Friday, April 24, 2009

Squirrel Tricks

We've been feeding the squirrels in Central Park lately and noticed a couple tricks they've learned.

The parks people put out little feeders for the birds -- and, knowing that squirrels will go after the seeds, they hang these small feeders on the thinnest branches so that only the light birds can get to them. But the squirrel in this first photo is brave -- he climbs down the thin branch to the very end, then pulls up the string hand-over-hand to drag the basket closer, then holds the basket with one paw and grabs seeds out of it with the other.

The pigeons have also figured out a strategy for this -- the squirrel drops a lot of seeds in the process so they all hang out below the basket.

As you can see in the second photo, they aren't shy. They also have another thing, which I suspect is a trick. You'll throw them a peanut and it lands maybe a foot from them, but they'll wander around looking for it and not finding it. Sometimes even walking right past it so their butt is practically hanging over the peanut.

We point and make clicking sounds to get them going the right direction, but eventually grow so frustrated that we simply toss them another peanut. Playing dumb gets you twice the food...

No comments: