I don’t care that squirrels hog the bird food, they’re cute

Squirrel enjoying freshly deployed corn

The summer mob of young birds is emptying the bird feeder within a few hours every day. Most of them are sparrows, fighting with each other, and begging from their parents. There’s a couple of young cardinals, all gawky and splotchy with their adult reds not quite filled in. And there’s at least one young blue jay, still a bit fluffy around the edges. Watching the birds is sweet, but for cute, I watch the squirrels.

Yes, the squirrels love to climb inside the feeder and spend all day stealing every last sunflower seed they can find. But they can be bought off. They love peanuts in the shell so much they steal them faster than they can eat them, running off and burying them to cache them for later. This is hilarious, but it doesn’t occupy them nearly as long as an ear of dried corn in the spiral hanger. They cache corn, too (I’ve got corn plants in all sorts of odd places), but mostly they hang on the corn and hang out next to it.

Squirrels eat corn, birds eat sunflower seed — everybody’s happy.