So we hung the old feeder back up at the new height. Unfortunately, it is now too high for me to reach without contorting into stretches that are absolutely forbidden for people with chronic back problems. So, now I take a little step ladder out to the feeder when I refill it. The other day after I had partially refilled the feeder (dang, I ran out of food) and rehung it, the phone rang, so I inadvertently left the ladder for the very first time, for less than an hour.
Imagine my surprise when I went back outside and saw that the little squirrel had discovered the opportunity and seized it. I was really taken aback by that quick and ingenious behavior. Pretty smart for a little rodent that's never been on a step ladder before. Pretty smart, indeed. Would you call this tool use? I might.

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