The Chipmunk Story


Bird feeder

A little detour from the seriousness of the climate crisis and the pandemic.

I have become a birder.  So much, that I bought a pair of binoculars this spring.  Now, when I look off into the distance and see some birds, I can discover that they are bluebirds . . . or a hawk having lunch.  Last summer, I was talking so much about all the birds I was seeing that three different friends sent me bird books.  Then, I broke down and got a bird feeder.  I feel that is a little like cheating because I am now luring the birds out of the woods . . . so I can actually see them more.  I would never have seen all the birds I have seen this summer without the bird feeder.  There are an amazing number of birds here that I never saw in Illinois.  Take for instance, the indigo bunting.  Once you see one, you will think that it is so cool, beyond believable.  Well, I better calm down now for all of you who are not birders . . . yet.

Back to my chipmunk story.  Instead of squirrels eating all the bird food . . . it’s the chipmunks.  They are such pigs, too.  Anyway, I bought the container above and put the bird food in there.  It is not loose, obviously, but in a brick form.  So, I put it up mid afternoon and by morning it was half gone.  I like this form of bird food because it usually lasts longer.  Not so . . . when chipmunks are eating it.

Well, a little later that day, I pulled out my binoculars and noticed one of the chipmunks was inside of the container.  Mind you, those holes are only 1 inch by 1 inch.  As I spied on it, the chipmunk looked frantic, as it was trying to get out of the container.  It would poke its head through the hole and struggle, and then it would take a little more of the food.

“Ha, you little scoundrel, you are too fat to get out.  Serves you right for eating so much.”  So, I thought I would help it out a bit.  Surely if it saw me coming, it would want to run for its life and find a way through that 1×1 hole.  I made my way up to the tree it was hanging in, and that little chipmunk did indeed, scramble for its life and got out of the 1×1.

I have since bought a shepherd’s hook to hang the container away from the tree.  It is better but those chipmunks can really leap a long way from where they are.  I didn’t want it out in the open so the hawks can see it.  Those chipmunks have figured a way onto the feeder from a branch above.

Here is another picture of a raccoon raiding the bird feeder in the middle of the day, no less.  I thought this raccoon looked really fat but a friend said it looked like a mother that has been nursing some little ones.  I took a closer look and sure enough, that looks to be the case.

Raccoon second picture

Oh, well, everyone is enjoying the bird feeders.

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