Thursday, December 29, 2005

Back in Black

On my way up to the shower earlier (I love vacation) I noticed a gaggle of birds under my bird feeder. I stopped to watch a minute and went back to my desk. The boy got me a bunch of field guides for Christmas this year. One is Birds of New England, one is the National Audubon's Field Guide to New England, and I also got several quick reference guides. I was interested in knowing for sure a few of the birds that I've wondered about As I stood there, I noticed my bird feeder was empty. I went out to fill it, planning on taking a shower and then coming back to see what birds had come back to feed. After I came in, I was looking through the bird book, trying to determine if I have American Goldfinches or Pine Warbler's that visit (non-breeding winter plumage is hard to ID with) and out of the corner of my eye saw a flock of $#%@ pigeon's fly off in a huff. Wondering what sent them scattering (and secretly grateful) I discovered this under my feeder.

I have never seen a black squirrel in my entire life. I watched it for a while, until the dog showed up and started having a fit about a squirrel in "her" yard.. and then looked it up on the Field Guide. Turns out it is in fact an Eastern Gray Squirrel. It seems that black variety is found locally. (whatever that means in plain English). It hustled up into the nut tree when it was spooked, and I snapped this photo. It was a much better one than the photos of an all black animal against a dark wood tree.

The thing I like about this little guy, other than his cool color..is that he feeds on the ground. Those effing pigeons, and the flock of blue-jay's I entertain at my feeder make a rotten mess of things. They have this game they play called "lets throw all the seed out on the ground". I've got their number however. A catalog showed up in the mail yesterday, that has a mesh feeder that I am going to replace my old wooden feeder with.(similar to the one in the link) It is falling apart after 5 years of being out in the elements year round, and this new one will not allow "throwers" to be able to do so. Not only will I save money on seed, I'll save the lawn underneath my tree. My ultimate goal is to starve out the pigeons without running off my other little birdie friends.

As I type this, the Phantom Squirrel is sitting on top of the large feeder, hanging down and eating seed. I think it's time I go scare him off.

1 comment:

KathyMarie said...

Oh, but he's so cute! Unusual animals always get my sympathy vote.

You are the queen of good pictures, by the way. I love seeing your winter (our snow is almost gone, thanks to a lovely warm snap).