(Almost) Flying Squirrels

Somehow the squirrels managed to find a way to leap between bird feeders to get at the peanuts.  I can’t afford to feed them a bag of peanuts every day so, to make sure there were some for the birds, I moved the peanut feeder further away, on a silver birch I’d had to cut from under the power lines.

Not to be deterred, the squirrel, who doesn’t like suet, tried the “Tarzan” approach.  Drop down on one suet feeder,

Squirrel flying pt 1
Squirrel flying part 1

Leap across to the next

Squirrel flying pt 2
Squirrel flying part 2

and then try the huge leap to get at least the pole to the peanut feeder.  Unfortunately, it didn’t seem too familiar with Newton’s Laws whereby half the momentum change went into sending the suet feeder backwards and only half into sending the squirrel in the direction of the peanut feeder, with the result that it fell ten feet to the ground.  Luckily, a squirrel’s terminal velocity is not that high so it went round for another try.  Several times a day for a few days until it finally gave up.

Squirrel flying pt 3
Squirrel flying part 3

I’m not sure if the blue jay is applauding.

Why didn’t the squirrel just climb the pole?  All my feeders and nest boxes have a stove pipe around them, so non-flying animals can’t reach them.  The stove pipes are too smooth to climb.

Author: Eric Lawton

Eric is a natural philosopher living in rural Ontario

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